Once upon a time, over 20 years ago now, I traveled to England on a pet food press tour. In between lectures, we visited many historic sites, and I fell in love with English garden designs and especially the roses. After seeing pictures, my husband wanted to recreate the delightful and impressive landscaping in our own rose garden here in North Texas. We even included roses in our front gate and stained glass designs and named our 13-acre home Rosemont. Those who read my fiction may now understand why roses are a big part of some stories.
Rosemont: An Ambitious (Unrealistic?) Dream
We purchased 750 antique roses that thrive in our area from Tyler, Texas. And for 20 years, we fought armadillos uprooting new plants, spider mites and fungus afflicting the blooms, and weeds overtaking the bushes. At least we didn’t have stray cats in the garden (although Seren-Kitty did enjoy leash walks there). Gardening morphed into a full-time job, time neither of us had, and after about ten years, we gave up trying.
The slide show, above, from about 2006 shows the garden in its prime. The video below seven years later offers a glimpse of past overgrown glory. Since then, natural attrition and more recently rose rosette disease infected most of our roses. The horrible 2021 February cold spell (which delayed this post) killed the rest.
We’d already planned to redesign the garden. But we need help.
New Roses, New Garden Plan
We’re reevaluating, simplifying design, and planning for less work and more enjoyment. And making sure plants are pet safe and not toxic. We improved the back garden fence to keep Shadow-Pup from great escapes, and a safe area for Bravo-Dawg to lounge. I’m planning a memory garden for Bravo, Magic, Seren and my very first furry muse. And Shadow can “help” us as we continue to clear away dead roses and volunteer trees.
Removing multitudes of 20+-year-old dead rose roots proved daunting. The rosette disease, though, lives on in the dead parts of the rose (it’s a virus spread by mites) so I had to eliminate them before planting new bushes. I found a solution and purchased a Mister Honeysuckle “shrub buster.” With leverage, it pops even stubborn roots out of the ground.
Because our favorite rose nursery disappeared, I’ve started a wish list at Antique Rose Emporium. But before new roses arrive, we need to kill the weeds and prepare the soil for new plants. Enter PetraTools.
Battery Backpack Sprayer for Less Back-Breaking Labor!
Over the years, my husband lugged, hand-pumped, and sprayed gallons of various concoctions to keep weeds and bugs at bay. So I jumped at the chance to receive a battery-powered 4-gallon backpack sprayer from PetraTools.com to use in our new rose garden.
Petra Tools sent us the HD4000. The unit comes with SIX (6) spray nozzles so you can choose the best options for your use — fogger, spray, high pressure, and more. The rechargeable battery, (charger and battery included), lasts for 5-6 hours or over 200 gallons of solution sprayed.
PetraTools.com also includes an excellent how-to video to get started, and a helpline to call for additional advice. You can purchase the sprayer from Amazon here.
I’m eager to use the sprayer as I know it will make gardening easier and more enjoyable. So expect additional follow-ups on using the HD4000 from Petra Tools as we bring Rosemont and our rose garden back to glory.
When a garden dies, you can always replant. It’s a new season, and time to revise the dream.
What have you planted lately? Do tell!
Image copr. Petra Tools, used with permission.
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Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!
That looks like a nice sprayer, but much too big for me to handle… 4 gallons is HEAVY!! I don’t do well with “backpack” configurations (my back is uncooperative…). It’s pretty expensive, too… I DO like the multiple types of spray options.. that would be useful. I wish my cheap-o ones had that! For many years, I have been using very cheap (20 bucks or so) battery-powered 1-gallon sprayers (I have multiples, for multiple chemicals and different uses) – the main use being the only spray that kills lily leaf beetles. These are gorgeous little red and black beetles that are horribly destructive of lilies. They are beautiful, but I HATE them. I have been known to hand pick them and squish them in my hands on the spot. I grow hundreds of lilies (Asiatic, Orientals, all sorts, plus tons of hemerocallis). I also use one of my sprayers to spray all the stuff the deer like to munch on (sunflowers, hosta, etc.) and stuff the chucks get (such as hollyhocks and raspberries). Good luck with your garden redesign, Amy! I have not had any luck with roses except landscape roses (like double knock-outs) and even then, the burrowing critters like to eat all the roots. I am going to be brave and do some climbing roses this year. I CANNOT WAIT to get outdoors and dig in the dirt — but it’s going to be another month, at least… At least this year I will have more “outdoors time” because somebody else is taking care of the CWA Contest!
Hi Wendy — I have my husband handle the spraying! Yes, 4 gallons is heavy, indeed. We’ve used the same cheapo one for more than 20 years now, so it was time for an upgrade. And really, we only have in the past used it for Roundup to kill the weeds but I suspect we’ll have many more applications now. The lilies sound glorious–I want pictures! Last year I put in about 50-75 daylilies and they’re now coming up so I’m anxious to see how they do.
We’ve had good luck with the Knock Out (red) rose, but the other colors aren’t as hardy. And many of the other antique roses do much better for us. But it gets much hotter here in Texas than in your neck of the woods, so you’d probably have ore issues with mildew and blackspot and such. Thanks for visiting the blog and commenting!
Last year I joined a rose growing group on Facebook. Paul Zimmerman is a Rosarian from S. Carolina and runs Jackson-Perkins nursery. We already had some roses, and I killed two bare root roses by ignorance. I have some David Austin roses coming, and an Oklahoma rose. The roses helped me to forget about the crappy news last year.
Oh I love the David Austin roses! Our Oklahoma rose died so it’s on my wish list to replace. Thanks for sharing.
I over-wintered a new daylily plant that will go into the ground as soon as the ground thaws. I can’t wait for the day it blooms. It is my favorite color cardinal and yellow, ISU Cyclone colors!
I love daylilies! Last year, a bunch went on sale here and I put in close to 50 of them, as a new yellow border to the front drive. *s*