Traveling Roses: The Rose Family Moves to Suffield

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A new home for us means a new home for my roses. In the last six weeks, we have packed and moved to a new town:  Suffield, Connecticut.  It is a little over ten miles north of our former location in Windsor.  The private school that purchased our other home gave us an offer we couldn’t refuse.  It was comfortable financially, but the big part of this offer was being gifted the school’s grounds crew to dig new gardens at our new place and relocate my rose children to their new home.

Just before we moved, Tim came for a visit.  He is the supervisor of the grounds guys and he works really hard to help them out.  I have known Tim for years and one of his guys, Steve Morse, has helped me out on many occasions.  Once, we had a 100 foot Cyprus tree behind our garage get twisted and broken in a big wind storm and we had to call the local tree experts to pick it up with a crane and lay it down on the lawn.  We couldn’t afford to have them take it away, but the next day, Steve came over and said, ‘You can’t clean this up; we’ll help you!’  He brought a bunch of guys, and sure enough, they carried it all away!  I always thought the whole crew were a wonderful bunch of neighbors.

When the bulk of my unpacking was finished here at the new house, Tim and Steve came over one morning in early April to discuss the new gardens.  We decided to make wrap-around beds on 3/4 of the house, starting at the north side of the veranda, traveling the southeast, south, and west sides, around the porch apron and foundation.  Then we planned a huge bed in the middle of the back yard.  The day they came was cold and rainy, but they said they’d be back with the crew on the next fair day.

When the guys showed up, they brought hand tools, wheelbarrows, and a sod cutter.  This machine saved us a lot of time!  As it’s cutting through, it vibrates the soil to loosen the grass so it’s easier to pick up.  Then, they loaded their big wheelbarrows with the clumps of sod and deposited their loads upside-down in the woods behind the barn.  This will eventually be amazing compost!  They finished up the first day and headed back to Windsor mid-afternoon.

This April was the coldest one I can remember!  We were lucky to have one sunny day each week, and that’s when we would all get together.  For the last three weeks, we gathered at my old house.  I had labeled all the roses that were coming home to Suffield with me, and all the fellows that I dug side-by-side with were wonderful, strong, and hard workers.  We dug in the morning, loaded their trucks with my traveling roses and drove them to the new house.  I made the guys lunch or Bob picked up pizza for them in appreciation of all their hard work.  After lunch each day, it was my job to decide where I wanted my lovelies planted.  John, their youngest, operated an eight inch auger which bit into the soil and created perfect holes.  Oh, my, what an amazing tool!  (Bob says I now have auger envy!) It made planting so much easier.  The soil, mercifully, is really good.  We threw a handful of super phosphate in each hole and mixed it in with some shovelfuls of Bumper Crop, a Coast of Maine product.  We planted all the roses from each day in the afternoon after they were dug.

Last week was our last day together.  We moved 150 roses to their new home, and because the soil was so cold and they were still really dormant, a week later it looks like everyone has made it!  I still have some pruning to do and, of course, mulching and feeding when the soil warms up, but these are tasks I love to do.  I am so grateful to these wonderful guys who gave me the gift of gardens.  I will never forget their kindness.  There were lots of times over the last couple of months that Bob and I felt like we were given an over-abundance of lemons.  Tim and his crew took those lemons and made us enough lemonade to last for years!  We’ll honor them when the roses are blooming with a cookout for all the guys and their families.  And that’s when I’ll dole out rosie hugs for all!

Meet Marci Martin

Marci Martin fell in love with roses when she was a little girl, and the love affair goes on. She has been growing roses for…

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