final chapter? written. People were getting tired of hearing about Killer and I was tired of writing about him and even thinking about him, especially after he left a thorn in the knuckle of the third finger of my right hand that is still causing me pain.
The story involved more than just the removal of Killer. In the background of this photo of him blooming taken in 2005 you can see the green wall of a privet hedge. Privet was a popular planting when our house was first built in the fifties. Nearly every house in this neighborhood has some privet. It was used to outline the property borders here.
It was decided that a less high maintenance shrub would be planted to help define the property edge. Arborvitae has proven a good choice for some of the lines, among others. The old clothesline pole is shown above with some of Killer’s canes still wrapped around it, but there are no roots left, they were all dug out. A crossvine is still growing on the pole, a little damaged from the removal of the rose but it has a strong root system and will regrow.
This post was placed to help Killer to grow into the privet hedge. A chain was attached to the clothesline pole and threaded through an eye screw on the back of the four by four. The rose canes were to run along the chain and into the privet. That proved to be a bad idea. For a more detailed explanation of why this was bad, click on the links in the first caption. This story is not really about Killer at all, that is only background. Let’s move on.
Then the massive roots were dug out with a pickax and a lot of effort on the part of my better half. Thanks, hon. The corner section of the privet was left in place to conceal the utility pole at the boundary of the three properties. We may regret this decision, but it can be removed at a later date if need be.
All clean and crying out for plantings.
Foster hollies, ilex x attenuata ‘fosteri’, were purchased and planted in the high quality soil in this area. They should fill in and provide some diversity to the arborvitae to its left and the Leyland Cypress grouping on the other side of the utility pole.
Another factor, this is really involved, I know, was the deaths last year of two of the three large chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Crippsii’ from the late freeze / drought double whammy we received last spring and summer. They were a roaring success up to that point at giving some privacy from the neighbor’s house.
Enter our hero. Offspring Gardoctor, carpenter extraordinaire, designed an arbor to my specifications, brought in the materials, and built us a most beautiful arbor.
How magnificent is this? Far exceeding our expectations. Last weekend my better half and I attended a birthday party out of town. During that time, Gardoctor and his associate were going to build the arbor. I had apprehensions about this project being done without me being here to observe and supervise. It was dark when we arrived home and late so that the arbor was not seen until the next morning. I was so pleased to see the job he had done, it was perfect in every way. Oh joyous day!
He had a plan for a finishing touch to be added at the far end, to make the brackets into a diamond shape in order to give it a more private and finished appearance. A seating area of some kind is planned for this space.
The diamond was finished in between the rain and snow belts that have moved through our part of Tennessee, the only thing left is the plantings and some outdoor furniture. In other words, the fun part.
Just a little before photo, circa 2005, and after to show how this arbor solves multiple problems for this part of our property. The neighbor’s house, who I like, but don’t want to see when I am meditating on the meaning of life, the universe and everything out in the garden needed to be blocked somewhat.
There was also a vote about which rose or roses should be ordered to replace Killer. One of the visions of the arbor is to have flowers dripping off of it.
Click here to see the result of the vote . We did follow the voter’s decision with one of our choices, Madame Alfred Carriere, shown below. The other rose ordered was Fortune’s Double Yellow , shown above. The Antique Rose Emporium, http://www.antiqueroseemporium.com/ was quick to point out that Fortune’s was hardy only to zone 8, we are zone 7 here, therefore the guarantee would not be extended to that rose. That is a risk that will be taken. Both Madame and Fortune, among several others, were grown in the garden we created at our Texas house. The pale pink of the everblooming Madame is stunning. But the peach blending into yellow of the spring blooming Fortune’s is a sight not to be forgotten. And the fragrance of them both should make the new arbor THE destination of our daily path perusal, weather permitting.