I was off work Friday for Good Friday and I'm off this entire week for Spring Break. I'm hoping to get some major gardening chores accomplished and I decided that the first order of business would be to clear out the Rambling Rector rose on my pergola that I wrote about a while back. Well, after wrestling with RR all day Friday, recuperating on Saturday, and finishing up today, I can say that the deed is done but I'm telling you it was a fight to the finish. Lord, this is one vicious rose - I swear it had it in for me! I had already cut the rose back a few months ago so the major clean-up involved getting the long prickly canes off the top of the pergola. Since I couldn't stand on top of the pergola, all I could do was work from a ladder or stand beneath it and reach up with lopers. I did both and it was a long and tedious job.
I don't know what was more pleasurable - having my body pinned against the ladder by swinging canes with death hooks digging into my back and then trying to disentangle myself or pulling down a portion of canes and actually breaking a prong off the pergola. No wait, the worst part was actually dragging the canes out to the street. This is a rather long route with narrow passageways, steps, etc. Like I said, the canes were alive and out to get me. They kept snagging on my jeans, other plants, my skin! I thought about posting a photo of my scarred arms but I don't want to gross out any readers. The Leona Lewis song "Bleeding Love" was playing in my head all day. I was bleeding all right but it wasn't love.
Friday night I could barely move. I soaked in an Epson Salt bath for about an hour and loaded up on Ibuprofin before crashing.
This is what is left of the vicious bugger -
You can see he has already leafed out and is ready for some more action. I'm going to find him a new home (in someone else's garden).
Now, I have a huge blank section at the corner of my pergola. (You can see the piece that broke off lying on the ground). I have learned my lesson and I will never plant another rambler without researching it fully. The rose Reve D'Or, which you can see in the photo, is going to be so much happier now. I haven't decided which rose I'll plant in the place of RR and I might even decide to plant the crossvine that I have wanted for so long. Pam, over at Digging, keeps tempting me with her photos of it. I'm not sure how it would work among roses - any suggestions?