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Side Bar of Shame!

As one of the thousands on Furlough since April I've had to take a step back and look at myself.  Signing up for a RHS garden design qualification has been one of them. Our local website asked for some garden clearance.  My OH (under gardener) went to price the job, strimming, weed clearance etc. I suggested that it may be prudent if i went along.....turns out, a beautiful cottage with approx an acre of garden but no flowers. The lady would like some help; she is focused on a border close to the house with shrubs (rhodis, pieris, roses) that have been hacked/neglected into .... sure is ugly specimens!! I have offered to redesign this FOC as a basis for my assignment for the RHS  course. I often use the 'Side Bar of  Shame', a nursery bed that I put ugly ducklings into hoping they will turn into swans. Question is: do I chop her ugly roses/shrubs etc. to about 6 inches and replant them in the side bar, will they transform??

Posts

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 71,952
    What sort of roses are they?  

    HTs, floribundas, bush...?

    Can we see some photos of them please? 



    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 15,339
    Wrong time of year to chop roses and move them.  Start with learning how and when to prune. The shrub border may take a couple of years to have it looking right again.  Too many jobbing gardeners trim all shrubs as if they are privet to give a nice round shape, instead of taking out diseased wood first, any really old wood, and then stuff that crosses and rubs.  My dad pruned a shrub border into a hedge while mum was out shopping. He cut off a years flowers. Mum didn't speak to him for weeks.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,242
    You can't possibly plan or execute a decent design for a border or a garden without knowing the aspect, soil type and local climate and exposure and you certainly will be on a hiding to nothing if you don't know how the needs of the plants your propose nor how to care for them.

    Since you're doing an RHS design course I suggest you consult the RHS site about how and when to prune roses both for general maintenance according to type and also ehow to regenerate them.  Lots of other "how to" info too about basic gardening techniques - soil prep, plant prep, lawn care etc - and more advanced stuff about specific plants.

    You can, at a pinch, plant potted plants now and they'll survive as long as you've done good soil prep and get the watering right but you can't expect to uproot and re-plant anything in the height of summer unless you really know what you're doing and take cuttings as back up. 


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • I only asked! As I've never neglected or butchered any of my roses, the query I was trying to make - if I transplant the shrub rose in the Autumn, then reduce it evenly to approx 12", what are it's prospects? I hate to abandon any plant if it has a chance to regenerate. 


  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 3,318
    I can't add anything to what has already been advised, but am curious about the course you've signed up for - I didn't know the RHS did design courses? What's it actually called? I'm currently doing a design course with Capel Manor which is excellent, but having done the RHS L2 Horticulture courses previously, they are a very (very!) different proposition. Everyone does stuff in the order that suits them best, but I'm intrigued by the idea of an RHS course covering design.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 4,410
    edited August 2020
    I'd say a reasonable chance in Autumn, if you can get a decent soil ball around the roots (it's pretty tricky on sandy soil even if it's wet through but it'll be easier with something a bit stickier). Or you could prune them hard in situ (look up renovation pruning) and redesign around them, if the lady likes them. If there is space and budget, you could maybe make a new border for your design assignment if it has to be a completely new design, but designing around existing shrubs etc is more like the real world. I wouldn't do any new planting in this heat. Maybe stick to weeding and grass cutting for now, and retreat indoors to do your research and designing. Trimming and tidying the edges of a neglected lawn makes a huge difference in how a garden looks so you could do that if it's needed.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,242
    edited August 2020
    @sam bevington - you did ask and the answers have been clear and helpful but all boil down to the same thing - know your plants!  or at least know where to ask for detailed info and "how to" if you're planning to make a business out of gardening.

    Would you employ an interior designer who doesn't know the difference between oil and water based paints and how to apply them and clean the brushes?   or how to select and arrange the furniture so it allows for best use of space and easy movement within it?  
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • OH is OIC for strimming and jollying on the ride on mower! I won't be doing anything until the Autumn as I'm too busy with my own two acres!
    Gunnera's gone bonkers!
    @LG - take a look at hccollege.co.uk
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 10,905

    @LG - take a look at hccollege.co.uk
    Is this what you are refering to?
    • RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment & Maintenance (RQF 500/8295/4)
    • RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting (RQF 601/7188/1)

  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 3,318
    edited August 2020
    Thanks @sam bevington - yes, it looks like you're either doing an RHS course or a garden design course. There are modules within the RHS courses which touch on design, but it's at the level.of "name three typical materials used in a cottage / formal / modernist garden" - a useful foundation but very basic and no practical assignments at all, so I hope that if you were expecting to study garden design you're *not* enrolled in one of the RHS courses! They are excellent horticultural training, I loved doing them, but they're not going to help with garden design. If you're on a design course, there's a lot less proper horticulture and some of it, in my experience, is a bit vague / inaccurate, but garden design courses - unlike RHS courses - vary widely so your experience may well be different. Good luck either way - I  have learned so much from both types of course. I hope that whichever it is you get what you want from it.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
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