• Lynette Mejia

La Vie En Rose

Peggy Martin roses are wonderful climbers, with long, sturdy canes perfectly suited for training along espalier wires. They're tough as nails too, fully living up to their reputation as the only plant to survive under 20 feet of salt water for two weeks after Hurricane Katrina. Mine has been planted, dug up, hauled across town to our new home, planted, dug up again, and planted again, and each time it's bounced back with nary a complaint. For a couple of years now I've been meaning to train it above the windows behind my garage, and this past weekend we finally got around to the task.

As usual, I forgot to take a "before" photo, but here's one from last spring that gives you an idea of the location and size:

Peggy Martin Before

It looked mostly the same before we started on Saturday, overgrown and seriously in need of a trim. I started by choosing the canes that seemed long enough to get the maximum effect, pruning away everything else:

Peggy Martin Pruned

Next, the LOML screwed eye hooks into the frames above the windows, and ran a long piece of galvanized wire between them. With that task complete the only thing left was training the canes along the wires and adding a good-sized mound of pine straw at the base to discourage weeds and retain soil moisture:

Peggy Martin Final

And voilá! In a few weeks we'll have blooms and it will be gorgeous. I love the cottage garden look of it--how it softly frames the hard lines of the windows. The project itself only took a couple of hours; honestly, most of the time invested was in pruning, and that was needed badly anyway.

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