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Noyo Garden

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  Listing last updated on 08 Jul 2020.
Fort Bragg, California
United States
In late 2014, I removed from the Berkeley, CA hills to my grandparents' house and garden near the fishing harbor of Noyo, in Fort Bragg, CA. I began by assessing what had survived with little help in the past 30 years without their care and what had succumbed to dry summers, sandy soil, gophers, voles and deer; and the fairly tough ocean-side climate of brisk to pummeling winds, Downey Mildew, and "power fog" (the kind that makes the downspouts start dripping.). Additionally, I discovered Armillaria, "Honey Mushroom" in some dead shrubs, so in planning to grow all the roses I could fit on two lots of 1/3 acre altogether, I had some research ahead of me. I decided to just begin acquiring bands of what I fancied and let them audition for awhile in ever larger pots, until I solved at least a few of the site problems. I read HMF until the small hours many nights (thank you!) and looked at comments on Gardenweb, as well. I've had some counsel from local rosarian Joyce Demits, who explored the historic roses from the coast over the last 40 years; and otherwise found few new rose friends with whom to obsess! I now have about 250 roses, all behind a netting that goes up each night to protect them from deer with a taste for rosebuds. I've got some ideas for wind control, gopher and vole control, also sand amendment with clay, as per agriculturalists in Western Australia. I plan to start getting everything into the ground before and during this winter (that is everyone who's survived infancy) using wind-screening netting until plantings can grow.

I'm interested in almost all kinds of roses perhaps with the exception of later hybrid teas, of the high-centered kind. I'm always disappointed with unscented roses. The connection that old roses make with the past is thrilling to me, ever since I've understood that any hybrid plant is actually a bit of tissue that comes (through a chain) directly from a plant that someone, Empress Josephine, for example, may have lingered over and enjoyed. The more I learn, of course, the more I love, and now I'm as taken by a gaudy prickle, petiole or sepal, or the many ways that plants distinguish themselves as by their blooms. I do plan to post some photos and particularly feel a responsibilty to list plants and to remark on their behavior in my kind of circumstances. I'm always looking for ideas from other coastal gardeners and HMF has found me a few, from whom I will gratefully borrow. --6/14/17
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