My Sad Story

A meeting place for rose breeders.
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jwoo959966
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:51 pm

My Sad Story

Post: # 72035Post jwoo959966
Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:37 pm

I wish to tell you my sad story. I have been growing roses for 41 years of the last 18 ive had to enjoy my sometimes annuals in pots on a 2nd floor apt , i have hybridized for about 30 of these years just a little dab here and there but sufficient enough to enjoy my hobby. That is where the fun is, not in growing roses but creating!
I do not hybridize for any real purpose but to create something of beauty and it has to smell good too. So i work with Hybrid teas and a few Minifloras. I loathe shelling seeds and itching for days but the minute the first germination's happen im in seventh heaven.
I have lived in this apt 18 years, i have on average about 20 bushes crammed onto my deck. I used to get about 20 or so crosses and around 500-1000 seed every year but that was when i worked 50 hour weeks so there never was enough time to do more. This year on 1/1 i went to the hospital with human pneumovirus was released 5 days later on oxygen and currently i still require that. But...First time in all these years i was home to plant and watch the seeds grow i finally had enough time to do what i loved. of course i also purchased more roses to breed with than i had room for but i made room by adding railing baskets to hold the miniflora's. Then one day back in early may i noticed something had been digging in my pots. Squirrels !! i tried alot of things but it came back everyday. Finally i bought a 5lb bag of crushed red peppers, Alas something worked. i didnt have to fix the soil in my pots.
I had been on short term disability that transitioned into long term but i had time to do my crosses. Every flower became a parent i had so many hips i was filled with joy thinking about springtime when the germination's began i might actually have enough seedlings to observe. Shortly after i awoke on Monday 8/10 the weather radio sounded with warnings of severe storms, this didnt concern me as much as being 2nd floor the balcony above provides good protection, i had gone out and done 3 more last of the season crosses and shortly a warning for a county to the west of very high winds. It appeared by radar as it move through Ames and miss Des Moines. i diligently watched from my balcony as it moved in. i moved a few pots inside once the Derecho winds started then decided it was to dangerous for me to try and do more. 30 minutes of 80-100 mph winds and branches everywhere the storm ended.
Before i went out to see if my car had a tree on it i had to check the roses and all my hips. im guessing i had 50 good sized hips marble to golf ball sized, all seemed to make it ! the 2 of 3 crosses i made that morning were gone however. Ive spent the last 2 days being ever so thankful that all my work was intact and i had been blessed. I even thought of ways aside from having the bushes in enclosures of how to best protect the hips from harm. I didn't think hard enough or act fast enough . this morning when i was out checking the roses i noticed a hip was gone that i had watched closely on a miniflora. Further inspections revealed almost all my hips were gone, the squirrels had come back and had eaten them !!
I grabbed the aluminum foil and sat on deck covering what hips they left me,about 20. The Farmers in iowa lost 10 million acres of crops from the storm, to late for them to start over as well as for me. Maybe next year? I put down alot of red pepper hopefully that and the foil will buy me enough time until the traps i ordered from Home Depot arrive on Tuesday.

roseseek
Posts: 5153
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:54 pm
Location: Zone 9b Central California, Sunset Zone 15

Re: My Sad Story

Post: # 72037Post roseseek
Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:09 pm

Wow! I'm sorry for your troubles! Thankfully, you weren't injured nor did you lose your home nor car. All else is easily replaced! MANY of us have battled the rodents of all types, whether they are squirrels, rats, rabbits, gophers or the largest "rodents" of them all....DEER. I've created screen enclosed planters and tables in which to raise my seedlings because of birds and squirrels as well as mice, when they were in a canyon in the mid desert. There are ways around all of these problems and they often require a lot of experimentation to hit on the right cure for the specific ill. It sounds as though you have good ideas how to handled them for the next season. Fingers are crossed for you they work as planned and that the squirrels don't easily find work arounds! Perhaps you may need some seeds from heavily scented types as a stop gap to tide you over?
Kim
California Central Coast
USDA Zone 9b
Sunset Zone 15
Cooler inland coastal valley with strong marine influence

jwoo959966
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:51 pm

Re: My Sad Story

Post: # 72038Post jwoo959966
Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:15 pm

Thanks Kim, I am left with enough hips that will seem like old times.I also forgot to add that the car is fine had several smaller branches on it but thankfully the large ones were not near my car.
Before coming to the city 18 yrs ago I lived in the country, we had all the varmints but they never bothered the roses. Not even the deer and whats more is i only knew what a Japanese beetle was by pictures! i fought the usual battle against aphids and spider mites..i still fight spider mites. I had learned about covering in foil years ago from and article i read that suggested using it to ripen hips faster so i thought it would be my best defense until i can trap the squirrel and relocate him 8 miles south of me, lots of multiflora where I used to live that he can go eat ! I had to share my plight with folks who understand. friends and family i dont think quite get it. And yes for next season i will for sure be more protective of my crop at least ill have the winter to consider my options. So far as today i have not been revisited but i am checking often.

roseseek
Posts: 5153
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:54 pm
Location: Zone 9b Central California, Sunset Zone 15

Re: My Sad Story

Post: # 72039Post roseseek
Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:39 pm

I'm glad you have enough to keep you occupied! As for relocating the squirrels... For several years, I worked in Pacific Palisades, a beach community on the Southern California coast off Los Angeles. I had a nursery client who also battled the squirrels. There, it's illegal to damage, kill OR relocate them as they are considered YOUR problem and you aren't supposed to dump them on others. He trapped two squirrels in his yard up in "The Village". He'd already been told they would find their ways back, so to test that, he literally spray painted fluorescent stripes down their backs, then drove them out into the Topanga Canyon State Park. reportedly well over ten miles away. It required less than a week until BOTH squirrels were back in his back yard. I doubt there were many other fluorescent striped squirrels in the neighborhood.
Kim
California Central Coast
USDA Zone 9b
Sunset Zone 15
Cooler inland coastal valley with strong marine influence

philip_la
Posts: 1062
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:28 pm

Re: My Sad Story

Post: # 72044Post philip_la
Fri Aug 14, 2020 3:02 am

Utterly useless, but strangely cathartic to watch for those of us who share your frustrations: https://youtu.be/oNltR4iCRCA
Philip F.
Zone 8 / Sunset Zn 30 (Austin, TX -- formerly New Orleans, LA)

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