Several people have posted photos of their beautiful roses this week.
Don’t wait for mine.
Roses have long been the proof of my failure to advance to the status of a masterful gardener. The gorgeous rose shown here is in front of a local church. There is only one rose in my yard and it was here when we moved in. My only claim is that I have not yet killed it. Just give me a little more time.
My earliest memory of roses is not a pleasant one. My younger brother fell over a rose bush, somehow jamming a thorn into the top of his foot. It broke off and remained under the skin until our father managed to pull it out. I can still hear my brother screaming.
When I was eight we lived in a huge house on Lewis Street in Fresno, CA and it had a rose garden in the back yard. The bushes were old, tall, and rather spindly. My neighborhood pals and I discovered that the space in the corner behind them made a good “clubhouse”, but crawling back there meant a good many scratches on arms and legs!!
Our neighbor in Georgetown, Texas had two things that fascinated me: a nine-year-old genius son who was in high school, and green roses! I had never seen either.
My grandmother Bea had beautiful roses! She carefully tended them and knew the name of each one. She gave me lots of advice about how to water and prune and fertilize them. I guess her words didn’t endow me with any special powers because I have never duplicated her success.
We had a friend years ago whose hobby was growing tea roses. He had dozens! Each was prized for some unique trait. I thought it so ironic that our friend was also a big burly truck driver!
The first house we ever purchased had three gorgeous roses in the front yard and the seller of the house actually had it written into the contract that he could remove them and transplant them to his new home. Probably saved the roses from a slow painful death.
I’m not sure why roses don’t like to live in my garden. Perhaps I don’t pay enough attention to them. They have always seemed “needy” and “fussy” to me- prone to so many diseases and conditions. I’m a bit lazy and always behind on chores. I don’t spray and fertilize and weed and water on any particular schedule. I don’t do a lot of planning and careful companion planting. I’m a “wing it” gardener and I’m not sure that is compatible with the requirements of roses.
Oh, the experts and websites make it all sound so simple. One suggests that all you have to do is: 1. Choose the right rose. 2. Plant where it will get six hours of sunlight. 3. Water regularly.
Okay, let’s start with #1. There are seven different types of roses. So I have seven opportunities to make a mistake! #2. There are five guidelines in the planting instructions regarding light, air circulation, soil type, planting near trees, and digging the hole. #3. Water regularly?? How much, how often? Then the site gives instructions for pest control, winter protection, and pruning. Too much for me!
So…I’ll leave the beautiful roses to those of you with the magic touch. Please continue to share!