Friday, February 4, 2011

I promised you a rose garden...

      My husband has infinitely more confidence in my ability as a gardener than I have in myself.  He challenges me in areas I would never endeavor on my own. The rose garden would be one of those gauntlets that he threw down to push my gardening skills. 
My rose garden.
           It all started about 4 years ago I when I began building a retaining wall between the front of our cabin and the road, to aid with drainage.  I love building things with rocks.  It is nothing for my husband to look out the window and see me wandering down our road with a wheelbarrow laden with giant stones.  I never ask for help, it is the challenge that draws me.  Funny thing is I could spend all day moving a stone twice my size, but I stomp like a spoiled child at the very thought of digging a post hole. 
Anyway, back to the story.  I was working on this retaining wall because water from the road was draining into our yard.  I managed to sweet talk my husband into driving his skid steer along the rocky road leading to our house.  We picked up small boulders that appeared after we had some work done on the road.  I was in heaven.  Soon we had a nice wall up. 
Kelly's "blueprint" for the perfect rose garden. 
That is me in the sweater.
          That is when my husband started thinking that it was the perfect place for a rose bed.  A rose bed?  Um, those are for professional gardeners.  People with patience and logic; neither are my strongest suite.  Kelly didn’t understand my fears, or ignored them.  Since he’s my husband, I’m guessing he ignored them.  Before I know it, he has a carefully and artistically constructed  "blueprint", there is a truckload of compost delivered, and I’m helping him dig post holes on July 4th in 90 degree temperatures.  Please see the above reference to my love for digging post holes.  Once my husband gets his mind set on something there is no stopping him.  He is sure it was his best idea ever.  I’m a bit cynical.  Roses are supposed to be temperamental. 
My reservations quickly disappeared when we went to Jolly Lane (my absolute favorite nursery) to buy the roses.  Suddenly I found myself in a world of brilliant colors, dark green leaves, and scents that were intoxicating.  Four roses later I was hooked for life.   

William Baffin
Perennials have dash, but roses have personality.  I have the Yellow Topaz.  She (I will not tell you what I really call her and it isn’t Yellow Topaz) is merciless if you dare come within her reach.  Her thorns instill fear.  My husband’s prize is Morden Sunrise Shrub.  Of course I can’t get it to grow.  The little bugger has been 4 inches tall since I got her 4 years ago.  He has high hopes, while I hope she just makes it through another winter.   
The infamous Yellow Topaz
My mom gave me a Harison’s Yellow that belonged to my Great Aunt Clara.  For Mother’s Day I gave her a Theresa Bugnet that I have found to be virtually Bonnie proof.  My William Baffin is the first to meet me in the spring.  The Westerland we picked out has a scent that is out of this world, closely followed by Vavoom.  The Champlain never lets me down.  I used to have one in Lead and our dog, Ezra, was infatuated with it.  He ate the flowers and would pull it up whenever I wasn’t looking.  It was years before he succeeded in killing that one. 

Morden Blush
         Four years and twelve roses later I’m addicted.  I can honestly say roses have taught me to be a bit more patient and logical.  For example, patience has to be learned when you have a Yellow Topaz with thorns like a viper’s teeth.  I dread when I have to wrap her up for the winter and free her in the spring. She is not thankful for the care.  One becomes more logical when you fall in love with a rose for zone 5 and you are zone 3, you’d better be figuring out how to protect the heck out of it in the winter.

"This is the best idea ever!"
    I may not be the best rose gardener, but they are still alive.  When I remember to fertilized them they even flourish.  I have become an ardent composter, especially with bannanas and coffee grounds.  They are good for roses you know.  Yeah, I have to admit it may have been my husband’s best idea ever.

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