The Roses Are Blooming

23 May

The roses have started to bloom in the front yard. The red climber is up and over trellis and fence offering its 1st blooms street side. The pink hedge rose has ½ dozen fully open blooms and the yellows next to it are in perfect long stem stage. They form a delightful edge for the patch of deep green grass with the weeping willow in the corner surrounded by the cedar fence. Except for a bit of wandering grass under some of the rose bushes, it scene is House & Garden beautiful.

Most of the roses were hand-me-downs from a co-instructor when she retired a couple of years after I started. She celebrated her retirement by redesigning her entire yard and the roses didn’t fit in her plan. Each winter they have suffered through the cold and slowly but surely added leaves and then blooms in an unplanned array of colors. I will miss them.

A friend once said she didn’t grow roses because they required too much work. I’ve never really understood that. I trim them at the start of the season and cut blooms for my office or the table as the season goes on. I sprayed them with soapy water once because of aphids but mostly I try to keep the grass under them to a manageable level and just enjoy them.

I can’t say the same for the garden area in the back yard. It still has an almost wintery look with remaining sunflower stocks piled to one side and almost every square inch covered with volunteer sunflower plants that are about 6 inches tall. Somewhere buried under all of that is the irrigation tubes that need to be checked and reconnected. That makes it hard to just rototill everything under. Instead I will carefully separate weeds from perennials and move just a few sunflowers to one corner. I’ll check to see if the scarlet runner beans are tall enough to wrap around the lower rung of the trellis  and pick up a couple of tomato plants to fill in the empty places. With the wire cages over them the back yard will wait for someone else to water and care for it. Someone else will enjoy the happy faces of the sunflowers and the eat the tomatoes

Our garden space in Texas was overgrown years ago. The back field is a mass a weeds we have paid someone to knock down to the legal 9 inches. There are a few scraggly rose bushes that have not been trimmed in years and are probably planted in too much shade. The front yard is small and many of the shrubs were trampled in the construction zone as we rebuilt the front porch. There will be little opportunity for gardening until early Fall. That might be a good time to start plans for Spring with tulips and daffodil bulbs. I wonder what will grow well there. It will be a whole new adventure but I’ll still miss my roses.

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