Rosy Outlook

Springtime is when I feel guilty about neglecting my garden. I start peeping around to see which plants are doing well in spite of my careless abandonment. Every year, my roses fail to disappoint me. This year, after severe pruning, my front corner Simplicity climbing rose is showing like a youngish, well behaved climber. My Eden gets prime space at the front of my house but is always so shy of showing off its delicate tints.

I start heading back to my backyard to see what can be expected. I am of those homeowners who are not blessed with a clear and open rear yard and instead, I am surrounded on three sides (my house being the fourth) by tall redwoods, 2 oak trees and one grandiose dawn redwood. Little sunshine dares poke through all that foliage and yet I am stubborn, I must have flowering plants. I must feel that Springtime fever (minus the hay relative) with flowers competing to bloom for their first show. So I planted roses and roses. My roses in turn responded to their context by reaching out to some 7 feet tall to pursue their alloted sunny blessings.

I have always been fond of large regal looking roses so I was elated when I found Queen Elizabeth. It is still a scrawny youth but on every of its springly branches are a dozen of buds. This is when I am thankful for the roses, being such obstinate creatures, that won’t let me down after a winter of bad or no pruning, no fertilizing and no bug sprays.

The only one black sheep of my family of roses has been Sombreuil. It occupies the north corner of my house at the bottom of one fierce redwood. It climbs as far as 18 ft up but to its horror, it found no sun after reaching its maximum. It spread its ombrage  sideways but to no avail- still no sun. I picked it because Sombreuil can be shade tolerant – but to the point of shade loving? So every year, I cherish the very few fragrant blossoms that my Sombreuil manages to give me.

I went to the nursery once to find something to fill in at the bottom of my Dynamite and found some sage. A few months of customary absence later, I found myself having breakfast at my window seat on one floor above my back garden and looked out dreamingly to the few view corridors afforded between the giant trees. I saw a purple sage flower staring back at me at the altitude of 15 ft above its planting bed. I rewind my memory to recollect that tag on the sage container “Height: max. 4 ft.” No wonder my Dynamite has gone to Limpy Puny non descript so called red rose. I quickly made a mental note: must do something about the Dynamite – replace or get rid of the Sage on Steroids.

This year, as in the years before, my roses outperform their inconstant gardener. No change, no surprise – only that feeling of comfort and confidence that an established garden will yield pretty much what is expected of it.

Now, back to those pesky weeds….

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