Wednesday, June 1, 2016

First roses






This year, our roses were slow to bloom. They started out looking like they'd bloom extra early, actually, with big buds swelling by mid-April. But then we had a particularly vicious cold snap at the tail end of April - the temperature never climbed out of the forties on May 1, the coldest day of the snap - and those darling buds froze. They broke clean off when I touched them. I was disappointed, to say the least. In every previous year that we've lived in this house, I've had roses in bloom for Mother's Day. It's not even that I love these particular roses so much; I would much prefer a more fragrant variety, perhaps a tea rose, and I prefer paler-colored roses, soft butter-mint yellows and pinks. I don't even know what kind of rose this is but it doesn't matter; I've grown accustomed to its face.

My rosebush is a great source of pride for me. I taught myself how to tend it, reading books from the library, nipping and pruning on a wing and a prayer. I think I've mastered it now; the bush usually gives me four or five really good bloom cycles between May and October, and I'm able to clip roses for bouquets throughout the season, as well as leave plenty on the bush to jazz up the planter bed, which runs along the eastern wall of the backyard. It's a good place for a rosebush; there's bright sun almost all day long, and the bed is fitted with both sprinklers and drip hoses, so there's always enough water. It blooms trustily, year after year, and I don't really do all that much to make that happen, but it feels good anyway. You know what I mean, right? There are no flowers, then there are flowers, and it's mostly a function of nature - rain, sun, bees - but you helped, you really did.

When I was a little girl, we had red roses like these growing against the back of our house, in an untended flower bed that also contained daylilies and peonies. Some previous owner had planted them and they proliferated there. We were not a garden-oriented family, and we let them go wild. The daylilies annoyed me - too much pollen, too garish and sort of snakelike, with their spotted orange throats. The peonies drooped stickily, always swarming with ants. But the roses were gorgeous, I thought. Crimson-red, fragrant and numerous, they bloomed through the month of June. I think they would have bloomed beyond that if we'd pruned them, but we didn't. I would always clip a few for my bedroom, displaying them in a tall Tupperware tumbler on the dresser next to my bed. Once, I knocked the tumbler over during the night, probably with my blanket as I turned in my sleep, and woke up to a wet pillow and roses next to me on the mattress. My accidental bed of roses.

This year's roses didn't bloom on Mother's Day, but the very first bud opened on our wedding anniversary, last Wednesday, the last day of school - a simply wild day. I came home from a ballet recital, takeout pizza in hand, and immediately saw the rose through the kitchen window. It had opened since I left the house ninety minutes before. We ate our pizza on the patio, exhaled for what seemed like the first time in a week, and admired our rose.

24 comments:

  1. they are absolutely gorgeous!

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  2. what a gift God gave us in making such beautiful roses! I love all kids too, I had roses at our old house that look like the ones you have now. They are lovely and how very neat that they blossomed on your anniversary!!! :))))

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  3. Your rose looks gorgeous against your garden wall. It must have been heartbreaking when the frost destroyed all those lovely buds, but how lovely that it recovered in time for your anniversary. xx

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  4. Such a beautiful rose, I love the colour it reminds of the pattern on my Country Roses dinner service. Such a delight for it to open in celebration of your wedding anniversary. Take care.

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  5. The roses are late here too, the first one only opened a couple of days ago. Love that border where yours are planted. You are a gardener Jennifer, don't deny it!

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  6. They are beautiful I love the colour and they look gorgeous in that bed. Like Rusty Duck says you are a gardener! I loved this post too, how you weaved your words round the flowers :). Hope you are having a quieter week.

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  7. They're beautiful, and I love how you've learned how to care for the rose bush. My climbing rose opened recently, later as well this year I think, but it's in full flower now. I went to interview an artist with a gorgeous stone cottage the other day. It was a sunny day and we sat in the garden. When we came back to the front of the house the rose trained all over the front wall had open flowers on it, it was magical. CJ xx

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  8. Gosh those are beautiful.

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  9. It's a beautiful shade. I have a rose bush in my front garden which is over 50 years old. My neighbour who has lived in his house for sixty years tends to it for me he remembers who planted it. I'm not allowed to touch it x

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  10. Beautiful. I wasn't very keen on roses but I've changed my mind over the last few years and I can't get enough of them now. None of mine are flowering yet, though I gave them all a hard prune last year and they're a much nicer shape now.

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  11. Love your velvety red roses, you have grown them so well...and I also love the story of the roses on your pillow! It is rose time here at the moment and I have to go out and look each day (a few times!) because they open so fast.
    Helen xox

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  12. Your roses are gorgeous. I like red roses, but like you I prefer softer colors, particularly peach-colored.

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  13. I think your roses are beautiful. I planted a lot of roses at a former house. After I sold it,the new owners pulled then all out!

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  14. Oh Jennifer, your roses are beautiful and I loved reading your story of the roses in your life. I only have one rose bush now at home and they are a deep red. In our last home I had a rose garden with several dozen varieties. I do miss that heavenly smell drifting in the bedroom window while we slept. Thank you for sharing with us.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  15. All roses are lovely, whatever their shade, but your red roses here are simply gorgeous.
    They are indeed a lovely sight

    All the best Jan

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  16. I love your bouquet of roses. I meant to cut the Double Delight roses when many of them budded out but was too busy or sick and they got rained on and ruined. You should get a Double Delight for your yard.. the aroma is magic. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  17. They are just beautiful! I love that deep red.

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  18. Hi Jennifer! Lovely red roses! I just learned from a blog that ants help open the peony buds. Funny, huh?

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  19. It's the story behind the roses I like so much, although the blooms are beautiful. I love the idea of it opening while you were out and then it was ready and waiting for you when you got home. I'd like more roses in our garden and have a couple of spots where I think they could be trained to climb up a trellis along a wall. That would look pretty. xx

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  20. Beautiful! I sure wish you were here to teach me the finer points of rosemanship. I've never been any good at it and therefore, have no roses! Yours are gorgeous though -- I'll just have to enjoy your photos!

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  21. Gorgeous roses, Jennifer. They remind me of the ones we had in our garden when I was small. We used to pick up the scented petals and try to make perfume out of them with some water in a jam jar. xx

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  22. While roses are not my favorite flower, I have come to enjoy and respect their blooms more as I grow older, and particularly if they are fragrant. I love the story of your roses...especially your bed of roses :) This year one of our Joseph's Coat climbing rose bushes had a growth spurt while we were away camping...I will have to post a photo to show you. Thanks for your thoughtful post, Jennifer. xx

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  23. I so agree with you about the pleasure of watching familiar flowers bloom and associating their progress with certain times of the year, or nirthdays etc. Your red rose is very beautiful, the petals look so velvety and rich. X

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