It’s Bloomin’ Wet

I think I’ve mentioned that our back yard is the low water place in the neighborhood. Here’s a pic after yesterday’s storm:

But all that rain after all that heat made my roses bloom like crazy! The tall red boy is Othello, from the great English rosarian David Austin. Austin believes in the form and fragrance of old roses, and when you’re at the nursery and see any of his roses for sale — buy them. The modern tea rose is almost fragrance free, and the new breed of tuff shrub roses traded perfume for hardiness. I sniff at them. Bah.

A different view, showing off  the white Sir Henry Hudson, one of the Canadian Explorer series. Mr. Russian Comfrey, the bane of my gardening existence, takes up most of the left hand side of the picture.

If you’re a writer, writing about roses, there are so many ways you can cliche your title! “Everything’s Coming Up Roses!” “Rose is a rose is a rose.” “They are not long, the days of wine and roses.” (The days of wine extend longer than the days of roses, for sure.) Even, in a bad year, “Oh rose thou art sick.” For Alcott fans, “Rose in Bloom.” Please tell me all the ones I’ve forgotten in the comments section.

There’s a reason writers have written about roses since people pressed characters into a clay tablet with a stick — they are dazzling, sensual, mystical. The rose is the floral emblem of the Virgin Mary, the crests of the families of Lancaster and York during the bitter Wars of the Roses, and the centerpiece of a prom night wrist corsage. I’ll never forget the rose petals strewn on the hall between the bar and the dining room at Christina Simpson’s wedding; it felt luxurious, almost medieval. Christina is a florist and knows about these things.

Back to my garden in the ‘Ville. I’ve forgotten the name of this voracious red climber, so vigorous that its stalks need to be whacked off by a machete because the thorns have been known to stab the thighs of the UPS guy. I cut it back hard last fall, and it blew it off. Lou walked through the front door yesterday and said “Say, do you think you have enough roses?”












Here’s a close up of David Austin’s “Memorial.” I wish you could smell the deep musky old rose scent.

The heat and the rain have made Hosta Corner very, very happy. They’re at least a yard tall.

All this hot liquid display is, after the initial  fifteen-years-ago financial outlay, free. That’s cheap, friends, and it makes me cheerful.



Filed under Growing things, On the Street Where I Live, The 'Ville, The Great Outdoors

6 responses to “It’s Bloomin’ Wet

  1. Patty

    Your yard/gardens/roses are magnificent! You can never have enough roses.

  2. Me, Too!! I love your knowledge and respect for the lineage of your flowers—I should have that “and who are their people?” gene, for I grew up with a veritable FOUNT of herbal lore, and Mammaw worked her roses like she did the huge vegetable garden, naming off the floribundas and the teas and the old lines and names as if scribed in the Family Bible.

    And I’ve always loved the word “comfrey,” so it surprises me to see it spoken of as almost unwelcome in the crowd. Your hostas are superbly magnificent. We have thirty-three, but none so handsome quite yet as yours.

  3. Alex

    An couple of a certain age was visiting some good friends for dinner. After the appetizer, the women went out to the porch for a smoke. One man mentioned to the other, “Last night we ate at a great new Italian restaurant. You ought to go there.”

    The other man said, “Sure. You know I’m always up for good food. What’s the name?”

    “I knew you were going to ask that, and it’s right on the tip of my tongue. I hate it when that happens. Hang on a minute and help me out here. What’s the name of that flower you give to someone you love? You know, the one that’s red and has thorns.”

    “You mean a rose?”

    “Yeah, that’s the one.” He yelled out the door, “Hey Rose, what restaurant did we go to last night?”

    (I know, it’s not as elegant as “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,” but what the heck.)

  4. Alex — I didn’t see it coming, m’dear. Good one!

  5. Completely agree about the smell of roses being just as important as the rose itself. Really, isn’t that the point of roses?

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