I still want a summer do over, if only for the roses. Mine are showing fatigue, they have given me their all this summer and now I think they are ready to take a rest, well deserved I have to say. I am impressed at how well they did in light of the drought conditions which has not let up at all. I love roses, mine are so fragrant, I love burying my nose in their soft petals, inhaling the candy like scent, the bees are huge fans. Outside of summer, I don’t think of roses, I’m not a big fan of cut roses, I find them lacking in fragrance, I’m more than happy to wait for my roses to wake up from their slumber.
I have been wishing for rain for the past week, we were supposed to get rain on Tuesday, unfortunately the rain clouds passed us by, it is really dry up here in Blandford. There is the river alongside route 8 on our way down to New York, it is at the lowest I have seen in years, not good for the reservoirs, gardens or agriculture. I have been watering, but what I really want is for Mother Nature to do it for me so that I don’t have to lug the hose around and then put it away, yes I’m feeling lazy!
My apricot roses have just bloomed so they are still fresh and bright, the rose bush has doubled in size from last year which surprised me since many of my other plants suffered more than usual from last year’s uneven winter.
I think I bought the original rose bush about 15 years ago, it started throwing out shoots into the lawn about three years ago, it’s only been the last two years that I have been digging them up and transplanting them elsewhere, successfully I might add.
The baby shoot may look sickly right now, it’s normal, I had just transplanted it. I’ll give it a few days and I’m sure that it’ll be right as rain.
Over time, I have become more comfortable transplanting either plants or bushes not doing well or young saplings, so far I have been lucky, well except for my purple rhododendron, I couldn’t save it, the fungus had been too aggressive, there was nothing to do for it. I was very sad when I had to get rid of it.
The hope and promise of this baby rose helps keep my perspective optimistic, the way it ought to be.
My husband and I planted our Dogwood together, we picked the location and positioned the tree as a team. I tried to take a prettier picture, but I couldn’t find a better perspective from the ground. The tree has to be at least 17 years old, our backyard has gone through a lot of transformation since its planting all those years ago. When we picked the spot, we didn’t take the other trees into consideration which is why our tree lists to the west where it gets the most sun in the afternoon. We also didn’t have the lower part of the back open the way it is now, our previous fence was right behind the Dogwood, we only opened and expanded the entire backyard to its outer perimeter a few years after we planted this very pretty tree.
These roses, I look forward to their blooms year after year because they, out of all of my roses, smell the sweetest, came with the house so I don’t even know how old they are. I remember spending an entire week digging out and eliminating a huge swath of blackberry bushes that had taken over the rose bushes and they were strangling the roses practically to death. It had to have been at least ten years ago, but I will never forget how much hard work it took to clear that area because the blackberry patch was enormous, those bushes had to have been as old as the roses themselves.
I tried to finish up weeding the area behind the jacuzzi room, but I was just way too exhausted and my joints are very, very achy. There remains about 2 square feet of Bishop Weed left to dig out and sift through the dirt to completely eradicate any strangling bit of pesky roots, it is very time consuming if you want to do it correctly. Well it isn’t as if the Bishop Weed are going anywhere, they will be right there waiting for me when my joints recuperate.
Today is another beautiful day in the neighborhood. I was speaking with Alice our Blandford Post Master and we both agreed that the best thing about living in Blandford is the continuous summer breeze that we are blessed with everyday. I don’t remember the proper name of these peonies, but I love their intricate inner structure, the bees love them, I bet the butterflies do as well.
The salvia has come into bloom and my dark pink roses have just come back, the bush was much larger last year, this winter took them down all the way to the base; actually all of my smaller roses had to be trimmed all the way to the base. Despite losing all of their height, their leaves are all very healthy which is nice to see, I have yet to see any destructive insect activity, but we are still early in the growing season.
A gardener’s job is never done.
I spent the day doing what I least like doing, housework, so to get my mood in a happier place, I went outside smelled some lilac, candy scented roses and cut some peonies to brighten up the kitchen.
I could weed all day long and do so happily, yet spending just seven hours cleaning makes me grumpy. I don’t know why. I often think while I am cleaning “what’s the point, it is only going to get dirty again” which can equally be said about weeding, however I never feel the same defeatist attitude when weeding. Maybe because plants, all plants are living things and weeding is something that helps the soil, the plants and the garden in general so it doesn’t seem so pointless. Scrubbing toilets doesn’t make me zen no matter how I try to spin it in my mind.
I was given two beautiful bouquets and I normally don’t go crazy for cut flowers, but these two are absolutely gorgeous. The roses smell as roses should, floral and sweet while the lilies are making me smile with their sunny colors and delicate petals.
The lilies reminded me of all of the lilies that I used to have, both in my front garden and in the back near the pool; that is until our army of chipmunks found out that my lily bulbs were very tasty and since that day, they have eaten all of my lilies no matter how many times I had replaced them so after a while I stopped planting lily bulbs. So having this beautiful bouquet made me smile because I miss seeing them up close and personal.
Last year, I wrote about my lilac bush in the far back that surprised me with new sprigs of lilac late in the autumn season. I thought that it was a fluke, a one time thing. Funny enough, I had to go down to Westfield this morning and as I was driving back, I thought about the lilac bush and I wondered if that weird anomaly would happen again. Guess what, it did! When I got home, I walked Jack for a mile, ate my favorite lunch; smoked salmon with whipped cream cheese on cracked black pepper water crackers and then I vacuumed the pool. After I had finished vacuuming the pool and as I was putting the hose away, I looked up and there they were, sprigs of lilac glistening in the sun in the midst of the fading and browning leaves.
After I snapped a few pictures, I turned to go back inside and I noticed that the pink roses were still looking happy, especially happy since the Japanese Beetles have not bothered them since it has gotten cooler; the same with my red roses, they are looking all self confident, without a care in the world since those pesky Japanese Beetles fled town with the cooler nights.
This week for being the first week of autumn is setting out to be magnificent, five solid days of 70 degree days and 50 degree nights, can’t complain about that for anything.
My husband and I were so happy to welcome our traveling/touring musician home. My husband made him a barbecue chicken and pork sandwich wrap, he was so happy eating some home cooked food in his belly. He proceeded to tell us all about his band’s adventures and experiences living in a van for over two weeks. His favorite show was the one they performed in Brooklyn New York, the venue was small, the audience was intense and it translated to the band. His band even made some money, which he was very proud of because that meant that ticket sales were good for his band outside of what the other bands were generating, so that gave our son and his band some confidence in their appeal to the public.
I am so happy that he had a great time, but I am even happier that he is home. I missed him and Jack missed him a lot. Jack gave our son a parade when he got home. His little tail was going 20,000 leagues a minute, it was such a whirlwind of movement, I am surprised that his tail didn’t propel his little body up in the air.
In other news, the garden is starting to wind down a bit. My roses are trying to bloom again, but these nasty beetles are eating, not just my new rosebuds, but a lot of other plants in my garden. I am not sure what these beetles are called, but they don’t come until mid July. I hate bugs so I am not really into touching them or squishing them, perhaps I will find a homemade solution of vinegar and such that I can squirt them with, I would love to see them leave my poor plants alone.
I think that my roses are so precious to me because one of my favorite childhood memories is walking through the roses with my grandparents and watching my aunts and my grandmother arrange roses in vases and there is something inherently graceful and beautiful in the art of floral arrangement especially roses.
However no matter how grand the bouquet of roses, I don’t think that any bouquet could ever compete with the rosebush in all of its glory. There is a dynamism within the rosebush as each individual bud has its own life cycle and you see the burgeoning life of a rose complete its circle from bud to bloom to rose hip.
I know that I have been going picture crazy lately, but I have been remembering certain photography tips from my former bosses at Conran’s when we were working on the catalogs. I remember them saying things like “no empty spaces, cropping, negative space, light, light and light, contrast and other things that pop in my head when I am taking a picture. I am having fun with it and that is part of the point of having a blog; to explore and experiment with various ways of communicating your story, ideas and point of view. Hopefully I am not boring anyone, that isn’t my intention.