Sometimes I feel like the most uncaring gardener. I go past them every day, so many times a day, and yet I barely notice them. What shall I plant next? What shall I prune next? Weed picking? Lawn mowing? Watering? Fertilizing? Mulching? A perpetual mixture of garden tasks but yet, no time for roses. Hardly ever a moment in time to stop by and honour their beauty and fragrance. Sometimes maybe. Nanna has left me with such a vast rose legacy, mostly old-fashioned tea roses yet I have never even thought of wanting to know a bit more about them, at least the variety. I should have done, if not for personal interest, then at least out of respect for all the love and care she carved into her beloved roses. I wonder if any of you has experienced how sometimes we take them for granted (in my case roses, but that goes for anything or even anyone else), things that have been there for as long as we can remember, things just about around every corner, things you have seen so many times that you don't even notice them anymore, things so special that have become so ordinary. Things asking for so little care and rewarding you with such abundance. I bet if I only had a few or none, I'd be out there in the nursery wanting to find out all about every and each one of them, and I'd probably have more than I do now.
Now just to interrupt this ranting, I'm not all that bad ;-). I fly in the teeth of aphids. I even fertilize and prune occasionally. I even bought some, a few tree roses and then some climbers, where only a few turned out to be climbers, but that also didn't bother me much. But I am nowhere near that frenzy about roses that most gardeners enjoy. I am barely an enthusiast, never to be an expert. But I would definitely love to see that 'barely' change into, let's say 'smashingly'.
''There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted.''
I went past the huge rosebush in the backyard this morning, it is stuffed with flower heads, yet they can hardly breathe, engulfed in the thick net of wild morning glory. Surprisingly, I only jump in to offer some help when flower heads pop up, and I have passed it so many times this spring, and disregarded its existence. There's aphids too. But they seem more alarming when spotted on other plants. It's sad isn't it?
A few hours later I was pruning the Tamarix tree which grew way out of acceptable boundaries and was barbarizing the area. As I was making my way through the Tamarix kingdom, I tripped over the Tree rose trunk bottom and nearly flipped it over. Its support had loosened in the last wind storm and obviously there's some cheeky mole activities beneath its roots. You could tell by its flowers and crown, the poor thing was fighting for balance. And it took 'just' one clumsy step for me to do something about it. Have you ever met a gardener so competent???
One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon-instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.
Since I took all this time to write my little manifesto on roses, it could just mean I have come to my senses and I shall try and tend those neglected beauties with at least as much care as all the others get. And hopefully the next time I stumble upon a rosebush, it will be on a completely different occasion.
May you all have a lovely and prosperous weekend!
(the nonchalant Lady Greenthumb)