War of the Roses

When I bought my little house many years ago, it came equipped with three rose bushes and a Yucca plant. But mowing around the latter should have required a HAZMAT suit.  After repeated stabs from the Yucca and occasional blood loss, I had it removed.

Red Climber Rose

The roses remained. They must have been rooted deep because in spite of little care, they flourished.  Climbing roses with no planned place to climb, they still survived in colorful profusion. In desperation, one brave bush attempted to climb a nearby tree. Wild, red blossoms twisting around the trunk offered a sort of blessing to the yard. With absolutely no help from me.

The bush I favor most boasts Floribunda bouquets of peachy-yellow blooms that look as if someone truly tends them. In fact, I did water them already once this year and am considering doing so again. As long as it doesn’t throw them into shock.

INSIDER INSIGHT: I live by a river and have a very high water table. I’m sure it’s why the roses thrive and my lawn stays at sage on the color-wheel without outside intervention. That’s okay. In my world, sage is the new green.

Yellow Climber Rose One of the things I like best about this pretty pastel rose is how well I can coax it into a flower arrangement for my sideboard. Add some heavenly bamboo leaves and it’s glorious. More than a blessing to my yard, those bouquets also bless my home with color and sweet fragrance. A very undeserved blessing, I must say. (Really, I’m going to water them tomorrow.)

All this maintenance-free beauty and still I miss cutting roses from my next-door neighbor’s yard. She sported a very verdant thumb and often asked for my help to cull her overflowing flora. Nice, eh? Sadly, that time has passed and now the new occupants cut their own roses. (The nerve.)

Recently, a friend purchased a new place with several thick rose bushes bordering her porch. She had no idea of their type or color. Eventually they bloomed into lush yellow “cabbage” roses, like the old-fashioned flowers decorating ladies’ hats at a garden party. Reminiscent of David Austin English roses, they were completely different than the old faithfuls in my yard.

AND, here’s the good news. My friend needs help thinning out the blooms. In fact, she invited me to cut a bouquet any time I want. Here is my first one.

Yellow Cabbage RosesAren’t these heavenly? Even without the bamboo. Seems like everything’s coming up roses of late. Literally. More undeserved blessing to decorate my life.


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2 responses to “War of the Roses

  1. Cathy,
    Loved your description of the unintentional blessings of unattended roses. Roses are my very favorite flower! Mostly because they remind me that there is no beauty in life without thorns!
    Our best roses were those pruned by our horses. Everyone always ask us what magic we used to create those flourishing blooms. We advised them to turn a horse or two loose in their front yard…and voila…gorgeous prolific roses!

    • Cathy Elliott

      Kathy, thanks for the kind words. And what a great story! Who would have thought horse pruning the answer to dazzling roses? I think that should go in a book.

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