Tag Archives: English Roses

Stitching Up a Little Comfort

The most meaningful antique my mother ever owned was an 1800’s Lincoln rocker. First belonging to her great-aunt Nellie, eventually it was inherited by my grandma. For many years, Mother remembered watching her own mom rest and rock in the chair after a day’s hard work. When the sad time came to close up Grandma’s house in Sisters, Oregon, I knew the rocker was about to find a home in California.

Overjoyed to have the treasure at last, Mother and Daddy refreshed the cherry-wood arms and graceful rockers, then recovered the tattered upholstery. Newly dressed in green Damask, with just enough blue sheen to hint there was a peacock in the room, Mother found the rocking chair irresistible.

Except for one thing. Once seated, Mother was too petite for her feet to find the floor unless she rocked forward. Aggressively. But what if she wanted to relax and read? Or sew? Or file her nails? Without her feet dangling mid-air?

After some thought, Mother purchased a little stool-kit. The dark stain went well with the rocker’s cherry-wood color. And even better – there was a needlepoint project in the mix. The cushion cover was stamped with a pattern of roses and leaves. All in Mother’s favorite fall colors of yellow, peach, and green, perfectly enhancing the rocker’s new Damask upholstery. As if waiting for her careful hand to bring the needlepoint bouquet to life.

I’d never known Mother to attempt needlepoint. But she jumped right in, doing precise work. Once finished, she set the stool in front of the beloved Lincoln rocker. Making herself comfortable, Mother arranged her feet on the little stool and smiled the smile of accomplishment. And of comfort.

Nice first try on Needlepoint, Mother!

From that day forward, the stool was always pushed just under the rocker when not in use and pulled out when needed. She used it daily for more years than I can remember; yet the stool still looks charming. A little worn, perhaps. But for me, the wear is a precious reminder of the comfort it gave my dear Mother for so long.

I think I’ll just leave it be and push it back under the old Lincoln rocker – now mine – right where it belongs.


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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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