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melissaaipapa

Roses and beautiful spring

This thread is prompted in part by Carol's annual threads on old roses, which help put my plants in the forefront of my mind; it got easier to think about my roses after DH cut the grass of the tractor road between the two beds so that I could visit them. I've spoken of thigh-high grass in the garden, but actually, I noticed today that some of it is almost as tall as I am. As usual this time of year, I got busy cutting grass in the beds, so that it wouldn't smother younger and shorter roses; I cut out rootstock suckers and tidied plants. These roses are ten years in the ground, and the survivors are mostly sturdy creatures. This afternoon I was crawling around under 'Kawkasskaja' to get at a stiff rootstock sucker. This is a mighty handsome rose, a stout good-sized bush of uncertain class covered with blooms that are well perfumed, as I could tell with the scent falling around me as I worked on the sucker. The roses and their beds are coming along, some better, some worse, improving, I hope, over time.

Imperfection is the nature of things, and my garden reflects that, but still, it has moments when it's wonderful. I like its wildness: the wildflowers, the weeds, the half a dozen species of grasses, some quite ornamental, together with the roses and the lengthening low hedge of subshrubs: phlomis, rosemary, sage, germander. To me it's amazingly beautiful. I keep hoping it will become more manageable over time, though I don't know why it should.

There's a place where our property comes down to the back road to town. There's the one-lane road bordered by a narrow ditch, beyond the ditch a narrow strip of scrub, brush and some young oaks. Above all this is a steepish field in grass. Years ago, DH and I planted some roses on the strip of scrub, once-blooming old roses we had extra or where not too fond of ('Desirée Parmentier'!). The roses lived and spread. Occasionally we do a bit of maintenance on the strip with the roses, as this morning, when we cut down wild plum and other brush. In the particular spot where we were busy was growing a clump of a Gallica variety, possibly 'Belle Sans Flatterie', in any case a classic member of the class. It was perfectly beautiful, and I admired its free loveliness as we reduced the brush. There are holes along where we could add more varieties, and certainly we have our share of ambitious suckerers, so I might get round to it this fall. It makes me happy to have so much beauty for so little work.

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