Archives for posts with tag: Nozomi

Note: I’ve referenced a bunch of roses by name in this one, without adding pictures (in most cases) – it may be interesting to open a second tab and google them to see what they look like or to read more about them. 🙂 If you put the word “rose” in front of their names, you should get images that are the correct rose without a lot of b.s. (I didn’t feel right linking to point of sale pages on all these, as it might have given the appearance of an endorsement.) Ready?

In my garden, the roses (and some flowers) are selected with great care to fit a theme. The theme? Love. Passion. Romance. A story of lovers over time. So, a rose named “The Alchymist” (a Kordes cross of R. eglanteria and a climber named Golden Glow from 1956) lives in the garden representing my Traveling Partner (it makes sense if you know him). “Baby Love”, (Scrivens, 1992?) was a gift from my Traveling Partner when we moved in together and he started a wee garden for me out on our balcony – “baby love” is also one of his pet names for me. So sweet. 😀 This year, close to “The Alchymist”, I’ll be adding “Baltimore Belle” (Feast, 1843), a nod to my home state of Maryland and recollections of many happy visits to “Charm City” in younger years.

Over the years, roses have come and gone. My first roses were “inherited” when my then-spouse and I bought a little house in Texas. Later, my first “proper” rose garden started with a Jackson & Perkins collection, before I had discovered the robust lasting beauty of roses on their own roots.

As gardens came and went with various moves, only those roses that could survive well in containers stayed “in my garden” as it moved from place to place, but I knew what I wanted, and the vision lingered. I want a garden that wraps me in love. 🙂 So, the roses are selected with great care, right down to the names. “The Alchymist” and “Baby Love” are currently joined by “Nozomi” (“Pink Pearl”, Onodera, 1968 – the rose that has been with me longest), and “Easy on the Eyes” (Carruth, 2017 – my “youngest” rose), and “Sweet Chariot” (Moore, 1984 – one of the first miniatures I ever purchased). I had a few others suited to my theme at my last address, but they weren’t doing well, and I decided not to haul their fungi, pests, or health issues to the new address. Starting fresh seemed the wiser choice. Some I’ll for sure replace (I miss the lovely “X-rated”, “Irresistible” and “Ebb Tide”) others maybe not (many of which I suspect just weren’t a good choice for container life…). We’ll see.

Soon three new roses will arrive: “Baltimore Belle”, along with “Golden Opportunity” (Carruth, 2012?), and “All My Loving” (Fryer, 2011). Roses have more than beautiful forms and captivating scents – they have provenance, history, and stories to tell. Some of my fondest favorites achieved their place in my heart because of the stories they have to tell. R. gallica, for example? It’s the oldest known rose, ever, anywhere. Wow, right? What must this rose have seen of human kind and histories gardens? I often consider planting her, just because… “history“.

I have a two long-time favorites I may never plant into this garden. They’re huge. Truly grand in size, and both are very thorny, too. I don’t have the space without a lot of strict pruning two or three times a year. lol One is R. eglanteria. One of my fondest favorites (also called “sweet briar” rose) she smells of green apple, and has so many adorable “wild rose” type flowers in a cute pink color. I often think that the Sleeping Beauty’s thorn-bushes were likely a mix of wild blackberries and R. eglanteria. 🙂 It’s a whimsical notion that delights me. The other? “Sombreuil” (unknown breeder, 1880, and previously sold as “Colonial White” in the US) – a massive and impressive climbing rose with enormous saucer-sized white blooms that are exquisitely fragrant and temptingly numerous – she guards them fiercely with her plentiful nasty thorns. Every year that I owned her, my arms told that the tale of keeping her pruned back. lol Worth it, though, and I daydream of adding her to my garden for that heavenly tea rose scent. She really doesn’t “fit the theme”, though… but oh I do miss her so!

…I could add either or both, but I can’t do so without acknowledging the challenge involved in keeping them to a manageable size in this climate; I’ve experienced that first hand. They were genuinely too big for container gardening, and I knew that back in 1998, when I moved them from Fresno, California, to Portland, Oregon. Back then, I had a community garden plot in the big community garden on the campus of Reed College. So… I planted them in my community garden plot. Why not? Well, I’ll tell you why not – about 7 years later, the college decided to reclaim the space the garden occupied to build new dorms. Those two roses, by that time, were so insanely large I could not move them at all! The college “kept them”, and indeed they are growing in the locations they had been planted (at least that was the case last I saw). My R. eglanteria was easily half the width of my plot (about 5′ wide) and twice that high. “Sombreuil” was similarly wide, on the other side of the plot, and far taller, with long sweeping canes curving downward gently, extending her visual width, each cane weighed down heavily with those big blooms. I only have one “sensible” location for either (or both) of them here, and that would be just on the other side of the retaining wall, instead of those invasive non-native blackberries (although that would be replacing a non-native with non-natives…so…). Then I could just let them do their thing over the years, taking space and being lovely. Getting them planted there, though, would require many days of intense labor clearing out those fucking blackberries by hand. Worth it? Maybe not…?

Where was I going with this? Love. Gardening. Roses. There are definitely roses I’d like to add, but limited space and a thematic commitment shorten the list quite a bit. 😀 What do I have in mind, as of this one moment on this particular summer day?

Love at First Sight – I mean, yeah, our “origin story” has a real hint of that “love at first sight” kind of experience.

Ebb Tide – the tides come and go. Emotions, too. That, and my Traveling Partner is a Navy veteran – there aren’t many roses with nautically relevant names. lol

Bliss – because love can be so much bliss, for real. 😀

You’re the One – well, yeah, that’s how it has played out for both of us. This unexpected lasting commitment and affection for each other has been significant.

Crazy Love – also, yeah, we both bring the fucking crazy to this rollercoaster. LOL

Orange Honey – okay, so, not “on theme” but another rose that was one of my earliest choices for my first rose garden. I fell in love with the trailing habit, the sweet fragrance, and enjoyed my friendship with the breeder Ralph Moore. It’s just a rose worth having. 🙂

Cutie Pie – my partner is my best friend, my “prince charming”, and for sure a “cutie pie”, so this one makes sense to me. 😀

Realistically, I have doubts that I could fit another 10 roses to my wee garden, after the 5 I’ve already got, and the three that are on their way right now. LOL I could probably do 10-12 (total), though, without looking like a mad woman… So, as with so many things in life, it’s about selection. Choices made with care. It’s about sufficiency. “Enough”. It’s about overcoming a very human inclination to acquire and to accumulate. Greed is not a character trait I want to develop (quite the contrary, I practice sufficiency).

How best to narrow down my list of 10 to 3-4? Well, one way I do that kind of thing is to let circumstances call some of the shots; I go to the website that I’m shopping from, and narrow things down (see list above) based on what fits my theme and appeals to me… then, that is likely further limited by what is still in stock. LOL This is how I selected the three that are headed my way now! If I look at the website this morning at my wishlist of 10 roses above, just two of them are actually available. This is sometimes frustrating, but it also prevents my garden from being too structured by introducing a certain not-quite-randomness. It also slows me down quite a lot. I’ll just add the three I’ve ordered for the 2023 garden – next year I’ll be looking over the options available then.

In the meantime, I entertain myself thinking about gardening and roses and searching for just the right rose to add here or there… and wait for new roses to arrive to be planted. Each one is a new beginning all its own. 🙂 Roses and gardens make beautiful metaphors. 😀

It’s the last day of “winter”. It hasn’t felt much like winter for a handful of weeks, aside from an occasional frosty morning, and one brief cold snap with temperatures below freezing. Tomorrow? Spring.

The primroses know Spring has arrived.

The hardy primroses in the front flower bed are blooming. My impression when we moved in was that the trio of tidy clumps with their merry blossoms were (probably hastily) added as part of the sort of flurry of activity a homeowner does to prepare a house for sale. Chasing “curb appeal.” I like them fine. They’re not fancy. I’m not particularly attached to them. They do reliably make me smile when I pass, each time I leave or return home. That’s worth something. I don’t see myself pulling them out… probably just add more, other colors, shake it up a bit with some variety, or something of the sort. Certainly, I don’t hold my lack of passion for primroses against these durable show-offs; they are blooming quite generously, and this time of year, they’re really all I’ve got for flowers. The handful of tiny grape hyacinths here and there bashfully do their best, and I appreciate each of the wee flowers opening up as the days become sunnier. Over time, I hope to create a splendid cottage garden full of flowers, and scents, and things to take pictures of. For now? It’s primroses.

The roses in the garden know it’s Spring, too. There is more new growth every day, and already I regret not “taking a firm hand” with “Baby Love“; she is thriving (and then some), and was still blooming in December. (My failure to prune her was mostly to do with that. I was enjoying the rose being in bloom.) Now she’s a chaotic mess of last year’s foliage, this year’s tender new foliage just unfolding, and withered hips from the last flowers that bloomed. It tickles me to see this rose do so well; my Traveling Partner gave this rose to me, back in 2011, after we moved into an apartment together. It did well in a container, and has never let me down – almost always first and last to be in bloom. We’ve had a good decade together. (The rose, and also the partnership.)

Although I’d kept several roses going for (almost 3) decades in containers, when we moved from that last rental into our home, and I prepared to move the roses, I was caught unprepared for how many were doing so poorly that I had concerns about bringing disease or insects to the new location, which is very close to a natural forested area, with a creek running through it. When I got the closer look needed to move pots that had been in one place for a couple years, I was dismayed by their poor condition. Potbound. Roots rotting. Infested with ants. I hadn’t left myself enough time to deal with all of that. Most of them didn’t make the trip, and went, instead, to a rose-loving neighbor. “Sweet Chariot” and “Nozomi” made the trip – but they were both replacements for ones I’d had for many years, and were only a few years old. Another, “The Alchymist“, I bought thinking fondly of my Traveling Partner, not too very long ago. One rose in the garden was the first rose purchased specifically for this garden; “Easy on the Eyes“. No doubt there will be more, eventually, when I have a better idea where I might want them.

…Funny how much I enjoy roses. It was rather “accidental”. My first husband bought a little house in Texas when we were separated, to get me to come home. (Rather stupidly, that worked and I quickly regretted my life-threatening short-sightedness.) In the front of the house were some massive roses, overgrown, stiff, tall, and straight – they blocked the front window with enormous red blooms that were powerfully fragrant. “Chrysler Imperial“, “Olympiad“, and “Mister Lincoln” were so bold, so red, and so… rose-y

I didn’t yet know what I didn’t know, and I pruned the roses back aggressively, without a second thought. I learned some things from that experience… like… wear long sleeves and garden gloves when tussling with thorny roses. Ouch. In the backyard of that house, along the back fence, the previous owner had planted quite a few small “shrubs” of some sort. They weren’t doing well, and I wasn’t sure what they even were. We mowed them down entirely, figuring that would make short work of them – and some weeks later, they came back stronger. Miniature roses. I learned then that roses are not hard to grow – they’re glorified sticker bushes. LOL I fell in love with the miniature roses. I undertook to learn more… and here I am. I grow roses.

I love roses. I don’t even mind the thorns. I like hybrid tea roses, and species roses. I like climbers and ramblers and minis. I love the many scents of rose that are each so different – and somehow reliably also very much rose smelling. I love the varieties of different sorts of blooms, and the many shades of green of the foliage of roses. Oh sure, some hybrids are so delicate that one may as well claim to be farming powdery mildew as stake a claim to growing the rose, but I confess; I “shovel prune” those and move on to a cultivar or species that will do well in my garden. It’s easier than arguing with powdery mildew, I promise you that. LOL

Why am I sharing this bit of myself with you, tonight? No particular reason, besides Spring. Tomorrow, I’ll spend some portion of the day in the garden, rain or shine. Tidying things up for later plantings. Assessing the damage left of winter. Making up my mind about which greens to plant in the vegetable garden, with the onions, garlic, shallots, and herbs that I know I’ll want for cooking. Carrots? I think I’d like to plant some carrots, too. Maybe some peas or green beans of some sort. Things for stir frying? Maybe so. The garden is where my thoughts are this evening, and that’s worth sharing (and enjoying) – if for no other reason than that my thoughts are not on warfare, or sorrow, or global conflict, or mired in the lingering recollection of some task to deal with at work or some spreadsheet I can’t stop thinking about. I’m more than content to have my mind in the garden. I’m even happy with that.

I’m working on doing a better job of taking care of the woman in the mirror. I’ve been a bit shit at that, lately, and I can do better. 🙂

So, here I sit. No coffee; it’s evening. After I finish this, I will retire and meditate, maybe read awhile, and maybe even sleep in tomorrow. It’s not a fancy way to enjoy an evening – but it’s enough, and I am okay right now. 🙂

It’s definitely Spring. Small sprigs of new growth are turning up everywhere. Flowers beginning to bloom, though generally only those that bloom earliest, not minding the remaining handful of chilly rainy days to come. There’s a metaphor here.

Leaves unfolding, welcoming Spring.

I looked out onto the deck yesterday, early in the morning, and made a decision to begin readying the container garden for Spring. I let go of grieving roses lost to summer heat and succulents lost to winter cold, and looked on the garden with new eyes, vision no longer obscured by tears. There is so much promise in a Spring garden. More metaphors. I sat down with seed catalogs and thoughtfully considered what to replace, what to move on from, and what new opportunities are in front of me, now. I made careful choices based on a lifetime of experience, which now includes the heart-wrenching woes of the past year, and also, the extraordinary joy I’ve found, and so often. I made a tender sentimental choice to replace just one of the lost roses, with another of the same variety. I took time to appreciate that it will be “the same rose”. I made mental notes of some things I’ve learned from caring for that particular rose for nearly 3 decades, in a pot, and some things I can do more skillfully this time around. I made an exciting choice to add a long-gone favorite I’d had to leave behind many years ago, and somehow never replaced, in spite of how much I loved it. I’m eager to see it thrive here, in this more wholesome place. I added a rose that has a tiny bit of baggage to it, too, unconcerned with any of that, and trusting that the here and now will allow me to let all that go; it’s not my baggage, and it wasn’t my rose. I picked out a new one that so beautifully complements the others that it just seemed to be a necessary thing. (Are you keeping track of the metaphors, here?)

The Spring garden is about more than roses. I like to grow some vegetables, too. I also happen to be a tad whimsical, a bit careless, possibly with a tendency to be a bit lazy… and… yeah. I’m the gardener I’ve got. I do better each year, and learn more about making the most of what, and who, I am. This year I made the choice to pick out a handful of veggies I’ve done very well with, that don’t seem to require much of me, and just one thing that tends to insist I am attentive to a lot of higher-maintenance details. Ease, balanced with challenges. That’s the goal, anyway. So, this year it’s carrots, beets, various salad greens, Swiss chard, ground cherries, and tiny alpine strawberries. I’m fairly terrible with growing peppers, so why bother with that? Tomatoes? Well, I grow pretty awesome tomatoes, pretty easily, but they don’t agree with me so much these days, and I don’t generally eat them. lol There are more metaphors here. Are you listening?

Ready for Spring.

I’m not trying to tell anyone else how to tend their garden. I can’t even make skillful recommendations; I don’t know the lay of the land out your way, or what the soil conditions are like, or whether you are an urban gardener, or someone with a hobby farm, and I certainly don’t know what food you like to eat, or whether you have a fondness for beetles, or… you see, it’s all very personal and subjective. I just know that when I tend my garden, I need to show up, to really be there – or the roses die in the summer heat, the vegetables bolt or whither, and the succulents die in the cold. I’m just saying, my garden is a deeply useful metaphor for a great many things going on in my life, rich with lessons to teach me as I reflect on my experience, fingers in soil, birdsong in my ears, and gentle breezes kissing my cheek.

It’s time to begin again. I finish my coffee, smiling, and thinking of Spring. It’s a metaphor.