This week I spent a good while pruning roses at church, which reminded me how much I love those flowers, and I decided to prolong the feeling by writing about it a little and looking at pictures with you. The photo above is of our two climbing roses we have at home, Cécile Brunner and Golden Showers, taken last spring, which I think was the first season after being pruned properly.Here they are this year. The C.B. at least is a little bigger. It’s quite a bit younger, and is the first plant that has worked to sort of fill up that corner of the yard visually. Note in the second picture the change in the background–the neighbors’ messy palms! Oh, well, I usually have my nose in the blossoms or am looking the other direction trying not to get poked in the face while I cut dead blooms, so that I don’t see what’s over the fence.
Here is a close-up of the Golden Showers, a rose I bought with a Jackson & Perkins gift certificate that my fellow-gardener sister K. so thoughtfully gave me for my birthday one year. Now it always makes me think of her.
At church we have about 50 rosebushes. When I was tending them earlier in the week, deadheading, pruning a bit, watering, I didn’t want to stop, though I didn’t finish the job. I never do finish at church, because there is enough work there for at least one full-time gardener, and we don’t have any. It is a challenge to stay focused and enjoy the task of the moment; the mind wants to race ahead and dwell in the problems of the future–as in, How will I ever get half of this work done?
But somehow, that day, I was able to take a few minutes of the many and think how marvelous it is that I can do such sweet-smelling and satisfying work, loving Creation by ministering to the needs of these beauties. They can’t help it if they poke and scratch me, and the aromas and velvety petals and rainbows of colors make up for the pain.
My favorite at church is this pink climber that is also my special pet. It is at a spot where a lot of people see it, next to the parking lot. Last fall Mr. Glad helped me to drive a large redwood stake into the ground between it and the pillar that is concrete on the bottom. Then I wired the stake/post to the pillar, so that when I anchor the rosebush to the stake it won’t get pulled over, and the trunk of the rose will be closer to the redwood part of the pillar, where I hope to train it. A long process. But it is a climbing rose, and last year it kept reaching out away from the pillar. It’s doing better now with some discipline.
Now that May is past, many of the roses will have finished their biggest show. There will be plenty of rose work to be done, or left undone, all summer long. But let me not miss the immediate and rich rewards.