Friday, March 12, 2010

Roses: A Beautiful Addiction

It started innocently enough with three sturdy rose bushes to brighten up the lawn. During those first weeks, I marvelled over the blooms. Such color! Such fragrance! I was so pleased with the results that I couldn't decide whether to cut the flowers for the house or leave them outside so that the neighbors could be jealous admire their beauty.

Then something terrible happened. The roses stopped blooming. Specifically, all of the buds that were on the bushes opened and there were no more left. Every day I would go outside and stare at the bushes for signs of growth. I was suffering from rose withdrawal. So I did what any reasonable person would do; I went back to Home Depot and bought three more roses to tide me over until the first ones started blooming again.

From there, I was on the fast track to rose obsession. I went from Home Depot to fancy nurseries, to Internet rose forums, to rose society meetings, to crack of dawn rose show competitions, to dragging my husband to far away gardens, to planning our vacations around cities with roses. (A slightly obsessive personality moved this process along.)

Today, I grow over 90 varieties of roses on my small suburban plot in coastal Southern California. As time has passed, I find myself attracted to the rarer more exotic looking specimens. In addition, I have compensated for my lack of additional rose-growing space by purchasing countless roses books, rose-shaped baking pans, rose print stationary and (I have to admit) rose-patterned clothing. (No rose fabric couches yet.) Fortunately, my addiction is tempered by a job, two young daughters, a husband and a messy house.

The rose at the beginning of this post is Kordes Perfecta, one of the initial three roses I purchased at Home Depot. Isn't it gorgeous? The form really is perfect nearly every time.  Unfortunately, it is prone to powdery mildew in my coastal climate.  For those who want to give it a try, it is currently available from Roses Unlimited, located in South Carolina, and Pickering Nurseries, located in Ontario, Canada.  Or you might come across it in Home Depot like I did.

1 comment:

Masha said...

I understand you so well. I garden on a small suburban lot in Northern California, and have two sons, a husband and a messy house. And over 100 roses :).

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