Monday, May 17, 2010

'Tis The Last Rose of Summer...

Left blooming alone
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone.
-- Thomas Moore

Well, that might be a bit melodramatic, but the remaining climbing American Beauty rose threw out one bud after the Massacre, which bloomed yesterday. This variety isn't even a sport of the long-stemmed American Beauty red rose that so many people know, so the name tends to confuse people. This is a fantastic rose, however. It's an aggressive climber, tough as nails (with thorns that resemble them) and a bloom cycle at maturity that will cause traffic accidents.  It only blooms once a year, but it puts so much energy into that one flush that it puts repeat bloomers to shame. It's a healthy rose when it's not blooming and is perfectly capable of providing quite a bit of shade in an arbor.  That, of course, is what I was trying to accomplish.  This morning, I fed and re-trellised the remaining rose.  It's still coming over the the swing, doing its best to provide shade and doing a good job. So I got a photo of this remaining bloom. In my experience, it won't bloom again this year, but I could always be surprised.

Huge thanks to the staff at the Antique Rose Emporium for their wonderful sympathy and advice. I really didn't know what to do next - whether to "hoik" the roses (thank-you, Gertrude Jekyll), or to try and bring them back. The folks at the Emporium provided both psychological comfort and horticultural advice - feed 'em a little and pray a lot - they may well come back. The two roses I'm the most concerned about, Katy Road (Carefree Beauty) and the climbing American Beauty, are both strong roses and have a good chance of survival. So I fed 'em a little yesterday and am praying a lot.  We'll see.

Speaking of Gertrude Jekyll, I found a beautiful quote of hers:
In garden arrangement, as in all other kinds of decorative work, one has not only to acquire a knowledge of what to do, but also to gain some wisdom in perceiving what it is well to let alone.

-- Gertrude Jekyll

Felted Slippers
When the going gets tough, the tough knit... Slippers! I finished these for me and felted them. They're so thick, they're taking an age to dry, but they are so pretty! I started a set for George on Saturday. I'm getting the first one about done and will hopefully get 'em completed this week. It's awfully toasty now for felted slippers, but they'll be really nice come cold weather. 

At least it's pleasant now in the mornings to sit in the swing and watch the blue jays come for their peanuts.  They seem to have no fear of me as long as I just gently swing and don't move too much. They are the most incredible precision pilots! I do look forward to watching the young ones come with their parents a little later. The young ones won't do a fast approach and precision landing in the feeder. They'll land in the branches above the feeder and then drop down to it. I'm also looking forward to the young house finches coming to the smaller tube feeder. I've noticed that the male parent brings them. He'll feed them seeds at first and then teach them to get their own seeds from the feeder. I'm not sure why that's not Mom's job, but it isn't in that bird world.

Speaking of dinner, I'd probably better go start ours before too long.

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