Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 103 of 365

We've always had a thing for roses.

Back when we were in college and had just met, my husband (then boyfriend) was renting a house that had rose bushes out front. Huge rose bushes that had been neglected for many years. We took pruners to them and clipped them low. In the spring they came back with abundance, covered in gorgeous flowers.

After we were married we lived near a park that had a rose garden in it. My husband used to bring me roses from that rose garden. (I think that's called stealing.) Now that rose garden in the park is quite large and has clearly marked signs about taking (stealing) those roses.

When I first started teaching, we moved into a rental where the landlord gave us free reign over the yard. We could dig, plant, tend - whatever we wanted. We put in flowers, a vegetable garden, and a rose garden.  At least we attempted the rose garden. We had spent Spring Break on the Oregon Coast and on the way back made a stop at Jackson and Perkins to buy roses straight from the grower. Despite our best attempt at getting the roses to grow, we failed. At that time we didn't know anything about soil or nutrients, or even how best to water them.

But when we moved into the house we own now, there was a section of the yard that was dirt and weeds. It had a sprinkler system within it and looked like it possibly had been a garden at some point. We didn't know what to do with it so we left it.

By the next year, we decided to make it a flower garden. We dug up the weeds, rototilled it, and mapped out where the beds would go. We purchased landscape timbers for the beds and gravel for the pathways. Over the course of the spring, summer, and fall, a rose garden came into being.

Since then, we've continued to add roses. At one point we had 75 roses in the garden, but after 10 years of Idaho winters, we've lost some of them to the cold. Bugs and diseases have taken some others. But we still have a lot left. Oranges, reds, yellows, whites, peach, pinks, and purples.

It's certainly not like the Lynn Anderson song I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.

Actually, it is exactly like Lynn Anderson. Since Lynn Anderson is the first rose ever planted in our garden. And another one of my favorites.