We try to complete the annual ‘trimming of the roses’ around Valentine’s Day. Rose thorns are vicious, their ‘bite’ can sting well beyond the initial prick. It’s not actually honest to include ‘me’ in the ‘we’ for annual trimming duties because, among other plants, I’ve developed an allergy to rose pricks. After multiple rash & swollen face episodes I’m banned from the trimming team, since I enjoy gardening the ban is a mixed blessing.
Dressed in well-insulated clothing, boots & leather gloves, each year Greg & Eben spend a couple of long weekends shearing 476 rose bushes. So many plants yet so few – a large garden like this one requires massive plantings in order to have any visual impact. One hundred and two (102) roses are planted in the Three Muses bed (statue by the tent). Ninety-four (94) are planted in Earle-Harrison House’s front beds. Who’d guess?! Yesterday Greg counted and identified all the property’s roses, we planted most of them & even we find the numbers staggering, especially considering that there are many locations ‘begging’ for more. Ten pink fairy roses are planted along 5th Street’s circular drive, a memorial gift from a group of friends. The rose garden near the back entrance to the gazebo was also a memorial gift, installed in 2004. Garden memorials like these are a wonderful way to honor friends & family and they add beauty to a location enjoyed by the public. It’s touching when the planting of a specially chosen tree or plant is made a part of a wedding/reception.
Next month & again in the fall, Greg will amply amend all the roses with our compost and city-provided mulch. April, May and October are the best months for this garden’s roses to be in full bloom – the bloom quantity seems to be tied to rain and cooler evening temperatures. Our roses have fewer blooms during July and August. Most of the property’s interior roses bloom in shades of pink. Photo: May 2010