By Wendy Schreiner
My husband jokes and sings, “I never promised you a rose garden.” We do have rose bushes that seem to multiply every year as whenever spring rolls around I get excited when I see rose bushes for sale in the store and look and plead, can we get these rose bushes, please?
It started with the seven roses across the front of the house under the big picture windows. A red one, a few bright pink ones and some yellow ones. They have flourished over the past few years. I love to cut some and bring them inside or give a bouquet of roses away to make somebody’s day.
Next came the mini roses. All different colored mini roses in white, yellow, light pink, red, variegated red and white, purple, orange and bright pink are found in the backyard. They are petite compared to the roses in front of the house.
Next came the ones that I planted on the side of the house when my husband was in the hospital. I later heard, “I told you not to plant them there,” or something along those lines. There is not enough sunlight on that side of the house as we have a lot of trees. It is a rare event when a rose appears on that side.
Next came the newest bunch of rose bushes that I just had to have. It was the very beginning of spring last year and I had this brilliant idea – wouldn’t it look great to plant these rose bushes on the sides of the sidewalk leading up to the front porch? Well, yes it was a brilliant idea and they looked gorgeous when all was said and done.
We had to hire our neighbors who do landscaping to plant them for us because we both have bad backs. It was an all-day event from early morning until sundown. The neighbors came over and dug up our front lawn and planted the eight new roses just where I wanted them to go and by color. When they eventually bloomed a month or so later, I think that the colors weren’t exactly labeled correctly, but they did look beautiful.
I don’t think I ever saw a rose that wasn’t beautiful. There’s now a red rose bush, a bright pink one, two yellow ones, a white rose bush, a peach one, an orange and a lavender rose bush there to greet the mail carrier and newspaper carrier each day they head up our walkway in the summer and fall months.
Those who walked by on summer days raved about our roses’ “beauty.” I was grateful for how the new rose garden turned out. I placed my little garden friends, a bunny, a squirrel, a frog, a gnome, etc., among the roses.
The rose garden was so inviting we got some unwanted guests called Japanese beetles. How did they find my pretty roses, I wondered. Friends suggested trying soapy water or apple cider vinegar. I still saw those pesky little buggers.
Before long my leaves and roses were devoured and my rose garden was disappearing before my eyes. I think the soapy water worked a little as new rose buds did appear in the following weeks. Let’s hope these beetles relocated permanently for winter and never return.
In the back of my mind I am trying to think where else I can plant more roses. I’m sure my husband would say something like enjoy the ones we have or there’s nowhere else to put any. I’ll find a place – where there’s a will, there’s a way.
After all, on Valentine’s Day and every other time, roses make my day.
Wendy Schreiner, of Warsaw, is counting the days until she sees her roses bloom.