Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Rose for My Garden

Just-planted red 'Double Knockout' rose

I still miss my old garden in Columbia with its mature trees, the huge blue hydrangeas at the base of the deck, and the topiary evergreens in front...but if there is one plant I miss the most, it's the red 'Knockout' rose my sister gave me a few years ago. The plant had reached optimum proportions and was covered with lovely blossoms all season long. At the height of bloom one or two sprigs could fill a vase. Herb and I really enjoyed having a fresh rose to display in a bud vase for half of the year, so I just had to have a rose for my new garden.

We stopped by Springtime Garden Center yesterday after our regular stop at the farmer's market and I bought my rose, a red 'Double Knockout'. A thunderstorm had been predicted for the afternoon, but the dark clouds raced overhead, and it turned out to be a beautiful fall afternoon, breezy yet warm--perfect for gardening.

It took about two hours of backbreaking labor with the pick to prepare the soil--I dug up two bucket-fulls of rocks, some so large they could have been used for stacked fencing. I mixed in commercial topsoil with the clayey dirt and bits of old mulch until I finally had that proverbial $20 hole for my $5 plant. It felt so good to finally get the rose into the ground!

All this back-breaking work will hopefully pay off next spring and for years to come--I've been neglecting my artwork in favor of gardening this fall. My mother was a true artist when it came to gardening--her garden was such a lovely piece of work, with bold and unexpected combinations of colors and foliage, a real "garden for all seasons." I'm finding that plants are a much harder medium to work in than any paint I've ever tried.