|Queen Elizabeth roses have tall buds|
and make great bouquets.
When the storms follow each other, as they often do here, with moisture drawn up from the Gulf, we try to plan when lawn mowing can get done. I have to wear my mud loafers in the back yard, where we have ponds forming, one time after another. The loafers add weight as I walk, until I almost walk out of them.
After living in a desert valley for a decade, every rainstorm is a blessing to us, even when an explosion of pollen follows. The plants and trees are washed and invigorated by new deliveries of nitrogen and water.
|Martin loved his sisters, and they adored him.|
Bethany loved the camera and looked right at it.
Erin grinned for her mother in this photo.
I prepared a few more homes for roses yesterday. The ground was perfect from a morning rainshower, soft without being soaked. A true rosarian would have each spot marked by GPS, but I do not have the latest equipment. Instead, I used the tools of my Anglo-Saxon ancestors, a roll of clothes-line and a bag of fertilizer (mushroom compost).
I tied the wire to the fence at one end, stretched it parallel to the fence to my right, and used the bag to hold the wire in place. I spaced roses two tripod boxes apart. Tape measures are less than useful in the garden, and the box is difficult to lose in the grass.
|No photo does justice to the color of the Queen Elizabeth rose.|
I reserved a special spot for two Queen Elizabeth roses, in memory of Bethany Joan Marie and Erin Joy, our sainted daughters. We do that for each place we have lived, when roses are planted.
|Erin Joy loved her swing.|
The Queen Elizabeth rose is the first grandiflora developed. The bush can grow up to 10 feet tall and yet has the beautiful flowers of a hybrid tea rose, a hybrid of a hybrid, since hybrid tea roses are a combination of the tea rose and the everbearing rose.
The Queen E has almost no fragrance, like many of the classic roses of that era - Peace, etc. Earlier the choice was fragrance or beauty, not both. Fragrant Cloud is a classic fragrance bomb, with enough in one bud to fill a room, but its brick color is not a choice for Valentine's Day.
|Bethany rocked her red Christmas dress.|
We like having our own roses because few flower shops or grocery stores have adequate blooms. The retail roses are often good for a day, grown for that impulse buy, that guilt offering. Nothing is more fun than hanging at a flower ship on Valentine's Day, with men rushing in and shouting, "Do you have any flowers left?"