The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
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Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Last Rose of Summer

 Old Blush inspired the poet to write "The Last Rose of Summer."




I used to play this song on the flute, in my early years. We did not grow roses at home in Moline, and few did, so I wondered about the poignancy of the "last rose."

Summer has stretched into November this year, without a hard frost - so far. The weather map may give us two more weeks of roses, but I am not counting on that.

Yesterday I found several John Paul II bushes with perfect roses, so I brought them in, along with one Barbra Streisand and one Falling in Love. Today I will gather more so they can open up for Sunday.

As I wrote before, roses tolerate cold much better than heat. They only need:
  1. Watering,
  2. Pruning,
  3. Mulching,
  4. Earthworming.
Nothing above is beyond the skill of the beginning gardener, but the majority believe that roses are difficult and finicky. Rosarians are like the Latin teachers of old, driving away business by making their favorite subject beyond the reach of most people.

Many mistake blackspot for the Black Plague. They want to hose down their plants with fungicide. Why not burn down the rose garden to end all disease? I use no poisons, so I will cut a blackspotted rose and trim the leaves off - problem solved.

Perennials are easier than roses, and annuals even easier, but blending them together for a great garden is a challenge. Roses simply bloom according to their engineering, which has been adjusted by hybridizing. No rose has all of these characteristics in one type:
  • Fragrance
  • Thorns, mean and abundant, or few
  • Large blooms
  • Strong stems
  • Frequent blooming
  • Disease resistance
  • Attractive foliage
  • Shade tolerance
Hybridizers can only adjust, because Peace - for example - is not fragrant. Offspring of Peace may be beautiful but less likely to fill a room with perfume. John Paul II is great in the garden but short-lived in a vase. I told Mrs. Ichabod that JP II should have been named after John Paul I, who had the shortest reign of all the popes - one month.



"In the Winter Sending Dreams, When the Nights Are Very Long"
The last rose of summer heralds the best time of year for gardeners. The nursery catalogs arrive by the score - all winter -  if the right box was checked during an order years ago. Plenty of time remains to order, so there is no cash crisis to quench dreams. "Every prospect pleases, and only man is vile."

Here are some ideas for those who might order roses for 2017, perhaps to honor the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. Luther's symbol is the Messianic Rose.

 Mr. Lincoln is classic, strong and tall in growth,
powerful in fragrance, easy to grow.


Best Rose for Beginners and the Nostalgic - Mr. Lincoln
Mr. Lincoln has many great characteristics. The stems are long and strong, yielding large buds with powerful fragrance and a beautiful bloom. Pruning and harvesting only yields more roses. The bloom darkens and has a blue tint as it ages, which is also fun to watch.


 Easy Does It photographs well.


Easy Does It
This orange rose blooms more than any other in the garden. This type, floribunda, will bloom more and have roses that do not last as long as others. But the color and frequency of the blooms are quite rewarding.

 Veterans Honor glows in the garden.


Veterans Honor
This rose may have no shortcomings at all, except being a little prone to blackspot. The pure red roses are so large that they bend the stems. The blooms are fragrant and last forever when cut for a vase. Best of all, they honor our military veterans and benefit them with a donation toward a fund for veterans.


 Queen Elizabeth Rose


Queen Elizabeth
Dr. Walter Lammerts, a Lutheran Creationist, developed this rose, so that ends any debate. The queen has little fragrance but the best pink of all the roses I have grown. The plants can grow very tall. The buds are tall and pointed, opening to blooms that impress everyone. We always plant two and have a plaque for each daughter at the base.

How Many To Order?
I suggest ordering multiples of the favorite one chosen. We decided on Falling in Love as one entire row, so now we have them most of the time for vases. They have nasty, abundant thorns, but the blooms are fragrant and delicately balanced with white and pink. Our neighbor girl said, with enthusiasm, "Those are MY favorites."

 Falling in Love - a name
that fits the rose perfectly.


Massing the color chosen is a old trick to gardening. Mixed tulips are less expensive, but a drift of 100 tulips in one color is impressive. (The dying foliage is not.)

Here I have to admit that mixing the rose colors will not spoil anything. They bloom when they want, no matter if all of them are the same. They always look great in a bouquet, no matter how man's colors might clash. God's flowers never clash.

I only argue for abundance. Three rose bushes are more fun than one alone. And "The Last Rose of Summer" takes a bit longer to fade away.

 I gave Purple Splash to our helper to grow.
This climber is more like a weed in growth and blooms abundantly.
His children love to tend it.