Saturday, June 18, 2016

Roses and Remembering

Wild Foxlove
These lovely photos are the result of everything else pretty much falling apart. 
It's been a month. Water heater problems, coughs and colds, dog sprayed by a skunk, landed myself in the ER (much better now), meetings, birthdays, races, crazy. One kid nearly set our house on fire right before everybody came over for BBQ. It goes on. This week, I sat for a moment, silently praying to thank God for how wonderful it all truly is. Because even with the crazy it truly is. With the dynamic of our family shifting to the teenage years, it had been a few years since we'd all trekked ourselves over to Chuck E Cheese for a birthday. This month, we went to celebrate my daughter's sixth birthday. I can remember so many times going to Chuck E Cheese with my little kids that are now big teenagers.  We all got to take a step back and remember how short a good childhood is.

We also managed to make a visit to the Granpa's grave.  We still miss him, and we try to keep the memories alive for our kids as long as we can.

And then there's the roses.  Between all the mishaps, injuries, and illnesses; the quiet knitting needles, and the masses of unfinished laundry, I have squished in some time for one of my passions:  Old Roses.  I keep reading books about old lost heirloom roses, found in old cemeteries, or old forgotten European gardens, or along old homesteads or cabins. They read like detective novels.  Then of course, as I drive the kids to school, to scouts, to everything, I've been taking old country roads, and making discoveries of my own. I've been finding wild roses, and antiques, planted long ago, along dusty old roads, and in some private local gardens. Their names haunt me:   Ispahan, Belle Isis, Souvenir de la Malmaison, Queen of Denmark, Celestial, Great Maiden's Blush, Autumn Damask.  They are all fragrant in a way that no modern rose is - the smell is intoxicating!  In my own rose beds, I'm planting the newer David Austin English varieties that are bred to look old.  There's almost nothing that the smell and sight of a rose can't cure, at least for me. 

Long ago, roses were often cultivated for their healing properties, and they were always included in the old monastery gardens for that purpose.  This month, they've healed me.  And oh, how I've needed those roses this month!

Gertrude Jekyll and Abraham Darby

Munstead Wood

Wild Mutiflora Rose



Mystery rose from some private gardens

Mystery old rose found on the side of a road

Flower heads left after taking old rose cuttings