Tuesday, April 09, 2013
A Garden of Roses
One of my passions is old roses. I dream of tearing down my neighbors' houses and filling the resultant empty lots with roses (note to neighbors: it's nothing personal). New Orleans isn't the best place in the world to grow roses, but the warmth that nurtures vulnerable varieties does help make up for the blackspot and balling and the other problems caused by our humidity and heavy rains and hurricanes.
This isn't the most glorious spring I've seen, but spring is always lovely. If I had to pick a favorite rose, it would be this one: Souvenir de la Malmaison. I love the scent, the color, the buds, the open, knotty blooms, the name, the history, the endless blooming, the polite, mannerly growth... I just love this rose.
But this one--Sombreuil, a climber--comes a close second. It climbs up one of the pillars to my gallery, and also splays across the back wall (I didn't mean to buy two; one came disguised as something else, but I didn't really mind).
I also love Prosperity, another climber, entwined with a lemon tree next to the fish pond. It blooms its heart out all year, and smells heavenly. (It also helped pull the fence down in Hurricane Isaac).
And then there's Lamarque, growing up the back pillar to the screened-in gallery (home of Whiskies and Nora).
As you can see, I'm partial to peach, pink, blush, and white; Steve loves red. I let him bring in a few, although I fuss and groan over every one. Space is so precious, and there are so many more roses I'd love to have. At last count, we had seventy, which is ridiculous because we don't have that big of a yard and we have two massive oak trees (hence my coveting of my neighbors' yards). And of course, roses aren't the only things I grow. At the moment, the columbines are lovely...
I could go on and on like this. I love my garden. When I get stuck in the writing of a book, I go outside and work in my garden, or just walk around and breathe. It always helps. I call it garden therapy.