Of Scilla and Scratches

Today is a bit cooler than yesterday’s 85 degrees, and it’s our official day in the gardens.

We mixed up an enormous cart full of potting soil so that many houseplants can get repotted. Emily is in charge of this project, leaving me free to turn my attention to battling the Roses. I have been out there with the Roses off and on this last week of heat, hurrying to get done what usually waits until at least April to get my attention. But it feels like the Roses are going to need their compost and manure sooner than later. This means I have to sort out what’s going on out there so I don’t feed plants I am just going to cut out.

The old fashioned shrub Roses we have here are very vigorous, unlike tea Roses, and they like nothing better than sending out suckers into other Roses’ territory. As far as I can tell, some of the Roses here seem to make this their primary reason for being. This means I spend a lot of time sorting out who’s who and who belongs where (AND WHO DOESN’T!). Then I tie the Roses up onto their trellises and cut out the rogue suckers in between the plants.

Much as I try and cover myself with leather gloves up to my elbows and other protective gear when I do this work, it is just too darn hot. Especially this year with its July temperatures! Without really noticing it, I find myself taking off the equipment only to get whacked by a Rose cane or five. I look a bit torn up right about now. A bloody mess is how others might put it!

But this can hardly temper the exhilaration of this moment! What’s a few hundred scratches when the gardens are already flooded with so many spring Flowers and the Roses all tidy and ready to translate all this attention into a similar gush of Flowers later this season.




These Hellebores weren’t even out of the ground a few days ago and now they look like Scarlett O’Hara heading off to the picnic to flirt with the Tarleton twins.

And the carpet of Scilla Siberica in the Arbor Garden makes me almost as happy as it makes the bees!

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