Rose Abuse

While the Amaryllis belladonna began to bloom this week, succulent pink flesh emerging from baked soil...
Amaryllis belladonna

...I tried to repent of rose abuse.  Mid summer and feeling guilty, I decided to move a rose.  I had a rose in a terrible place where it just managed to survive.   For years.  I moved it to a slightly less terrible space, where a salvia and 'Crepuscule' decided to engulf it.  Again, it just managed to survive.  For years.  The other day it reached out and scratched my ankle when I went up the slope to check the oranges.  Grow me properly or kill me is the small soft song I heard.  So I moved it yet again, to finally give it a place worthy of its virtues.  Poor thing...serious rose abuse on my part.  Why grow them if you don't grow them well?  Grow it properly or kill it.

I dug Poor Thing up, whereupon it split into two, two twigs with a few dried roots each.  One half into a pot in full shade.  A week later it looks good, freshly leafed out again, still willing, still trying, still fighting:
Vineyard Song
The other half dropped its leaf (yeah, leaf in the singular) and looked dead.  I kept watering.   Then this yesterday...
Vineyard Song

We love what we think of as our garden ornament:  our plants--we want just the right combination of color and texture to make our heart sing and our ego swell, we want rare, we want unusual, we want exotic, we want glamour, we want perfomance.  We want fragrance, we want perfect foliage.  We want an exact size.  A symmetrical shape.  A cute name. 

What they want is their little life.  We want what we want while they silently battle bitter death as best they can.

Those small green leaves:  I am rightly humbled.  Good spots for you both.  You've earned it.  You've taught me



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