The Sweet Smell of Roses

Gardener:Northland Backyard Gardener

Date:09 Nov 2022

Blog Type:Vegetables, Flowers

While the sun didn't quite shine today, the vast majority of the water has drained from the property - for now, that is. Whilst Thursday and Friday will have us taking cover again, the amount of rain forecasted has halved in the last 24 hours, and we are only expecting 50mm. 

With more work to do from home this evening, my gardening was limited once again to walking around the garden. It was a worthwhile jaunt though.

Another pineapple is out. This time in a bucket down the back section. This bucket was a temporary measure and was initially destined for a friend's place, until we tried to move it, and noone wanted to touch it. Me included. Proof though that they will grow in just your standard cheap plastic bucket.

The berries - the two original boysenberries, and our aspiring raspberry are flourishing. The new logan berry and the orange raspberry purchased a month ago, are growing rapidly. And the blueberries don't actually look that far away from ripening. Somewhat earlier again this year.

The early crop potatoes in the garden bed are all poking through now. As too are the chili bin variety. Connor's seedlings have survived the wet windy weather, and also the snails that are out in force after the wet weather. Two tomatoes might need a bit of TLC for the next week, or a quick replant with the spares. The rest is looking good though.

My bedding dahlias that are in pots, and in the black planter boxes in the BBQ are all out. The rain did work wonders on the last three, and my roses have also burst into colour.

My roses are perhaps the most special part of my garden, and for those of you who were on here years ago, you may have heard the story before.

Sadly I lost my dad when I was in my mid 20s, about 5 years after I had purchased this place. My dad had convinced me to move back from Auckland, and the house became a project he and I did together. He was a builder and showed me how to do some minor tasks around here and there and we worked on it together. One August weekend, I put the final touches to my rose garden (about the extent of my gardening back then), and also the long driveway, moving truckloads of stones and bark. My dad convinced me not to visit as he knew I was exhausted, and to see him the next day. We chatted on the phone, but I never did get to see him again. 

While I was at work, my dad went into hospice for a day visit/blood transfusion. He was terminal with cancer. The hospice is just around the corner from me. During the day, my mum popped around and pruned my roses. Then on her way home, she brought my dad in to show him the finished work. He collapsed a few minutes later after arriving home. My garden was the last place he visited. 

My birthday was a few months later in November. After keeping it together all day, I remember driving in and parking my car. I stayed in the car. It was only then that I let the tears come. When I looked up, my first rose was out in bloom and it made me smile. If I remember correctly, I rang my mum from the car. Ever since then, my mum and I pruned the roses together - well actually she did. I wasn't allowed to until about 5 years ago. We prune somewhat later than many (last week of August), but I always have roses within a week or two of my birthday. It has been 18  years now, but the tradition still remains

The Sweet Smell of Roses