Saturday, September 5, 2009

Rose And Rose Virus

By Thomas Fryd

In the beginning there were no roses, just the house set among oaks on a sloping hill. They were not interested in landscaping but something had to be done. So the couple called in an energetic nurseryman who planted the grounds with honeysuckle, Bridalwreath, lilacs, spirea and evergreens. In a few years his plants far outgrew their allotted space and the grounds were no more pleasant than before.

About this time the oak trees succumbed to a disease, one by one, and had to be removed. As if to save the situation, fate, disguised as an Etoile de Hollande rose flourishing in the shrubbery border, stepped in and inoculated the couple with a rose-growing virus.

Never since has Etoile de Hollande bloomed so luxuriantly, but no matter. The rose was responsible for the slowly rising fever that caused this husband wife teem to get eight more roses.

Despite neglect, the plants thrived. Maybe fate made them beautiful to inspire but more likely, it was good soil balance, lack of cultivation and a "green growing mulch" of portulaca or "moss roses" Which had crept into the bed.

Not much later fate took full charge. A broken arm in the fall and during the slow months it was mending, all the books in the house had been read and the only thing left was seed and flower catalogues.

The picture of roses brought the old fever back and now there was nothing to interfere with its course. Not even the persistent considering of golf as the only worthwhile diversion but the arm would not allow any play.

Due to the early training under a wonderful mother who loved growing things, the man of the house felt quite at home in this new world and as his vision broadened, he realized how easily a rose bed could replace a golf green.

Right off he knew growing roses on flat ground was as challenging as desert landscaping. It was a tame adventure compared to the thrill of hillside landscaping to develop really good ones on a hillside, such as his.

The property, on a slope facing south, was 168 feet long, 85 feet wide and rises approximately 50 feet above the street. The land climbs in a series of terraces from street to level ground and the house. The ascent continued, in smaller terraces behind the house, to level ground and the garage. It rises again to the rear lot line.

Such terrain is unconventional and presents obstacles. Some imagination, a strong determination-. to have lots of A bright roses and a free expression of our creative powers were needed to develop it.

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