Getting anything done in the garden is difficult when the roses are in bloom. This past week, it's been a treat to roam around with my camera at the end of the day and pass over every bloom with an admiring eye.
Did my care of them make any difference? Aphids loved the wet and chilly spring and queued up in grotesque formation to suck the juices from growing shoots. I did my best to wash them off with soapy water and it kind of worked, but maybe I harmed beneficial insects in the process. Leaf-rolling caterpillars settled into their comfy nooks, laying there eating and making frass; I cut off dozens, leaf and all. I don't know if my actions resulted in more roses or better blooms. There was no time to set up any kind of scientific study, nor was I willing to risk doing nothing. I made biased observations and moved on. Every decision has its trade-offs.
My thorniest rose bush produces the most fragrant and intensely-coloured flowers. They last in a vase for about 72 heavenly hours before shattering into a pile of perfect petals. I'm not surprised. Again, trade-offs.
Yesterday evening, taking these pictures was my very last task (I'd already told myself "just one more thing" too many times). When I was done, I slumped down into a patio chair missing its cushion, holding my camera in one hand, and a pair of clippers in the other. I knew then how mindlessly I'd been going about my day, as I suddenly became aware of my body again and how incredibly tired it was. It's not an unpleasant feeling unless you know you have to be somewhere, doing something else. I asked my husband to take a picture of me like that, out of curiosity. If you've ever looked at yourself in the mirror while ugly-crying, the motivation was similar (I'm not ashamed, I bet plenty of people have done it... although if you think it's vain and dumb, my husband agrees with you). Anyway, the picture was not worth posting here, but I'll tell you I was wearing a dirty, sweaty sun hat, an oily face, and red socks pulled up over the cuffs of my saggy-bum pants (the socks help keep the top edge of my rubber boots from chafing against my shins). Wait, I had a point to make... oh yeah: trade-offs. I had worked outside all day, and probably didn't take enough breaks or eat enough, so today I'm indoors with so much to do, but feeling catatonic. And nobody to blame but my own damn self.
But since we've got these pictures of roses to look at now, and since I'm really good at rationalizing my choices, I say - totally worth it.
Till next time, Posy Gang.