They arrived late yesterday afternoon. The postman delivered them in a paper sack, rather like half a hundredweight of King Edwards. Except this weighed no more than a few pounds and contained roses. Bare rooted ones at that. It was already dark so we did what any sensible gardener would do, we left them in the orangery. Or was it a rosary?
I was slightly worried about planting them today as the forecast was for heavy rain. I didn’t weigh it but it seemed to me more like medium light rain. By way of preparation I opened the sack. So far so good. At the bottom were the instructions. Leave your roses to soak for a few hours or overnight, they said. Not too difficult whatever the weight of the rain. Mrs. Ha found a bucket and I filled it with water. Half from the tap, half from the water butt. The Gardeners’ World magazine advice for November included the tip “clean your butt for the winter”. I think it is advisable to do this rather more frequently but who am I to argue with Monty Don.
The instructions also seemed to suggest it was not a good idea to plant the roses into waterlogged soil. I trudged over to the bed and put a spade into it. It reminded me of the Colts XV rugby pitches we used to play on. Not much sign of dry ground (or indeed grass). So as I write this the roses are still in the bucket, hoping that there is no frost overnight. I am slightly confused why I am told the roots must not dry out but I can’t put them into wet soil. But that’s why I am not on Gardeners’ World. Tomorrow the forecast is for cloudy but dry, like my sense of humour perhaps. If I am lucky I shall be able to plant the roses.
Thank you all for the kind ‘welcome back’ comments. Truly appreciated. Online communities are valuable for all sorts of reasons. Not least they remind me of the fundamental decency of mankind when events such as those in Paris shake our foundations. It has been a sad day but in due course the roses will bloom and whatever man does to man the garden will bring me comfort and joy. Here is a shot of some of the early November colour that did just that.
I found one excellent quote that is fitting today:
The last time I saw Paris, her heart was warm and gay, I heard the laughter of her heart in every street café. – Oscar Hammerstein II
May such sentiments return toute de suite.