April Bloomage

Saturday, April 30th, 2005 | Garden

The roses are blooming, the roses are blooming. Here’s a view outside of my bedroom window, taken this morning. The roses were planted by a previous owner of my house, possibly as long ago as when the house was built, in 1929. I have been sculpting them over the years into a sort of arbor that extends overhead when walking up the side steps of the garden. They continue in a massive pink cloud that extends up into my hawthorne, which I climb every winter when I head back the canes. The canes can grow as much as 10 feet in a season. The Cecile Brunner rose, or “Sweetheart Rose,” was introduced in 1881, and is seen in older gardens all over San Francisco. It’s incredibly disease-resistant, has a slight cat-pee like fragrance, which isn’t altogether that disagreeable, and doesn’t need any care, except heading it back so that it won’t take over the planet. A lot of exotics have been introduced into the Califonia garden over the last 10 years, almost a new Victorian interest in diversity and uniqueness, but most of the plants require lots of care, which they don’t get, and end up looking awful–check out all the leggy Princess Flowers, woody helichrysum, and 10 foot high beauty “bushes.” Give me a Cecile Brunner rose, some boxwood, a plum tree, and a juniper.

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