Perhaps introductions are in order?

Jul 13, 2017 | 2 comments

Won’t you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you.

Isn’t that the loveliest thought?  Roland A. Browne, author of The Common Sense Guide to Flower Gardening said it.  I’ve added it to my ‘list’ of things I wish I’d thought of first.  It’s a long, long list!

Right now, roses are taking center stage in our garden (such as it is).  I think the first week of June is supposed to be best for rose viewing in the Northwest.  Or, at least, that’s when the Rose Festival occurs in Portland.  But our roses out on the coast seem to be at their height a bit later.  Like now!

Not that we purposely cultivate roses.  Whichever ones bravely appear each year were planted long ago, either by my grandmother or by my father.  They were the chief gardeners on this property – my grandmother, from the time she arrived in 1902 until blindness overtook her in the 1950s; my father, from the time he retired here in 1972 until his death in 1991.

I don’t actually associate roses with either of them, though.  I tend to think of violets and silver dollar plants and sweet peas when visualizing my grandmother and flowers.  For dad, certainly for the years he lived here, dahlias and rhododendrons claimed his attention.

I do remember that we had a ‘rose garden’ when I was a kid in Alameda.  It was actually a garden bed carved out of the lawn in the back yard and I remember the rose plants standing stiffly and prickly row on row.  And speaking of prickly, in another area of that garden, up against the house, we had a ‘cactus garden’ which I never did feel friendly about – especially not after my neighbor Robert Reading fell into it from our sunroom window!

Now, with our seemingly endless policy of benign neglect, it’s a wonder that anything at all flourishes in our garden.  We do tend to have a lot of people coming and going, though.  Perhaps our roses enjoy seeing them as Mr. Browne seemed to suggest. I must remember to introduce them purposely now and then.  It seems the polite (and prudent) thing to do.


  1. Jo Lucas

    Your roses are lovely, Sydney. I will be sure to introduce myself to them on our next visit. At Vespers last Sunday, I noticed some roses peeking out between the slats in the fence at the church. I love it when they are all in bloom along that fence.

    Thanks for your post today, it made me chuckle!

    • sydney

      Hi Jo! It was so nice to see you and Jon last weekend. I love those roses along our fences, too. It was my father who took starts from our garden and put them along the fence in front of the church and in front of the little red cottage that once belonged to Willard. I noticed that the new owners of the cottage had them all taken out. I’m so sorry, but am glad they are thriving here and across the way. They look so cheerful and old fashioned — just right for Oysterville, or at least so think I!


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