This was supposed to be a year of rest and watching the plants do their thing. Mom and Dad Red and I had pretty much decided that we wouldn’t get many plants, because so many had over-wintered quite well, and because of one or more of us being gone for long stretches at various points during the summer. Yes, we’d fill a few holes, and annuals are an annual routine, but no major buys.
You can quit giggling.
Mom and Dad Red started it. They went to Canyon’s Edge as soon as it opened and came back with a crate of native plants. They went back later, and a half-crate appeared on the back porch (just in time for the snow, natch.) That was it. No more. The holes are filled.
I said quit giggling.
Saturday. The snow is coming down sideways. It has been sneeting, rain-sleet mix, and then pure sideways snow. As Mom and I are finishing breakfast, Dad says, “Form here, I want to go by [Big Local Nursery] and see what they have in roses. We’re not going to buy anything, just look.” Ebb Tide, Ketchup-n-Mustard, and Firesprite all came from there (along with a number of other plants that went to the Great Garden in the Sky). You know, when you pull in to the parking lot and two young guys are standing by the doors, eager to let you in, it is probably not a good sign. The place was not exactly overcrowded with shoppers.
So back we went, past all the annuals, the attack yucca, the hanging baskets, around the pitcher plants and other exotica, to the rose section. It was smaller this year, probably because the economy’s been [lousy] and because we were “late.” The three of us began “just looking.” Nothing was in bloom, which seemed a bit odd, but the plants all looked better than usual, lots of nice shoots, sturdy and not as leggy* as some years.
You know, wearing knit gloves while looking at rose bushes is not one of the smarter things one can do. Just thought I’d pass that thought along.
A climber, a miniature (now called “patio roses”), and a shrub rose went home with us.
*Lots of long, thin, but weak shoots, especially on something that is not a climber. You want a good, sturdy plant with thick stems that won’t break easily. Leggy shrub roses make me wonder if they were kept in a dark room or shipping container too long while in transit. You usually end up trimming those shoots off, which means the plant has wasted energy it needs to be putting into roots (and flowers).