Madame Alfred Carriere is in bloom today. She has had roses budding and open in every month this year. She’s big and floppy and untrained, brushing up against the bedroom windows in the wind.
The Thomas Affleck rose bushes are low and young. Thomas Sr. was about a year old when he was mowed down accidentally. As I fussed about the mowing and insisted the tractor mow only about 15 feet from the house, I noticed that Thomas Sr. had sprouted from the roots. By then I had already planted Thomas Jr. about two feet away. Now both Toms have one or two blooms.
Old Blush by the red barn has a few late flowers. Star of the Republic is covered with fading blooms. At least I think that’s Star, I should go look at the tags on them.
I cut the two Mermaids back to a few sticks even though it’s the wrong time of year for pruning. They don’t care, they are full of super-spiny glossy new growth.
La Biche is the furthest rose bush from the house and probably the most neglected. It will get pruned back when Spouse has the chainsaw out early in the spring. Cutting its old thick canes back will make it bloom more. It’s too far from the house for me to water it, so it just gets one fertilizing a year and then neglect.
Spring and early summer, when we were in Spain, were very rainy and damp. Bindweed grew all up through Climbing Cecile Brunner and almost strangled all of her. I pulled out the bindweed, cut back the strangled branches, and now I am hoping enough is left of her to recover. This was the first rose I planted when we moved to Texas 12 years ago. I would hate to lose her.
Roses in December help me to be less depressed about the short cold days of winter.