Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Roses in the office

Alert: this post has nothing to do with storytelling!

I have roses in my office right now. No, not cut flowers but three rose bushes. A few weeks ago I saw a post on the freecycle group in my town for rose bushes. The guy had 16 to give away and he wanted them gone immediately. It was one of those typical Kansas days in August: hot, hot, hot. I was only willing to dig up three (to give him credit, the fellow helped dig and put them in my car).

I brought the plants home and called my mother for advice. She's a garden writer, full of great information about plants. Following her suggestion, I potted the roses up--it would be too stressful for them (and me) to put the plants right in the ground. August is the wrong time to transplant roses. I should have taken my sister-in-law's suggestion and brought them in the house right away, but I thought they'd be fine in the shade. Despite regular watering, the leaves turned brown and curled up. After a week, I brought them inside. In the picture, you'll notice dead leaves on the floor. I'll rake soon.

The good news is that a few new leaves are coming in and the stems are still green. It will eventually cool down enough to put them in the ground. I'm not yet sure where I'll put them. I'm tempted to make an island of roses in my lawn, part of the grand plan to mow less.

What kind of roses, you ask? One is Pink Peace, one is Taboo, and the third is a mystery. The former owner kept detailed records, but I haven't been able to find a rose called Red Transcendent. It's the largest one, currently the healthiest-looking. The records say the flower is fuschia.

Hope they survive!

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