Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Garden is Simply a Vehicle

Winter Solstice Full Moon Through the Apricot Tree ~ Before the Eclipse
Our Gardens are our pleasure and our delight, to be sure. We love having the soil on our hands and the sun on our faces. We love the smells and sights and sounds and feel of our gardens. Our gardens are our vehicle for experiencing great and simple human pleasures. We love the processes that take us along as we create a setting for ourselves in which to experience the quiet and contemplative, or the singing and rejoicing, the laughing, delighting aspects of our lives.
Last night I sat in our garden at midnight, the moist breeze of an unusually warm winter weather system mussing  my hair, brushing my skin, filling my senses with the odors of lingering, dying greenery, and rich soil. Sitting in the dim light of an eclipsing moon, my garden gave me a treasure box setting from which to watch the rare celestial phenomenon of a total lunar eclipse. I didn't need to see colorful flowers and green grass. The winter garden, grey and sleeping under the night sky, gave me my heart full for one winter solstice night.

The Winter Solstice Total Lunar Eclipse ~ December 20/21, 2010
(You May click to Enlarge the Above Photos)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Jude the Obscure Rose ~ An Ethereal, Fleeting Beauty

David Austin's Jude the Obscure ~ I had longed to try this rose in my garden for a year or two before I was able to realize my dream. Everything I saw and read described such beauty such fragrance! 

Jude the Obscure ~ A Peachy Bud
Not being near any rose gardens besides my own, (the closest towns with lovely rose gardens being over 100 miles away in any direction), I had to wait to grow him myself. I am certainly NOT disappointed in the flowers and fragrance of Jude the Obscure, but, I think I may know now why he is called "Obscure".

Unselfconscious About Being Fabulous ~ Jude the Obscure

Perhaps he was named for Jude Fawley, the hero of the last of Thomas Hardy's novels, though, personally, I would not have associated that person with this lovely, delicate, fragrant rose. 

Jude the Obscure ~ Romantically Alluring in the Evening Light
am thinking, rather, now that I am acquainted with my very own Jude the Obscure on a more personal level, that his name has something to do with the dearth of blossoms that this stingy rose produces.

Jude the Obscure ~ Upstaging the Petunias

Certainly, he seems preoccupied with something other than producing roses. I never get more than a few rare blossoms each season. Perhaps my one poor little bush is mentally wandering through the Halls of Christminster, wishing for a more academic distinction than birth or breeding would seem to indicate. Perhaps he is simply afraid of having children, due to the unhappy outcome of his namesake in that area.  
Oh! The Fragrance of Jude the Obscure!

For whatever reason he is named Jude the Obscure, it does, unfortunately, seem rather fitting. I am hoping, though, that as his 4th season in my garden approaches, he will have matured enough to realize that achieving his
  full potential as a beautiful and productive rose bush will be his happiest destiny.

(You May Click to Enlarge the Above photos)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Roses on China

Last week I noticed that the roses blooming in my Mom's garden in Scottsdale, Arizona, looked very much like the roses painted on an antique china plate in her cupboard.
It reminded me that roses have always been adored, admired, painted and planted by people who love pretty things. This plate is well over 60 years old; in fact, my Mother has had it  almost that long herself, and it was old when she acquired it. The roses blooming in her pots are from the Home Depot and the grocery store just a few years ago, with names unknown. I wonder what roses were the inspiration for the artist? Were they just generic images in his head that came out on his china palate, or were they interpertations of beloved plants grown in her garden and lovingly brushed onto the plate to treasure forever? Likely it was just a job and the flowers were painted according to some standard directions. Though that takes a bit of the romance out, it remains facinating to me that these roses, so far apart in time and space, are yet of a race of eternal beauty rediscovered and enjoyed in so many different ways by each generation anew.

(You May Click to Enlarge the Above Photos)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Prairie Star, a Star in My Garden

Driving out of town before dawn last  Sunday, we enjoyed the bright sight of Venus dominating the south eastern skies. She was brilliant! The alarm going off at 3:50 am didn't seem so much of a punishment, with this vision to reward us for the first stretch of our 4 hour drive, which took us over the sparsely populated High Colorado Plateau.
Prairie Star was so aptly named! Like Venus, the Morning Star, shining through the night sky and over the wakening land, Prairie Star shines brightly in our garden.  A hearty plant whose flushes throughout the summer are a cornerstone of beauty in our little yard, Prairie Star really glows in early morning and in evening light. We have planted 2 around the birdbath, and they work together well to reward us with a great show. Disease free and healthy, this Buck rose is a delight and a joy to grow. I do wish Prairie Star had more fragrance, but perhaps that is asking too much form a star.
Prairie Star Glowing in the Twilight'

Prairie Star Baby May 2008

Prairie Star ~ by July 2008, Blooming His Heart Out for Us!

Prairie Star and Fans ~ Stargazer Llies

Prairie Star ~ July 2008 Such a Star!
Prairie Satr by August 2010 ~ All Grown Up

Prairie Star ~ August 2010

 Read more about Prairie Star:
Loving the Prairie Star Rose

(You May Click to Enlarge the Above Photos)