The garden is growing now with serious intent. My job yesterday was to get in there with the big loppers and cut down about a dozen sassafras treelets along the western side of the driveway. If I waited any longer, they would become too big to cut down with the loppers and we need to keep the edges of the drive clear so we can plow the snow in winter and grow wildflowers in the spring.

The Duke likes to watch

Sassafras trees are extremely useful. It’s the original source of root beer and has a bunch of medical uses too. We are blest with a lot of them. They grow very quickly from a tiny sprout to a pretty big tree in a matter of weeks. On top of that, they are actually a hardwood tree once they grow up. They turn a glorious shade of golden yellow or orange in the fall. But there are only so many trees we can grow on our two and a half acres. Even with periodic pruning, our woods are overcrowded. I would love some more maples, but the shade of the oak trees kills them before they get to full size. Maples need sun.


Having cut down about two dozen baby sassafras trees, I then started cutting down lethal branches the roses were sending on. One branch was the length of the entire garden, completely covered with barbed wire thorns. I looked at it, found where it started, and cut it down. It was the kind of branch that shoots out of the garden and wraps people in thorns that cause bleeding and worse, destroy your nicest clothing. If I don’t cut them back, those roses can do serious harm.

Everyone I know who grows these plants emerges from their gardens bleeding and torn. These semi-wild roses were originally bred to protect homes, manors, and castles from intruders. I’m pretty sure they did a great job. You couldn’t build a fence as lethal as those roses.

Last year’s roses. The more we cut them back, the more they grow

I should send this as a message to our Homeland Security people. Roses are a lot cheaper than walls or fences and harder to get past.. If you leave them to just grow, they will wrap your house so completely no one who doesn’t know the path will be like Sleeping Beauty’s suitors: entwined in thorns. I’m pretty sure these were the exact plant surrounding her tower.

Welcome summer

At the end of all my cutting — and it was quite a lot — I was huffing and puffing and wanted to go inside and wash up, but I realized that, having cut down so many intruders, it was really quite pretty. The Rhododendrons are still in full bloom and all the Columbine is up. I was feeling optimistic about the day lilies which seem to be recuperating. The roses, aside from that one 10-foot branch I removed, look likely to produce a lot of roses in a few weeks.

I didn’t have my camera. I had, however, brought my cell and while I don’t really like cell phone pictures, I was pretty sure I wasn’t coming out again with a camera, so I took pictures. All the new pictures are from my iPhone and the older ones are cameras.

Spring has come and this time, I think it’s here to stay.

Categories: cee's photo challenge, Flower of the day, Flowers, Gardens, Photography

Tags: , , , , ,

15 replies

  1. Your garden is very beautiful. It is full of greenery. The pictures are also very good. I love such gardens.


    • I hesitate to call it a garden these days. Right now, it’s at its best. Between may and July, it’s lovely. After that, it’s a patch of weeds and by fall, I try not to look at it. it has run completely amok since it was planted. I can’t care for it anymore and it has been overrun by Virginia Creeper and wild grape vines, as well as bindweed. But right now, it’s lovely. I need to enjoy it a lot for the next few weeks until it turns to weeds in August. Also, some rain would be a big, BIG help!


  2. Your garden is beautiful and your photos divine. So enjoyed this!


  3. I’ve just come in from raking leaves, a job that looks like being my new full time pastime when outside. I had a several very thorny rose bushes in Geeveston and battled to cut them back every winter . They always grew back even more. They were nasty and thorny and I used to refer to that period of the year as The War of the Roses.. We have a maple in the garden which kind of makes up for the two baby ones I had to leave behind. I hope that the new people are taking care of them.


  4. WOW WOW gorgeous. a lot of work to i bet.
    but its a labour of LOVE. Rose has been working
    non stop out there. i’ll post some pics if she ever
    gets finished.


  5. Beautiful garden, Marilyn. Beautiful photos (even with the cell phone)


  6. My arms look like someone has been torturing me. I took photos one day but won’t subject anyone to them. It’s gotten so I have to put makeup over my cuts, scratches and huge bruises. They need to make gardening gloves that go up to your elbow. Actually, I usually forget to wear gloves anyway but my arms show it. Bougainvillea are the worst…and cactus and succulents with spines. I even have trees with long needles on the trunks. I feel your pain.


  7. A beautiful garden Marilyn.


  8. Very pretty shots of your garden, and I liked seeing the Duke’s face through the fence.


  9. Beautiful gardens. I love all the spring colors this year


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Tish Farrell

Writer on the Edge



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