THE GARDENER’S RESPITE – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Respite

My right shoulder hurts. A lot.

At least half of that is an old injury from my riding days … and the rest is probably hauling heavy pots — with and without food — in the kitchen. Trying to find a position in which I can sleep with that shoulder wrapped in a heating pad is interesting. Because it’s my right shoulder and these days, I have to sleep on my back because that’s what my back wants, I can’t find anyplace to put the electric cord that is not underneath my head.

It is a lumpy cord and includes the piece for changing the settings, which is very lumpy. It makes sleeping a dicey affair.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Meanwhile, in theory, my son is coming over tomorrow to change the sink faucet — assuming his back isn’t out. I also asked him to come by (if it ever stops raining) with his big electric hedge clippers and cut down the rose bushes and rhododendrons.

Columbine

There’s no way I can maintain them anymore. The flowers will get the entire garden. While the bushes will eventually grow back — probably sooner rather than later — at least I don’t have to stare at all those dead rhododendrons.

I will get a respite from our barbed wire roses and dying rhododendrons.

Bright lilies

I find a garden full of dead bushes a bit depressing. I don’t even know WHY they died, although they sent up a bunch of new, young shoots too … so maybe this is just their way of saying goodbye to the old and hello to the new? Is that how these bushes usually work?

Daylilies with red roses in the back

As for the roses, these cruel, barbed-wire bushes have been (ahem) a thorn in my arms, hands, arms, and clothing for about 17 years. I should never have planted them and they have totally taken over. They not only get tall, but they send out runners,

House in summer

Merciless and cruel, I can see how they were used to protect property. No one would try to dash through those bushes. I don’t think they could unless they were carrying a flame thrower and frankly, I’m not sure the bushes would care. They are very durable. They should be properly removed by an actual gardener, but I’d have to pay someone to do it and I can’t.

At least cutting them down will give me a season’s respite from their claws. I’m sorry about the rhododendrons, though.

We didn’t plant it sensibly. Didn’t leave pathways … or rather, we did, but they got eaten by the daylilies and roses. I never imagined a time when I wouldn’t be able to just hike up there and deal with the plants. Getting old is not only not fun, but it’s also a surprise.

You can count the years all you want, but you don’t really expect them to add up to “old.” No one plans to be old, even when we are planning for retirement. We think we will stay exactly as we are with maybe a few gray hairs.

I feel bad about it. It seems like murder. I’ve always encouraged plants to grow and cutting them down feels like a betrayal. I am comforted by knowing there will still be a few roses in the back and the daylilies will go into furious growth when they don’t have to battle with the thorn bushes.

You never imagine, when you plant a garden, that one day you won’t be able to care for it. It never crosses your mind. I was planning for an energetic old age that differed in no special way from being younger.

Oops.

PRICKLY AS A ROSE – Marilyn Armstrong

Prickly as a Rose

Garry bought me roses and they are still looking lovely on the table in the living room. While I was poking around, I found pictures of the last of my roses from this past October.

I was looking at them today as we were coming home from shopping. I realized that the rose bushes have gone into a full wrestling match in the garden. The barbed roses have wound themselves around the rhododendrons that have grown like crazy since I cut the roses back last year.

Tame roses from the florist
Home-grown barbed roses. These are the most merciless roses in the world …

I sat there, staring at them, and seriously wondering how in the world to untangle the two bushes. These aren’t little bushes, either. Both are more than six feet high and at least that or more across. I can feel the pain of thorns already and I haven’t even picked up the pruning shears. It’s going to be pointy, poky, thorny, bloody springtime!

Not only spiky squares. Jagged, barbed, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and pointy whatever, but these are flowers. This time.

FOTD – 03/25/2019

SQUARE, SPIKY, POINTY NO SPECIAL REASON ROSES – Marilyn Armstrong

Square, pointy, roses bought for no special reason
FOTD – March 24, 2019

My birthday bouquet was drying up and dying and Garry thought I needed something new. Something bright and cheerful. Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out what needs doing and how to get it done.

I even dream about it. And I’m also worrying about Garry and what would happen to him if I’m not here to take care of all the stuff in which he has never taken any interest. Like how the bank account works. Or where to find the title to the house.

Sticks, no stones

So there are the “no special reason” roses that Garry brought home yesterday.

Not only spiky squares. Jagged, barbed, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and pointy things, too.

COLORFUL WITH MEMORIES OF LAST SUMMER – Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge: Colorful

Sunday (aka the day after tomorrow) will bring, in order, snow, sleet, freezing rain, and finally, rain. I know we had some crocus, but it’s buried under 18 inches of snow.

These are eighteen inches of frozen hard snow. Nothing fluffy or fun about it. I’m hoping the rain ultimately washes most of it away.

Photo Garry Armstrong
Photo Garry Armstrong

So, as you can imagine, colorful is later this year or memories of last year. I cannot bring forth the colors to come, so I shall revisit the flowers from days of yore.

July 2018
July 2018- Photo: Garry Armstrong
Daylilies and roses

A BOUQUET IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEK – Marilyn Armstrong

BOUQUET – FOTD – O2/19/2019

I needed that bouquet. Sometimes, a bunch of flowers really helps. Not always, but sometimes. This was one of the times it helped.

Of course, I took pictures.

These aren’t flowers I can grow in my garden, but it’s a pleasure to enjoy them in my living room.

Bouquet
Chrysanthemums
Beautiful pink rose in a beautiful bouquet

PROVOCATIVE QUESTION 10: THE CHOICES WE MAKE – Marilyn Armstrong

Fandango’s Provocative Question #10

This week’s provocative question is about the choices we make and the actions we take.


“What is more important to you, doing the right thing or doing things right?”

To me, these are unrelated questions.

Doing things right is a work kind of question. Doing the right thing is a moral choice. One course of action doesn’t replace the other.

You can do both or neither, depending on the circumstance, but I honestly can’t imagine a situation where doing things right would make doing the right thing impossible.

I literally can’t imagine that as a choice. When would that kind of event occur? Under what circumstances?

AUTUMN’S END – REMEMBER THE DAYS? – Marilyn Armstrong

Autumn’s Over – FOTD – November 17, 2018


It snowed. I don’t like the snow. It’s too early for snow. But I’m pretty sure fall is done for good and all. So let’s remember it for this shining moment.

Winter waterfall

Sigh.