Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Several years ago Ingrid Bergman came to live in my hybrid tea rose garden.  Last winter’s two weeks of below zero weather was too much for her and she passed away silently in her sleep.

Yesterday I dug up her lifeless stick body and kept her dog tag.  In her prime she was a dark red velvet beauty, but the harsh weather was just too much for her.

 As is often the case, this set in motion a domino effect in my garden.  I decided to replace her with another hybrid tea rose.  But I couldn’t just buy one rose---oh no.  I bought two.  Now I had to find a home for the second plant too. 

Well!  Now was a great time to get rid of a rose bush I really, really didn’t like.

This bush rose is all pink and pretty when she blooms.  She’s also very hardy and can take about anything.  But she sends out extra roots which invade the personal space of everything around her.  Her bunches of blooms are worthless for bouquets because they last only a day and then fall apart and shrivel into brown ugly wads.

 I decided to dig her up.  This little project became a monumental task.  The more I dug, the more roots I found. Plus I was trying not to mangle too many surrounding plants all the while getting stabbed by thorns and working up a sweat that would do a horse proud.

 When I finally got down to the main root system I felt like I’d made my way through nine levels of a video game and finally killed the giant, evil, red-eyed slobbering monster who guarded the treasure.  (I’ve never done this but I’ve seen it happen—I have three sons.)

 What was left of that undertaking went to the compost pile.  No regrets.

Now I had to carefully dig up another hybrid tea rose that had survived the winter but had gone a little wild from the experience.  This left a hole so big it looked like a meteor had crash-landed in our yard.

Next was moving this rose to the other hole. That baby was HEAVY!  By the time I’d reached this part of the process it was so dark I was working by street light. I considered asking hubby for help but that would have required going inside, removing shoes, explaining the mud and sweat----nevermind.

 Anyway, I got that rose moved to its new home before I gave up for the night.

This morning I planted a new red rose called “Oklahoma” in the crater.

 Then I planted a very lovely white rose with pink tips on the petals called, “Moonstone” in the empty place where Ingrid had been. 

Somehow I manage to make so much work for myself when I get all excited about playing in the dirt.  (I’m now vowing to be much more diligent in the autumn winterizing of my roses.)  


Val said...

Alas, poor Ingrid.

Why do I feel like I might be called as a witness during your trial? I wish I had not read so closely, so I could honestly say I have no idea of the body's whereabouts.

fishducky said...

My husband will get you off on the charge of roseicide if it takes him 50 years & ALL your money!!

Geo. said...

As a lifelong gardener, I appreciate your exertions. However, I must emphasize the tag's caution: Asexual reproduction of Ingrid Bergman is prohibited.

Leenie said...

Val: knowing where the bodies are buried can be used for blackmail, you know.

fishducky: It would take much, much less than 50 years to come to the end of all my money. Plus with my history I could be convicted as a rose serial killer if the word got out.

Geo: Sadly she died young--long before she could have much of a sex life.

Birdie said...

We have a rose bush in our garden that will not die. We have cut it back and dug out its roots. It continues to not only live, but thrive. Last week I spoke to my husband and decided that this rose bush deserves to live. It will probably take over the yard.

Linda Sue said...

Deer eat all of the roses here. Along with just about everything else except marigolds- too spicy! Sorry you lost Ingrid to a pitiful death, and sad that the bloom for a day rose had to be murdered but, that's life (heh heh)

Jenny Woolf said...

I'm going to plant another rambler rose too, and this one will put out the kind of roses you can pick and keep, unlike my present rambler. Thing is how, do you find out what it is like without living with the thing?

Buttons Thoughts said...

Oh poor Ingrid RIP. Wow all this work has made me tired. B

Joanne Noragon said...

Those gratuitous roots are the pits! When we moved the yuccas I only had little Laura to wield a shovel. Some roots were thick as her arms. She began calling them bodies, and excavated a wheel barrow full.

TALON said...

I sympathize with you. I get in the same crazy positions...and spend an inordinate amount of time playing in the dirt. This year, because of the crazy rain, everything is super tall and I've never spent so much time putting stakes in. Still, last year we had a drought so I guess I should be counting my blessings instead of complaining! :)

RURAL said...

Ah yes, poor Ingrid...may she rest in compost.


Terry and Linda said...

I wish I could just get outside and work in the yard...heck I wish I could just get the house clean..maybe when the hay is in...maybe