. . . and not stir up a posse in the process.
June is National Rose Month.
In all the Junes of my life, I do not recall one that has been so prolific in its rose show as this year has been. From every bower and curbside, up trellises and down arbors, hybrid and heirloom alike, our little corner of the world has been putting on its own rose parade. A walk down a street, a drive in the car or a ride on the Metra is all one needs to partake in rosiest of summer displays.
Last week, I drove past our old house. I was in the neighborhood and, well, the urge was strong to see what I still consider my garden. It is, you see, because the new owners have kept it up, weeded and tended it, added a few plants of their own without changing it in any substantial way. As I drove past, slowly, like a stalker of stems, I gasped out loud, alone, by myself in my car, for the beauty of the garden, especially the roses, was so breathtaking I was wont to weep.
The wing wall was a profusion of John Cabot roses, hugging the cedar and clambering to meet the roof.
It was the Seven Sisters that seized my heart, however. There they were, dripping in splendor from the iron arbor, generations of sisters, pretty in pink, putting on a show worthy of Ziegfeld and dancing to the sunshine exactly as I hoped they would on the day they were planted a dozen years ago.
It was all I could do to nuzzle the car forward, for I had an urge to stop and take a clipping. Yes. I admit it. I was tempted. I remembered my manners and a story I read in a gardening magazine, just about the same time I planted the Seven Sister roses. It was about a gang of Texans, armed with pruners and buckets, and rightfully branded as the Texas Rose Rustlers. Have you heard of them?
These gardening rustlers ride the territories, staking out cemeteries and deserted properties, knocking on doors of homeowners, as they plot to save heirloom roses. The movement has spread, as such things do, to other states and, I suspect, these modern wranglers have managed to save a good part of the past.
If you are so inclined, you might want to take a few minutes and visit the website of the Texas Rose Rustlers. It has a wonderful guide of how to go about securing roses without being the reason for raising a posse to come out after you. A quick click of the mouse will also give instructions on how to get rose cuttings to root, and even more on heirloom roses, rose societies and, well, all things rosy.
You might want to take some time at the Antique Rose Emporium as well.
Whether you check out the sites or not, please take some time soon to stop and smell the roses along your way.