Rose Review Part 2 !!
When I was 16, I decided I wanted to be a rose gardener. Perhaps a little odd, but my parents indulged me in most anything...and so, my dad took up the lawn in one corner of our tiny backyard, and prepared the soil for planting.
I headed to the Jackson and Perkins rose catalogue (still fabulous today!) and mail ordered (no internet ordering then!) a half dozen bare root roses. I remember a few: Sterling Silver (a beautiful light lavender bloom), Mr. Lincoln, (a gorgeous, hardy, large red bloom), and First Prize (a richly saturated pink rose with elongated blooms).
I bought a rose book, Cyril Harris' Beginner's Guide to Rose Growing and read it cover to cover. I then tested the soil to make sure it had the right nutrients, planted according to Harris' instructions, and began my rose gardening journey in earnest.
That summer I spent most early evenings in the garden. It now seems very quirky of me, at 16, to be gardening instead of being out on the town, but I was quite happy, and my garden thrived. I trimmed away the suckers, pruned the spent roses, and weeded often. I remember one evening in particular, when it was past dusk, and I was still out tending to my roses. I think at that point my parents became a little worried about me.
But there was nothing to worry about. I just threw myself into a hobby, and enjoyed it immensely. And I took many of those early lessons with me, and use them even today in my Encino garden.
It's not a memory that I call up often, but tonight, as I think about all the beautiful blooms in my garden, once again, I can thank my parents for indulging a 16 year old in an unusual teenage hobby. It has provided a lifetime of joy.