Monday, August 25, 2008

The War of the Roses

Do you remember in Rapunzel how the prince fell out of the tower and was blinded by a thorn bush? That plant lives in my yard. I can blame no one but myself as I ordered several of these monsters from a catalog.

They were called fairy roses. Doesn’t that sound sweet? The catalog described them as a bush rose that will cover itself with blossoms all summer long.

They didn’t say anything about the thorns. Even the deer won’t touch this plant.

After the first bloom, the bushes are covered with ugly dead flowers that need to be trimmed away, and pruning often makes the plant angry enough to flower again. Plant lovers shouldn’t worry, though, the fairy roses gave as good as they got.

I also whacked back our attack rose. This is a new dawn rose that I planted on the same trellis with purple clematis. When the two bloom together in June, the effect is lovely and romantic. Unfortunately, the new dawn rose has ambitions that far exceed its habitat. It extends long vicious canes over the front walkway to protect our house against visitors. Who needs a guard dog with a plant like that?

Photos by Z.F. Burton

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