Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Roses: The Fruits of Neglect

I've finally had some time to work my garden. After some reluctance, I pruned my unruly rose bushes.

Three of them top out over six feet tall, in part because I like them that way. They're surrounded by native sages and Mediterranean rock roses, and thrive on the same drip irrigation system and low-water regime. (I gave them supplemental water for the first couple years.)

I hadn't pruned the roses since last fall. As a result they were loaded with persimmony rose hips. I thought of it as my fall color, and the bushes looked far happier in the hot fall than had I tried to keep them blooming.

A few years ago Emily Green, who currently writes the LA Times Dry Garden column, wrote a brilliant piece about leaving roses alone. Check it out. It will make you long for the days when newspapers gave writers the space to write like this. Or at least some of them. Few write as well as Green.

Now, if only the weeds would pull themselves.

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