Everything’s Coming Up Roses

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.

It’s a bright sunny day here in Brooklyn, and our roses are beginning to come into bloom – a welcome sight.  Compiling links yesterday and today was an especially depressing experience. Cultivating my garden provides some distraction from the news cycle’s horrors.

I wanted to upload some photos of our roses but I neglected to charge my camera’s battery. Oops! So words must suffice.

In our front yard, a wild rose self-seeded and is flourishing in a difficult spot, under an overhanging holly that we’ve pruned to a toadstool shape. The clouds of tiny white roses resemble strawberry blossoms;  later in the season they turn into rose hips. These flowers exude a pleasant, gentle fragrance

Two types of David Austin roses that I planted are now also in bloom – Graham Thomas, a yellow variety, and Abraham Darby, a soft salmon pink with a heavenly fragrance.  I once visited  the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s rose garden during the height of the season and Abraham Darby’s fragrance was the one I liked best.

Still other rose bushes are about to bloom, some of which are new to our garden.  Last summer, Maria, our housekeeper, rescued two bushes that a neighbor of hers was throwing away.  I have no idea what varieties these mystery roses are, or even their color. The bushes are covered with buds and have settled into their new homes: two large terra cotta pots that sit on our stoop, flanking our front door. Two other bushes are lush with vegetation, but buds have yet to appear.

That’s it for the front yard. In the back, a huge Zephirine Drouhin rose is covered with dozens of lipstick pink flowers. I planted this bush when we first moved in and I selected this variety because it tolerates shade. In the intervening years, the two trees that once shaded our garden have died, and the space is now a sunny oasis. This rose bush tolerated shade but it’s now thriving in full sunshine. Great color, nice fragrance, and it’s a thornless bush. This old French variety will continue to flower throughout the summer if I’m vigilant about deadheading the spent blooms. It’s a vigorous plant that can be trained as a climber. I’m hopeless at pruning roses button matter. This bush just blooms and blooms and blooms.

The first flush of blooms is always the most floriferous.  Our Zephirine Drouhin  bush in full flower makes me want to break out in song.

We also have a couple of Abraham Darby bushes now blooming in the back garden. A thicket of pale pink pompom roses has yet to bloom. Pretty in pink.

The roses in the back garden start to  come into their own just as the bluebells fade away. For about two weeks – after the daffodils and tulips bloom – the garden is replete with bluebells. I didn’t plant these; they’e a legacy from one of our house’s previous owners.

Later today or tomorrow, I’ll putter a bit in both the back garden and the front yard. I have some daylillies that need planting. Also, three new roses need to be planted  in large terra cotta pots: Margaret Merril, a white rose renowned for its scent, and two striped roses, orange and white Alfred Sisley, and purple and white Variegata di Bologna. As for the front yard, I’m going to sow some morning glory seeds in window boxes my husband made and train the plants to climb up the iron grillwork that protects our windows.

The weather’s perfect for the summer’s first barbecue.  I think Yves mentioned that grilled fish was on her Memorial Day menu. We’re having burgers. Just the ticket to kick off the summer. I start with a special mix from my local butcher, Pasisano’s mix.  Very flavourful and makes an especially juicy burger. We like our burgers well- seasoned. To the ground beef, I add a wee bit of salt, and a healthy mature of some red pepper – either urfa pepper, or smoked paprika or chipotle powder. I grate in some cheese – whatever I have on hand. I’ve found that the texture is best if you don’t overwork the meat. Just add in the grated cheese and spices, perhaps a beaten egg, shape into patties, and grill on our Big Green Egg, over hardwood charcoal. I like my burgers rare, my husband prefers his medium. I’ll grill some onions and red peppers and serve the burgers with guacamole on the side. It’s far too early to get decent local tomatoes. so we’ll do without. For dessert, I think I’ll bake a blueberry tart. Simple, easy food. Comfort food actually. For not so comfortable times.

Readers? What’s cooking?

Writing this post pushed the horrors of the current news cycle to one side for the moment.

Happy Memorial Day! Wishing readers a pleasant and relaxing holiday.


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  1. Samuel Conner

    Spent Memorial Day setting up plug trays with a fine-fescue/mini-clover seed mix, for use in patching holes in the front, neighbor-visible, lawn as I remove unwanted plants from it. Also a high-density tray of Astilbe arendsii; I think it is months late to start this and it grows slowly, so fingers are crossed. Astilbe is surprisingly easy to start from seed, if one keeps the growing medium moist during the early germination stages. The seeds are tiny and the new seedlings are vulnerable to dessication. To keep things damp, I use standing water in a drip retention tray beneath the plug tray, with a humidity dome on top.

    Supper? Same as always, rice with beans and lentils, flavored with a bit of hot italian sausage and some Arbol chilies for zing, cooked in an Insta-Pot while I work on the plants. If stuff hits the fan later this year, I hope that I’ll only have to give up the sausage.

    Here’s to the memory of the brave people who gave their lives to save us from foreign nations ruled by the kind of government that we seem to be migrating toward in our time.

  2. WhoaMolly

    We live in a semi-rural community about 100 miles north of San Francisco. Our summer BBQ is on a patio surrounded by views of rolling hills of pines, and oaks. We have patio umbrellas for shade. The afternoons are often too hot to be outside.

    I like to use the “Paul Newman Burger”. Start with cheap burger, loosely shaped into a patty. Careful not to buy good burger–it isn’t as good. Throw patties on a hot, clean Webber grill. Flip it once only. Maybe check temp with a probe. 145-150 for med-rare. Top with an extra sharp English white cheddar for those that like cheeseburgers.

    For bread, a good ciabatta roll sliced and toasted on the grill or in a bagel toaster. (Finding good ciabatta rolls is not easy in my county. The best are a 50 mile drive away, over mountain roads.)

    Put out condiments, and let guests build their own burger.

    Condiments: fresh cold butter lettuce, sliced tomatoes, very thinly sliced sweet onion, a couple mustards, a good quality ketchup, crisp pickles. Occasionally a minimalist guacamole made with fresh, ripe avocados, fresh squeezed lime, and a dash of kosher salt.

    Sides: Fries and salad. I use the commercial frozen ‘crispy’ fries for those who like them. crisp roasted in a 420 oven. A mock-potato salad (old family recipe substitutes cauliflower for potato).

    Serve with choice of ice cold drinks: Perrier, diet pepsi, non-diet pepsi, filtered water, and Athletic brand non-alcoholic beer. If time permits, have bottles and cans floating in a bucket of ice water.

    Eat at a table in the kitchen, or if not too hot outside around a picnic table on the patio.

    Conversation is about family, and personal interests. Common topics include work, family history, gardening, hiking, travel, pro soccer, and pro baseball. By common agreement, we generally avoid politics, war, fear-porn, and the horror of the day.

    Finish with sliced cold melon.

    It’s important that no one is obligated to stay, and can leave whenever they want. Nor is anyone obligated to ‘show up’. Our philosophy is we want people to ‘be glad they arrived and sad they left’. Not the other way around.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Not today, but I often make a simple potato salad, if I can get good ones at the green market. Just perfectly cooked potatoes, and a simple vinaigrette – dab of mustard, and then acid – sometimes citrus juice, or good vinegar – in a 1:3 ratio with decent olive oil. So, for the two of us, that’s usually 1 tsp acid to 1 tbsp olive oil. To dress a pound of potatoes, 3-4 tbsp oil is more than enough. I sprinkle a bit of vinegar on the potatoes when they’re hot so it infuses.

      Sometimes I scatter some chopped herbs – parsley, chives, basil, thyme, whateve on the salad. Or perhaps scallions, shallots, or roasted garlic if I have any.

      Alternatively, I’ll dress the potatoes with freshly made mayonnaise. Being lazy, I make it in my food processor, rather than by hand.

  3. GramSci

    Leg o lamb on the barbie. We no longer eat many ungulates, but it’s a day of atonement here in Pentagonia.

  4. Hepativore

    There is a rose that I have been after for years, called “Super Trouper”. It is a neon orange floribunda. Pure orange rose cultivars are relatively rare as orange is a very recessive color in roses. Most “orange” roses tend towards red or pink. Orange and yellow happen to be my favorite colors.



    The problem is that I cannot find a nursery that I can get it from. All of the places that have it for sale seem to be based in the UK, and as I live in the US, none of these places are willing to ship internationally as US import restrictions for live plants are so strict.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      I’ve had a lot of luck with Heirloom Roses in Oregon. Pricey, but if you watch carefully, they’re always running sales, and then I pounce. Other than the bushes Maria rescued, all our roses come from there. I sent my parents ten rose bushes as a housewarming gift when they moved to NC after Dad retired. One bush – an Abraham Darby incidentally – died. But the rest still flourish, decades later. My father loved his roses – particularly the yellow Graham Thomas.

      1. petal

        I have an order coming this week from Heirloom Roses. (They are having a big sale right now.) My first time ordering from them. I splurged and got an Abraham Darby, a Graham Thomas, and a Livin’ Easy(orange with a yellowish center-Hepativore, you might like that one). I had been given a Livin’ Easy bush before it came on the market in the early 90s. Hoping all 3 take and do okay up here.

  5. Judith

    I much prefer the Old Roses with their incredible beautiful fragrances. Modern roses are so dull and almost fragrance free, like mannikins.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > I much prefer the Old Roses with their incredible beautiful fragrances. Modern roses are so dull and almost fragrance free, like mannikins.

      It would be interesting to read the history of how that came about, because it seems like a general trend.

      1. Alyosha

        Not official history but it’s a side effect of intensive breeding. Mostly the ornamental breeding programs are for color, bloom length, bloom size, reblooming, vigor, etc. One could breed for scent but it’s not the priority. It’s just a matter of scent being low on the priority list of traits bred to. And terpene synthesis is genetically complex so it’s fairly easily lost. Open pollination breeding is likely to lead to higher terpene production because that’s got more evolutionary value than bloom size.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          There are still countries which grow fragrance-roses for producing and exporting rose water ( attar of roses). If rose-varieties can be gotten from such countries, or from people who got them from such countries, those might be very high-fragrance roses.

          Bulgaria is one such country. There must be some others.

          And of course the “heirloom revival” movement in roses as well as other things may lead to the preservation and re-dissemination of default-fragrant older types of roses.

      2. Judith

        Since this an economics blog, I could be flip and say the Modern Roses last longer, which allows them to be sold individually.

        A quick read of the zeitgeist of the times (Modern Roses dating from 1867 when the hybrid tea rose was first developed) includes the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in 1859, which encouraged thinking about evolution, and the popularity of Japonisme, beginning in 1872, with the very stylized flowers such as peonies and chrysanthemums. Perhaps the initial negative response to Impressionism.

        Interesting question.

  6. CitizenSissy

    Reminded of family members who served, and of a high school classmate – classic nerd – who joined the marines after graduation and died in the Beirut barracks bombing.

    Very much appreciated a quieter weekend after this year’s constant barrage of horror; and am reminded how fragile peace and a functioning society truly are. Enjoyed a normal cookout of London Broil, grilled asparagus, and potatoes, Blueberry galette for dessert.

  7. wsa

    Here in Madison, WI, I’ve had some gardening frustrations. We got new neighbors across the street over the winter, and they brought with them an agèd but charismatic pit bull. She loves all her new human friends, but hates the neighborhood fox with the passion of a much younger dog. I can’t prove this is the direct cause of this spring’s bumper crop of rabbits, but I have suspicions. Everything I started early — okra, tsoi-sim (a chinese mustardy-broccoli thing) — was eaten down the instant I planted them outside.

    So, this weekend I’ve been protecting the raised beds with tulle as new things sprout: salad turnips, beets, bush beans, replacement okra and tsoi-sim. No nightshades this year, to give the soil a rest.

    All last year we were in a drought. I hope I don’t have to fight against that again this year.

    Our back yard is in a bit of a state still, so no grilling today. I just made a mushroom stroganoff, with a salad.

    1. Samuel Conner

      A week ago a ground hog demolished multiple trays of lettuce and kale, including plants that I had promised to someone for delivery later in the week. I surprised the creature, which looked very well fed, and it — perhaps anticipating the wrath that I was about to experience when I noticed the damage — dashed under some dense shrubbery.

      I set up concrete blocks on end and on these laid large rectangular 18″x18″x96″ tomato cages made from bent livestock panels. The trays are now over 3 feet in the air and the ‘hog hopefully will not be able to climb the wire cages. But I think I will not be able to plant any salad in soil; perhaps I can grow it in containers 3’ in the air.

      The ‘hog has probably moved on until the salad grows back; I’ll find out in a few weeks if my measures are effective.

  8. Alyosha

    No roses here, mostly because they don’t like the heavy dew sets we see later in the season. The magnolia has a few blooms left and the cherry trees are a buzzing explosion of white. Today saw pruning/shaping of the French panacle hydrangea and heavy work on the wisteria behind the lower deck. Everything made it through the winter, though some of my Japanese conifers got some burn. I put off planting the veggie starts this weekend.

    This year the volunteer, dwarf bearded irises are blooming for the first time. The came from Nancy Holler’s garden. I had picked up likely my only fine furniture purchase from her and she gave me a clump of Louisiana Irises. These came along for the ride. I can’t recommend her writing highly enough. (Lost Art Press, “making things work” and “shop tales”) She’s a remarkable artist and a wonderful person who has entered hospice for pancreatic cancer. Immortality is being remembered. I love our dining room table, but those irises have been the ones speaking about the meaning of life and death.

  9. ambrit

    Like others, our garden is a bit of everything. Two big clumps of an heirloom rose, pale pink with multiple concentric circles of medium sized petals, arose from some diggings “rescued” from a neigbhour’s garden rehab project, frame the south side of the back yard. In between them, some Rio Sambas, bought along from the Coast after Katrina, likewise, a Mr Lincoln, which is holding on. The centrepiece is a young fig tree. Phyl’s Grandfather, of the dairy farm fame, grew several varieties of fig in the back. Phyl remembers, when she was a toddler, ‘helping’ pick figs with her Grandmother. The rest is either ‘jungle,’ or vegetable patches. Some raised beds are in the late planning stage.
    I spent the day finishing up some repairs to the PT Cruiser. (I had to pull out a cam and fix a broken dowel pin.) Now waiting on a new fuel line for the engine compartment, and then, it’s back on the road.
    Like ‘deplorables’ the world over, holidays are windows of opportunity to get some repairs and upgrades done. Now that I am among the “impoverished ‘leisure’ class,” every day is an opportunity.
    Everyone stay safe out there!

  10. Art_DogCT

    In the Far Ago and Long Away I grew all those roses in my own or in clients’ gardens because they are all choice. If you have room in your shade garden, I recommend the rose cultivar ‘Grüß an Aachen’ (https://garden.org/plants/view/56/Rose-Rosa-Gruss-an-Aachen/). It doesn’t compare to Zephirine at all in terms of stature – stays under 3′, and I’ve never seen one that you’d say was ‘covered in bloom’. It offers clusters of white flowers, lightly fragrant, every 6-8 weeks throughout the growing season that are wonderful as cut flowers. It should do very well in Brooklyn. However, if you are able, I recommend one grown on its own roots rather than grafted. In the event of an unexpectedly prolonged, deeper than usual freeze a well-established GaA will come back from the roots true to type.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Thanks for the recommendation. The rose nursery I buy from, Heirloom Roses, sells own-root roses only. In the event that the plant dies back, the new growth will be true to type.

      1. Hepativore

        I also recommend a rose called Oranges N’ Lemons. It is also a floribunda, so it is a repeat-bloomer. True to its name, it is a bicolored rose as its flowers are striped with bright orange and yellow. I have never seen any rose like it before or since. It is also very cold hardy, down to zone 4 and very disease-resistant. As a bonus, the rose has a lemony scent.

        You should not have any difficulty finding it as it is a very popular rose and has been since it was introduced in the mid-1980’s. It was featured in the Daily Plantidote on Valentine’s Day here on Naked Capitalism.


  11. Tom Pfotzer


    My story’s from the rural realm; I have a farm, I grow hay (wife has horses) and right this minute is a fabulous “haying window” – sun, low humidity, four days sans rain, just enough time to cut, cure, bale, and store before the next rain comes. “You must obey Mother Nature!” pertains hereabouts.

    The crop looks to be the best ever. After 10 years of producing hay, I’m finally starting to get it together. I’m crossing my fingers, hoping for no breakdowns – equipment or bod – and just enough strength to lift all those bales (5-600) @ 40 lbs each.

    So I have to defer my Memorial day celebration, but when I get done with hay, I’m going to go get some BBQ. There are a few really great BBQ houses near me, and I have been pining for brisket and baby back ribs. I don’t eat much meat, but boy, I’m ready for this, and maybe you can imagine why. Big job first, then comes the reward!

    With BBQ I’ll have a salad, some sweet potato fries ( air fryer!), some tomato, onion, fresno pepper, cilantro and lime salsa, and a great big frosty IPA from Michigan (Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale). If you’re into IPAs, then this might be a good one to try.

    The meal will be had under the almost-big sugar maple tree planted 16 years ago. 45′ tall now, just a magnificent tree. I do a little dance inside every time I look at it; it’s a specimen.

    Now about Memorial Day. I am ambivalent about the U.S.’ celebration of war; I’m starting to realize that most of the wars we conduct aren’t necessary, and are advancing the interests of a very few, while harming most others.

    So, my Memorial Day hope is to “have a war, and nobody shows up”.

    Best wishes to all.

  12. HotFlash

    Hi Jerri-Lynn and all. Happy Memorial Day to all you US-ians, and happy May 30 to the rest of you/us all. We had our holiday, VIctoria Day, last week here in Canada. That’s our traditional planting day, but I got the drop and have had things blooming, planted, growing since mid-March. The snowdrops started showing green in Jan, thought better of it, but were in bloom mid-March, first food for pollinators. I planted the potatoes and some garlic (to repel squirrels, it works!), readied my containers and got my coriander, radishes, parsley going from seed. The tarragon was already up and rarin’ to go. My squill didn’t bloom until first week of April, but the snowdrops kept going until Mid-April and meanwhile neighbours’ crocus were very busy, so pollen and nectar never stopped. Next in the procession were our haskap and the neighbour’s magnolias, then daffodils & narcissi (theirs), our maple tree, red currants, dandelions, and barberries, now the lilacs, periwinkles, wild cherries, and pelargonia. Looks like the mock orange will be next. IOW, an all-you-can-eat, every day buffet for the bees, flies, butterflies, moths, — and slugs (sigh). I hear that slugs are good eating, esp with lots of garlic, butter, and parsley, but I haven’t been hungry enough to go there. At least not yet. I think I would require hot sauce, or at least pepper.

    I have 20 perennials or self-seeders in my garden, so we are saladizing already on radish greens, lamb’s quarters, milkweed shoots, green onions, dandelion greens, lettuces, and garlic greens. The tarragon has been up for months now, ditto two kinds of mint. The other herbs are now harvest-able, so I no longer have to suffer half a bunch of coriander, parsley, or whatever going slimy in the fridge. The horseradish is coming along nicely. If you’ve never seen horseradish growing, it comes up like a palm tree. It looks absolutely tropical, a real show-stopper along the front walk, and it’s highly edible. The leaves are hot, we use them as a cooking and salad herb (sparingly), we dry them and powder them — homemade wasabi! — and in the fall and early spring we can dig the roots. The rhubarb is still too baby to harvest, but maybe next year, ditto the strawberries.

    We don’t have roses, but our across the street neighbours have six lovely roses, all yellow, with varying characteristics, dunno their names. My fave is the one at the south end — not so showy, but wonderful fragrance. I have done some soundboard painting and have learned to appreciate the old roses so much from studying the Flemish and French styles, also fully open tulips. Zepherine Drouhin smells heavenly and sometimes in the early morning the fragrance of this yellow one will waft across the street across the street. I envy you your very own Mme Drouhin!

    Fast fwd to today. Potatoes are reaching the sky in their container, gotta hill’em ASAP and cut back the wild cherry that is shading them. Kale getting its act together. Radishes w/b coming out for now, most did not bulb but the greens will be salad (yum) and I will plant or have succession planted more greens, radishes, beets, carrots, peas. beans, morning glories, nasturtium, etc. in the ground and containers. The warm-weather stuff — tomatoes, corn, the curcubits, etc., going in now, as well as the sweet potato slips.

    If you have a garden, every day is good weather.

  13. Carla

    Here in NE Ohio, my stalwart perennials are all doing well so far. Unfortunately, I’m not very good with roses. I’ve got an ancient hybrid tea and two 30-yr old David Austins (no longer recall the names) that bloom freely in June, but don’t repeat, probably because I’m always too busy weeding and cutting back perennials to pay any attention to the roses — as in feeding or deadheading them…

    I have no luck with growing food other than a few herbs that apparently rabbits and deer don’t care for. Even tomatoes have been disappointing the last few years, with very sparse yields. Tried to plant some kale this spring and as soon as true leaves sprouted, the rabbits feasted. My feeble attempts to grow edibles have given me a boundless respect for organic farmers! If eating gets too expensive, maybe I’ll learn to just stop. My most persistent selfish thought these days is: “I’m profoundly grateful to be old.”

    Our community now holds an annual “Garden Walk.” People sign up and their addresses are published on a map for self-guided tours on a given weekend. Last year, we participated. The most-asked-about plant in our whole yard (and there are hundreds) was the Joe Pye-Weed. I never would have guessed that would be the big favorite, but it IS a fabulous plant and is in its glory at the mid-July time of the garden walk.

    Having been a stop on the tour once, I’ve been there, done that and don’t care to do it again. People are welcome in our garden any time, but trying to make everything look its best for two days a year just isn’t that much fun.

  14. Eclair

    It has been a cool, wet spring here in southern Chautauqua County, NY. I stress the ‘southern’ modifier, since ‘northern’ Chautauqua County lies along the shores of Lake Erie, boasting the famed milder, grape and fruit-growing climate. So, corn is just going in: how can one even plow, when the there is standing water in the fields?

    We did plant three varieties of potatoes during the second week of May: German Butterball, Upstate Abundance and the old favorite, Kennebec. Onion sets went in as well: early mild white Walla Wallas, Red River and, for keeping over-winter, the late yellow-skinned Pattersons. The Walla Wallas I planted close together, and will start pulling the baby onions to eat raw in salads or to grill.

    The 100 baby leeks went in at the same time as the onions. They are a reliable, giant-sized variety, Lancelot. Last year they grew so abundantly large that they became the zucchini of our neighborhood; friends would hide when they saw us coming, arms loaded down with mutant stalks, muscular roots dripping with soil, green fronds waving over our heads.

    The peas, which with the potatoes are my husband’s province, are about two inches high. He insists on planting only the shelling variety; none of these new-fangled mange tout or snow peas.

    Last fall, I put in about 60 garlic cloves, and the leaves are now almost waist-high (I’m short) and will soon be producing succulent scapes, to toss in stir fries or to steam lightly and dress with butter or olive oil. Then, harvesting in late June, drying and storing, putting aside a selection of the biggest bulbs for fall planing. I used up the last little clove from last year’s planting a few weeks ago; and had enough to give some to family and friends. Even after being stored for nine months, they were crisper and tastier than any store-bought variety.

    The asparagus bed, in its second full year, has produced enough spears to harvest every-other day and I am now letting them grow into feathery fronds. We had reached the point where we looked at the them sitting on our plates (I like to spread them on a baking sheet, toss with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, and popped into a hot oven for 15 minutes) and whined, ‘what, asparagus, AGAIN!’ An earlier bed, planted 4 years ago in a part of the yard that has really poor drainage, is producing well, but it is a race with the weeds and the slugs. I am planning on transplanting them to the newer, better-draining garden. But, it’s at the bottom of my list.

    Our one rhubarb plant had a bad summer; something kept eating its leaves! But a neighbor invited us down to harvest from her huge rhubarb bed; she still has bags of the stuff in her freezer from last year. I made my obligatory rhubarb corn meal cake. And my husband whimpered a bit about how much he loves rhubarb pie and what a great one his mom used to make. And I gently reminded him about the time I did make a rhubarb pie and it tasted like stewed rhubarb encased in a chewy cardboard box.

    The tomato plants are still in their flat, being carried out to the porch daily for their annual sunning. I have a large collection of tomato seeds, careful saved over the years, some dating back to 2015. Rather than toss them, I decided to plant a few of every variety. So, I now have a flat of 72 flourishing tomato seedlings (71, one did not germinate!) They range from a new variety from Territorial Seeds, said to be resistant to late blight (a scourge in our region), Dark Star, to an ebullient yellow tomato, Yellow Taxi, first grown in Denver. There’s Copia, a yellow-striped tasty variety; St Pierre and Rose de Berne, French tomatoes from a friend with a French grandmother; Black Krim, incredibly delicious, albeit low-producing; Black Brandywine and Pink Brandywine and another Territorial offering, Heirloom Italian, a sauce tomato.

    As I have in the past three years, I am planting a ‘three sisters’ plot; soft flint corn (the kernels have been soaking overnight), Atomic Orange, to support the pole beans, which will be surrounded by a winter squash. The beans will need a supplementary pole, as this corn variety tops out at 5 feet. I am trying a blue hubbard squash this year, hoping they will not grown into monsters the size of VW Bugs, with warty skin that repels a kitchen knife.

    Well, I have gone on much too long …. it’s time to head out to the garden and get that Atomic Orange corn planted, before it gets too hot. Thanks to all for your gardening stories!

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      A local restaurant once served some very interesting roast pork with non-sweetened rhubarb sauce.

      1. Eclair

        That sounds quite yummy. A spring version of pork and apples. I try to cook regional as much as possible. The climate and soil favor potatoes, onions, garlic, leeks, cabbage, corn, winter squash, rhubarb, blueberries, strawberries, apples ( and cider from the local cider mill.)And asparagus. Local farmlets have begun raising grass fed beef, pigs and chickens, so lots of local meat, if you know where to go. Kind of like during Prohibition: umm, Rachel down at the general store said you might have some chickens in the freezer you could spare? Cash transactions, of course.

  15. Big River Bandido

    I have no pictures either, but coincidentally just last night I read the 1927 short story A Rose In the Sand. Susan Glaspell, who also left no pictures, left words enough:

    She walked slowly towards home late one gentle afternoon. Prince, the horse who was no longer needed, stood by the pump. She pumped a drink for him; she had fallen in the way of doing this. She started towards the house, but had done only a few steps when she stopped abruptly. She told herself she must be mistaken. She looked all round in a frightened way. Then slowly, unwillingly, she again looked down at her feet. In a stiff frightened way she bent and smelled. Next instant she was kneeling on the sand. For when she smelled she knew she was not mistaken, knew that a wild rose was indeed blooming in the sand.

    But what she never knew was whether it was minutes or hours she knelt before the little rose bush with its single flower. It had nothing to do with time. It was the whole of life. The wind brushed her lifted face. Off somewhere a bird was singing. The wind and the birds — carriers of life, extenders of boundaries. She looked down at her feet; a little patch of sand fertilized by the visits of a horse who had outlived his “usefulness”, water spilled in drinking; and to a woman too stricken to go to the roses comes this wild one, a messenger. There it bloomed in the sand, alone and undismayed, fragile and authoritative. The whole Outside could not daunt it, for back of it was something more powerful than the Outside. Back of it was the will to grow. Back of it was the way of life.

  16. Harold

    Gruss an Aachen

    OH GOD!


    We had this rose 10 years before it started doing its thing. We love it, especially since visiting Aachen, which was amazing. Highly recommend the rose and the city and its hospitable residents — who have been hosting tourists for a thousand years.

    I have a lot of roses — you wouldn’t believe — in my miniscule, cat-ridden urban lot. Many in pots which I’m waiting to give away, having enjoyed them for a while. This year they are better than ever. The best IMO are the old roses, many of them once-bloomers, Ispahan among the best of the best. .Unfortunately for me, this year I am recovering from COVID and have lost my sense of smell — during the height of rose season, no less. But glad to be alive at least at a relatively advanced age and brushes with some of the its accompanying illnesses. (Just discovered this post or would have contributed yesterday).

  17. Alex Cox

    Peas! Apart from herbs the only plant that will thrive here in my Oregon garden is the pea. The ground has been unusually cold this year but the flowers have turned to peas at last. The first ones are a bit starchy. But there will be many more…

  18. Bsn

    Jerri-Lynn asks “What’s cooking?” My response is Fortex Beans. We still cook 1-2 dinners per week including last year’s Fortex. A very prolific pole bean with zero string and about 8″ to a foot long. Also, very tasty. We’re in the Pac. NW (USA) and we put in our first row about a week ago and when they come up we’ll do another 20′ row. I can’t recommend these beans enough as last year we harvested about 1 colander full every day for about 2 months. When picking them, just pinch off the bean right below where they come out of the flower pod, don’t break it’s stem. A new bean will come from there. Been a cool spring here so many other warm blooded plants are still to be put in the ground: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squashes, etc.
    And rose, we love our Westerly climbing rose. Shade in heat of summer and fragrant orange blossoms. Thank you Jerri-Lynn!

  19. drumlin woodchuckles

    Little garden report . . .

    In my ornamental half-oval garden bedlet, my goldenrod has spread wide and densepacked. If I do something specific with it, I will mention it at some point. I like it because of the wide range pollinators it attracts in late August-early Sept.

    The little raised bed right up against the dwelling unit up under the eaves got pounded in a heavy rain when all that water poured laterally over the eaves-sides onto the bed. Until I can figure out how to unplug the downspout exit-hole at the end of the eaves, I dare not plant anything in that little raised bed.

    The bigger raised bed further out in the back yard is growing chickweed, clover and etc. till I get around to it.

    The grand-master bed on the side-end of the dwelling unit is partway fork-dug/fork-mixed. If I actually plant anything, I will let people know.

    Further up the collective lawn strip, at the edge of the brushy woods, is a small opening where some wild raspberries have been growing for a while. I have “adopted” them over the last few year, doing a little of this and that to make them more user-picker friendly. By nature the canes grow so long as to arch over and touch their tips to the ground, where new roots strike. Also the underground root systems grow new canes. I have started cutting back the existing canes so they stand semi-straight up without bending over, to see what they do. This year they have so far thrown a lot of very short lateral branchlets with a fair number of flowers ( and hopefully fruit to follow) on them. I want to see if keeping them short and upright will lengthen their lifespan over what it is when they are allowed to run rampant as arching ground tip-touchers which become hard to reach into.

    I notice that the black bald-faced hornet really likes to pollinate raspberry flowers. Having a lot of raspberries might be a way to encourage hornets to survive in the area to prey on plant-eating insects later in the season.

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