Spring, Roses, Wind and lots of thorns….

10 Year Old Cecile Brunner, Almost Gone with the Wind

We were planning an assault on the landscape this weekend, but we didn’t figure on violent rain and fiercer winds.  The picture above is of a very cut back “Cecile Brunner”, one of the best of climbing roses we have planted.  We awoke after a night of pounding winds and rain and upon wandering downstairs, something was different.  The front room was flooded with light.  Looking out of the windows along the fireplace, I saw the reason:  this huge rose bush had completely slipped its moorings and  fallen in a clump on the patio.  I was concerned the chimney had gone with it, but no, it was still up there, looking very naked.  My husband said he could salvage all, but after breakfast and coffee. I  didn’t believe he could bring it back to place of honor on the chimney.  I got out clippers and cut as much blooming rose as I could, thinking it would be easier for him to push and secure back in place.

Nothing doing.  That rose bush probably weighed 100 lbs with all the  blossoms.  He decided  a ‘block and tackle’ would be the answer  and throwing open the two long casement windows upstairs on either side of the chimney he got lots of  rope. He made some interesting knots and slowly we pulled it back into place….sans half  the blossoms.

Then he had to get UNDER the rose bush and secure it with wire and concrete nails to the brick.  This wasn’t easy, and the thorns made it even more difficult.  We have been picking  thorns from hands, arms, and in one case, his back.  Cecile Brunner got his pound of flesh.

Spring has sprung with a vengeance.  It is a remarkably beautiful spring, with that particular clarity of light that only lasts for one or two months at best in Atlanta.  It is now past daffodil and tulip time, azaleas are peeking and iris  in full bloom.  This year I planted “Dutch Iris”, different from the usual Bearded Iris, and the colors are remarkable.  They seem to be much more reliable bloomers than my old iris, but perhaps I haven’t given the bone meal dressings, etc. that iris desire?   I love the gray-green leaves, with or without a purple bloom at the top, and each year they seem to multiply…still without many blossoms. But I am impressed with the Dutch Iris, and though they look delicate, they bloom altogether for quite a show in a bed.

A few Dutch Iris in iron wash pot

More Dutch Iris, almost in bloom....

What fueled the assault on the property were a few plantings I bought from a local nursery.  At least twenty years ago we planted a “Blue Girl” rose, a delicate lavender rose that died quickly.  I swore I would never plant another one, but there was one in bloom with the promise of more blossoms on the rack. It was so lovely and delicate and the scent was so delightful I couldn’t resist. Plus, it was next to some god awful screaming red shrub roses and orange ones, too. “Blue Girl”  towered above these like royalty.  Paired with Mainacht salvia (deep blue) and Pink Salvia with white mugwort, it scratched a particular itch.  It was an answer for a very raw spot in the garden foundation.

Rose "Blue Girl" and Salvia

I’ve lost the rest of my post twice now, so I guess that’s a warning. I did put in about 15 new roses, but the jury is still out on these.  “Michelangelo”, “April in Paris”, “Fragrant Cloud”, “Pink Promise”, and am awaiting the luscious bare root: “Graham Thomas”.  This last rose is a remarkable yellow climber, never without butterscotch blooms.  They are of the old cabbage rose form and one of the most fragrant of the English roses. I’ll end with a picture of the Bonicas to bloom (from last year) and a poem.

I can wait.  Spring is a short season here, but the beauty is worth the waiting.

Lady Nyo

Bonica Rose on Gate


Spring comes drumming through

Breaking up ice in the creek

Destroying a beaver dam

And with the unexpected noise-

The un-damming of my heart

A softening of my bones

A juiciness of loins

A waving of budding branches

In a new born wind-

Encircling tender arms-

A phantom will o’ wisp lover.

Spring comes drumming through,

Cracking open where winter nailed me shut.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2010, from “White Cranes of Heaven”, published by Lulu.com, 2011

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23 Responses to “Spring, Roses, Wind and lots of thorns….”

  1. Margie Says:

    Gorgeous pictures Jane. We’ve had quite a time here also, weather-wise. One of the eight tornadoes to cut across North Carolina skipped along the cul-de-sac behind my house, doing quite a bit of damage to several of my neighbors’ houses. We were unscathed, however, for which I am grateful. We had no power for about 48 hours, but we’re up an running now. I’ll be tossing everything from my fridge and doing laundry tonight!


  2. Mama Zen Says:

    Gorgeous poem. For some reason, I simply cannot grow roses.


  3. ladynyo Says:

    LOL~! Mama Zen…it takes loads of shit. Chicken shit, actually.
    Well rotted shit.

    Probably for the formation of poetry, too….LOL!

    Actually, the trick of roses is usually the ones you pick. For years I picked the wrong ones….if you start with the English and French roses, you have a better time of it. David Austin roses (English) are great, but usually weak stemmed. The grandifloras, florabundas are easier than the teas, but this varies.

    It just takes time, experimentation and lots of failures. A few years ago, before I turned poet, I had about 60 roses, and now about 20 or so. I let them languish. I am sorry now, because some I can’t find again.

    However, one of the best and easiest of roses to plant is Madame Alfred Carriere, a wonderful moss rose, that climbs and stouts out. When I had mine cut down for siding, the rose, only 10 years old, was 20×30 feet. Spectacular pale pink blooms with a scent that you could discern 30 feet away.

    If you like yellow, I recommend “Graham Thomas” (David Austin) a prolific climber and another splendid and easy rose to grow, but probably my favorite is “Heritage”. (Also D.A.) Shell pink cabbage forms on upright stems, masses of roses always blooming from the earliest in spring to frost.

    If you start with these (and Graham Thomas can be made into a bush, instead of climber) you will find rose growing easy and satisfying.

    Just my two cents.

    And thank you for reading the poem.

    Lady Nyo


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Margie, I just heard the news today about NC. I am so sorry, but so relieved that you and Roger are ok. But what a time of it! 48 hours is a long time without power, and surely you can save somethings in your fridge?

    Thankfully you are alright, but this is scary to hear, and scarier to live through.

    Bless you and Roger.



  5. Margie Says:

    Thanks Jane, for your caring. We are extremely lucky. Things may not be as dire as originally thought. The freezer is fine, everything still frozen solid. I only threw out the milk, cream and a few containers of leftovers that felt warmish and I didn’t want to take a chance. I kept all the pickles, ketchup and such, so all in all not too bad. Things are getting back to normal now.

    Regarding the roses, I never knew the difference between the English and French roses. I usually try for the fragrance – I love the spicy, clovelike scents rather than the overly sweet. Yours are beautiful, however. Encourages me to buy a few this spring!


  6. ladynyo Says:

    any musk rose, like the Carriere, will give you that spicy scent.

    Also, so many of the modern hybrids have the fragrance bred out of them. I guess they are going for disease resistance, and something in the genes changes.

    Other musk roses that are wonderful are: Ballerina, Penelope, Buff Beauy are some. Since the musk rose derives from (0ne of the parents, of three) the Noisette rose, they have paler foilage, but greater disease resistance.

    When I was in England, I was knocked over by the roses! They were HUGE, great big saucers of bloom, and the colors were wonderful….but rather pale, which suits me fine. I like the more pastel roses, but a deep red is lovely. Every front yard, garden had a rose bed, and these were free standing roses, not generally underplanted with other plants to disguise the leggy stems at the bottom. I think that is important in a bed: Roses need air, and lack of circulation creates stagnation and disease. Perhaps our prevalence of black spot and mildew comes from this. So, I tend to buy the grandifloras and space them far apart. The peonies are the usual ‘bottom planters’ for me, but then again, I don’t have many. I find peonies harder to grow and cultivate than roses by far. I like tall roses, like Queen Elizabeth, Tiffany, etc…and they are mostly pinks, but the Heritage, which is almost thornless, and a large bush once it gets established, is beautiful. Of course, these are all variations of pink, and I love a buff or white rose, too. I haven’t found many whites that are worth the effort, though. They get black spot fast around here.

    And about black spot? For cabbage worms and black spot I mix up water and baking soda and spray three times a week, especially after it rains and the plants dry. I don’t use chemicals and though black spot can be a problem, hopefully this water/soda mixture takes the bite out of the disease. Mildew comes when you don’t have enough circulation, so plant at least 3=4 feet apart…or more if possible.

    Also, climbing roses can be a problem because we have just so many trellises, walls, structures, etc. to give them support. I like to plant a climber, rambler next to a tree and have it fill up the tree. Also, you can train a climber flat against a house, but this is labor intensive.

    I am a lazy gardener.



  7. brian Says:

    nice will o wisp of a lover…and juiciness of loins…yep its spring…smiles. nice one shot


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Thank youuuuuuu, Brian…

    Spring is here,
    the grass is riz,
    I wonder where
    dem flowers is?

    —–old rhyme

    Thanks for reading and leaving a comment, Brian!

    Lady Nyo


  9. marousia Says:

    You have a gorgeous garden – enjoyed your poem very much


  10. Steve E Says:

    Hey, I was coasting happily right along , and then–and then…OMG, “juiciness of loins, and you’re not talking about a fancy dinner here–???OMG, here I go getting into REAL trouble.
    Please just accept my apology, AND my congratulations on a really good One Shot.

    Also I have some ‘roses’ experiences, but never had to use block and tackle. Good JOB!


  11. Belinda Says:

    Each line is so beautiful. Love the ending.


  12. Jannie Funster Says:

    Oh no, the poor beaver dam, I like those. Saw a documentary once on them, quite the pieces of architecture, and so cozy for the cute little inhabitants within.

    Glad the rose bush got shored up again. Sounds like you love it, and vice versa.


  13. ayala Says:

    Nice on shot…lovely!


  14. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Ayala.

    Lady Nyo


  15. ladynyo Says:

    Yep, beaver dams are neat architecture. And the rose bush is back in place, sans a lot of roses.

    Thanks for reading….

    Lady Nyo


  16. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Belinda. This is a poem that is one of my favorites….short, but compelling to me.

    Thank you for reading and your comment.

    Lady Nyo


  17. ladynyo Says:

    steve….LOL! Well, I USED to be a writer of erotica, but it sneaks back in once in a while…

    No apologies needed, friend.

    Roses are a lot of pain, fun and beauty. It depends upon the morning.

    Thank you for reading and your funny comment. Gave me a laugh, sorely needed this morning with a headache.

    Lady Nyo


  18. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, dear marousia!

    the garden is budding out, with roses doing well, mostly, and cabbage worms doing even better. If the rain holds off today, I’m broadcasting perennial wildflower seed in a corner when the earth has been scored and raked clean…behind a birdbath, as an invitation to butterflies and bees. I’m going to write a blog entry on the dire situation with the honey bee soon, it’s really devastating what is happening to their colonies…and of course they are the prime fertilizers for most of our domestic crops. When the bees die off, we can expect famine to follow.

    Thank you for reading and leaving a comment and commenting on the poem!

    Lady Nyo


  19. Steve E Says:

    Seems like I’m a professional “apologizer”…however, SO MUCH has happened in my little part of the world in the past 24 hours, I plumb, COMPLETELY forgot I was here enjoying your blog, only a few short hours ago.

    Maybe I AM getting “Alzheimer’s”, like my wife says: “Why can’t YOU remember where you put your passport??????? Hmmmm?”


  20. Vinay Says:

    a beautiful garden, and a beautiful spring poem 🙂 i enjoyed your one shot!

    My Post Is Here


  21. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Vinay.

    The garden should get better with more rain, and we can always hope. Water is too expensive here to slosh around.

    Thank you for reading this short poem….It’s one of my favorite.

    Lady Nyo


  22. Steve Isaak Says:

    I haven’t been reading much beyond the loads of “absolutely necessary” stuff lately, so I thought I’d pop in for a sec – love this poem, am planning to start reading White Cranes early next month (am reading research books so I can publish in a few dark-themed anthologies).

    Hoping spring, running rampant (judging from your posts) is being kind to you. =)


  23. ladynyo Says:

    Hey Steve!
    Was thinking about you just today…wondered what you were up to, but knowing you, it would be something intense, productive and hopefully lucrative!

    Spring is kind, except for the pollen. Dogs and I are suffering down here! Dog with chronic bronchitis and me closely following there. LOL!

    You know what? I have now published three books (I know you know this….hehe) and I really haven’t until yesterday, sat down and gone through “White Cranes” just to read for pleasure. I got to page 50 and had to stop. I was overwhelmed with the poetry, the tones, the imagery, and I would recommend anyone attempting to do this to NOT try to read it all in one sweep. I took my time, and really thought about each poem I read. This made the poems really spark for me. I thought perhaps they would all seem ‘the same’, but they didn’t. I’m not sure that the paintings made a difference, they might work as ‘stops’, rests, or perhaps refocuses?

    We write, and we rush through to publishing, not really savoring what we have done. I think this was a good thing, to take it slowly and taste each poem…even to read it out loud. I learned something here, actually a couple of things. Each poem must have some merit, or it shouldn’t be included in these books….but each poem is very different, or generally should be. It’s not just a matter of theme, but something else, perhaps something intangible? I don’t know, but I saw the poems in a very different way yesterday, and it moved me deeply.

    We poets struggle so hard, to make our words, our thoughts concrete, without losing the poetic quality that we know will carry them ….or not. Actually, finding that poetic quality, what it means, is really the battle. The words are vehicles for that perhaps and little else? I don’t know, but yesterday I knew I was on a right track…but far to go in the future.

    Well, take cheer, my dear friend. Being a poet can look like the pits, but we have an inside track on something! What I’m not sure, but it’s something.



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