Friday, January 18, 2008

Everything's Coming Up Roses

It's the dirty little secret that Los Angelenos won't tell you. About the flowers. When, in other parts of the country everything has gone dormant for winter, the roses are blooming here. So you can imagine how it hurt today when I finally came to terms with the fact that it is January. Time to trim the garden.

Truth be told, the plants had become a little wild, even for my taste. I like my garden unkempt. It's fortunate that I feel that way as I am a somewhat lazy about trimming them. Not crazy about bringing the ol' pruners out, I'd rather let things grow a bit bushy before addressing them. But things had gone too far, even for my sense of decorum.

The big rose bush which had bent over sideways after the last rain, never straightened out. That meant that it was tangled in with my Privet, directly across the yard. Forming a barrier that nobody could cross... not me in pursuit of the water spout, not the dogs in search of the perfect place to - ahem - take care of matters.

The hedge roses were growing over and obstructing the patio, while the basil by the front door had become so bushy again that it entwined in my wind chimes and kept them from ringing, even in the high winds of two days ago.

My mint, dormant for the winter, looked long and scraggly and just awful. And my spices, which I actually do use directly out of my garden, are overgrown.

So with a reluctant heart, I picked up the pruning sheers, found a pair of leather gloves that were not so shrunken from repeated exposure to water and the rain that I couldn'tl get them on (think O.J.), and went to work.

The big rose bush went first. I had forgotten, but was soon reminded, that it has thorns of the most vicious kind. Ironic, since it is named "Peace Glow."

While I was carrying out the trimmings to the garbage dumpster, I impaled myself several times - drawing blood - and got quite the stare from one of my neighbors passing by in the opposite direction. "It bites!" I advised him. And he was careful.

The hedge roses were next. And soon they were nothin' but nubs in the ground.

And I started on the Privet, but soon realized that it is quite mature and the clippers were not going to do the trick. I need to get to Home Depot to buy a small garden saw.

Next was raking. The Privet drops leaves. A LOT of leaves. And so, in a patch of dirt no bigger than 10' x 10' and probably smaller, I took up two full garbage bags worth.

The garden is not complete at this point. I have decided to transplant my mint plant into the ground. I'm thinking that I might do the same with m spider plant, which is thriving and has terribly overgrown it's pot. I'll put some of the herbs, which have also outstripped the capacity of the pots they're in, into the bigger pots that will be vacated. And maybe, finally maybe, I'll plant some of the lettuce seed in the smaller pots that will be emptied.

My patio-garden looks so much bigger for the trimming, and the light coming into my living room is brighter. It's clean outside, and it smells better for the removal of decaying leaves.

But it's so sad to me too. The space has been benuded. Stripped bare. Is down to the foundation. Fortunately, spring is around the corner, and with it, renewed life.

1 comment:

Ang said...

i have such a bad thumb..it's not green..i manage to kill everything i try growing..

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