Saturday, October 05, 2013

All roses up in here

I waited a day too long to pillage more roses from the garden.

The purple one is another freebie out of our garden, but here it is already a bit faded and turning brown on the edges. It only lasted a day in the vase before it dropped all its petals. John and I can't quite put our finger on the scent: air freshener? Hospital hand soap?

This one is one of John's purchases for the slope: Friesinger Morgenröte, I think (=sunrise). It is a beautiful color, but John and I disagree as to which is the better rose, his or the pink one above. I can't tell that it has much smell to it (maybe it, too, was picked too late), but John reports that it is supposed to have a slightly peach-like scent to it.

The garden came with another type of rose, as well. In German they are called Beetrosen (=(flower) bed roses), but I guess in English they are referred to as being "bushy". They put out clusters of itty-bitty roses. I like them because they seem very old fashioned, but John is not impressed.

Last but not least, we have the climbing roses that actually grow up the street side of the house.

Unfortunately, they seem to have some rust or something growing on them. John was advised by a neighbor (who used to be a professional gardener, I believe) that they needed to be cut way back last fall, but John was loathe to at the time. Watching them over the last year, and having a little more experience in the garden, he's realized that even if cutting them back kills them, they can be replaced. And if it doesn't kill them, they'll grow back quickly. So we picked up some reading on how to trim the various kinds of rose bushes, and I guess we'll be whacking away at them in a few weeks.

--Nee in Germany loves her rose pruning gloves--look, Ma, no pokes!

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Gotta get outside

If I spend too much time indoors working (like this week, finishing up a big translating job), I start getting antsy. Getting outside, even if just for 10 minutes, really helps me stay even. Luckily, our laundry room is situated such that you have to go out the back door to get to it. So if I run a load or two during the day, I have a ready made excuse to step outside for a bit.

Sometimes I putter around out back, fiddling with my potted plants or pulling grass and dead plants up from various cracks. At this time of year, though, there is one main task: cleaning up after the giant horse chestnut tree behind our house.

Pretty, isn't it? It provides nice shade up there if you want to take a break and sit on the bench behind it, but it also throws shade on our garden (see the grass John planted to the left?). And it drops friggin' chestnuts everywhere. The loud "thunk" of them hitting is very distracting (and a bit unnerving at night).

This is the view after I had already swept and shoveled the terrace completely clean last week. This is probably 1-2 buckets worth of horse chestnuts. They are actually quite pretty, but inedible, so I set some aside to use in fall decorations, but I haven't come across or been able to think of anything good to do with them. I finally just piled some in decorative bowls and put them out in the vacation apartment we rent out. If nothing else, they are supposed to drive spiders away.

--Nee in Germany has got your conker!

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

No promises

Rather than go on and on about the blogging or the lack of blogging (boring!), I'm just going to jump right in.

But anaways, when we bought the house and garden and half the hillside beyond the house, we also ended up with a bunch of plants. I'll probably put up some pictures later of the mystery plants from the spring, but here is a photo of one of the types of roses we inherited.

I haven't been able to get up into the garden as much as I would like lately, and it occurred to me that there won't be many more roses to enjoy this fall, so I brought this one inside to put on my desk. Not only is it beautiful, with its ruffled petals and interesting color of yellow blending to striated pink on the edges, but it has a lovely strong smell. I'm outing myself as being totally déclassé here, but the scent is that of the Barbie perfume maker of my youth. (Can't remember if that belonged to Kee alone or if it was a shared toy.)

Now if only roses would cure sore throats. John has been coughing and Hannah sneezing/stuffy for the last few days, but I had managed to dodge the worst of it until I woke up with a sore throat this morning. Not so bad that I had to go back to bed, but still making it hard to concentrate on work, especially since I keep getting up to make more hot drinks. Oh, well, I bet ginger lemon tea will totally cure it this time!

--Nee in Germany has a legitimate business-related use for those Muppets on her desk, I'm sure