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growing . My Grandmother’s Roses


Happy Tuesday! I’m very excited this week about how my little garden is growing because the climbing roses are finally blooming! I’ve been watching for these small, light pink beauties, and I thought I would share some photos and a little of the story of growing them. My grandmother planted the climbing rose at our farmhouse probably sometime when my mother was young. It’s been blooming next to the fence behind the house and beside the road for as long as I can remember. Even when the house wasn’t in use and the fencerow overgrown, the rose still bloomed. And now, it has spread along much of the fencerow leading to the farmhouse — a testament to perseverance and a yearly joy and reminder of many good times at the farm.


Last year, we spent Memorial Day weekend at the farm, and my Mom and I dug up a few clumps of the rose and piled them into a couple of 5-gallon buckets. If it had thrived for years on the farm with no care at all, I was hoping that my questionable green thumb could make it work in my yard. We brought it home, but didn’t really have time to replant it right away. We combined the clumps into one big black plastic pot with drainage and sat it in a relatively sunny spot in the backyard. We eventually trimmed the longer vines, cut off some of the dead parts, added in some more soil, and let it go again. Only one or two green shoots survived, and I was pretty sure we would have to try again next year.


But, I was wrong! We checked on it through the summer and fall and the rose started putting on new growth. I had picked a spot beside the porch of our storage building that I thought would be nice for the climbing roses, so we moved the pot there to see how it would fair. It kept its green through temperatures in the teens this winter and started growing! We got a small trellis for it to climb and trained the new shoots toward the lattice. Mid-spring, the rose started to put on buds, and I’m excited to say they are in bloom now! I’m waiting until it finishes its blooming season, and we’ll actually put the rose in the ground with a new and larger trellis, hopefully to give it more room to continue climbing. It’s been very special to me to have something in my own garden that my grandmother had in hers for so long, and to enjoy success in this little gardening experiment. I’ll keep you posted on the rose’s next journey into soil and our progress expanding the trellis area. Meanwhile, enjoy some of these glimpses of the first blooms.

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