The Beauty of a Rose


This year has been without a doubt the most abundant and luxurious year for roses I’ve seen in my many years here in Northern California! I can only surmise it has something to do with the late unexpected rains, a gift from the gods for our drought-stricken state. What a bounty! “An embarrassment of riches,” one might say. My experience has been one of catching my breath upon entering the garden each morning, just overwhelmingly stunned by that much beauty all in one place, where before, not that long ago, there were bare branches stock still in hibernation. So I would close my eyes, breath, and allow all that beauty to permeate my being, my day, my life in deeply satisfying gratitude. Lucky me. Please allow me to share the wealth!

“Won’t you come into my garden? I would like my roses to see you.” ~ Richard Brinsley Sheridan

The rose arbor, planted many decades ago, has always been a source of great inspiration to me, but this year it was over the top. Roses hung at eye level, emitting the sweetest fragrance you can imagine. Mon Dieu!


And the 4th of July roses were bursting with growth! I was amazed at how many roses that single bush gave birth to! Here’s a bird’s eye view of some of them.



And I include this one as I love the movement of the petals between these flowers.


“A rose is a rose is a rose.” ~Gertrude Stein

Honestly, I rarely know what cultivar a rose is. If people ask I say, “Um, old. Heritage? I call that one my Pepto Pink.”

“pepto pink”

I know it’s disgraceful, but I don’t think the roses care. And, besides, there is a bit of a story with the Pepto Pinks. I planted them just outside the laundry room window, as the laundry room, which is clean and bright, doubles as a refuge for my kitty, Coco. And, before, served as same for Sweet Pea and Luna, before they left for heaven. There’s a kennel with a cozy blanket on top pushed up against the window, so in spring, when it’s warm enough to open said window, the kitties (who are indoor kitties only) have enjoyed the garden from a safe perch, so I was very pleased when the peptos, which I purchased blindly as a bare root creature, turned out to be a nice view for my lovelies. Here’s how it looks from the outside.

kitty view

On rare occasions I have reason to learn the name, and sometimes even the history of a particular rose, if it catches my attention on a deeper level. What triggers this is random, believe me. I learned all about Dr. Huey roses once upon a time. [Put Dr. Huey in my search window, if you are interested.] This year they have been wilder than my wildest dreams. I have five bushes now. This is what they look like. I have a special fondness for them as they are used almost exclusively as root stock, hiding their beauty. However, they are so strong, whatever was planted on top of them usually succumbs first, and Dr. Huey emerges triumphant. Hahaha. 😉


Then these happened…




One morning I went out and found this little guy asleep in this prettiness. He stayed for two days and then flew away. Really.


And then I recently learned about Cecile Brunner roses as this one got rescued and I got curious. It had been living (not well) under an overgrown plum tree that was removed during winter. What a relief, it said! It’s coming back now in the sun, with some loving attention from me.


Out front I planted another bare root rose, a climber, on a trellis, and here was its first offering, just after a morning rain.


Adding to the sum of this amazing display are the orphan roses I rescued ages ago on a reject table at a big box store, which are (and I know this!) Meidiland roses, which I love. I’m slowly transplanting them into bigger containers as I have discovered they like spreading out!





Isn’t that spectacular?? Thank you so much for your visit. It means a lot to me as this whole spring I’ve been longing to share these treasures with more folks, and fortunately, there is this blog.

Love and rosey blessings,
Kathryn xoxox

Book News: Many thanks to those who met me in person at Copperfield’s Books in San Rafael last weekend! Please watch for an excerpt from Plant Whatever Brings You Joy in GreenPrints in June. GreenPrints is published in NC by Pat Stone, former longtime gardening editor of Mother Earth News. And, God bless him, he’s making copies of Plant Whatever Brings You Joy available to his readers! His idea!! 🙂 xoxo

8 Responses to “The Beauty of a Rose”

  1. ohh, so pretty, mom! I can almost smell them. Love them all, but especially awed by the rain pic. Just a gorgeous offering and journey! Thanks for sharing.

    Love you,

  2. Hi, Antonia! Thanks for joining me this evening in my garden! Next best thing to having you here in person! Glad you enjoyed! Love, Mom xoxo

  3. I can’t believe what a collection of various Roses you have planted.

    And your photography is as great as your growing talent.
    What great thing to share! .
    Thanks for such an uplifting presentation.
    Love, betsy

  4. Beautiful, Kathryn!
    Thanks for sharing with us…. so lovely.

  5. Hi, Betsy! Thank you for your kind words! Roses seem to show up in my life in funny ways. Many are orphans! I was just offered an entire rose garden, but I had to resist. I’m glad you felt uplifted! Roses do that! Love, Kathryn xoxo

  6. Maloah, thanks, dear! Looking forward to giving you a tour before long! Kathryn xoxo

  7. Just beautiful !!

  8. Welcome, Gardening North Shore, and many thanks! In the heat of July it’s good to revisit May! Kathryn xoxo

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