Jerseygator's Blog


The Roses

Posted in Garden by jerseygator on September 1, 2009
Tags: ,

I’m changing the title of John Mellencamp’s song to “I fought the roses, and the roses won.”  Or maybe it’s the war of the roses.  I’ve just been out snipping off infected leaves of my roses and battling the thorns.  Due to our amazingly wet spring and summer, my roses have been infected with black spot fungus.  As I try to garden only organically, the first line of defense is cutting off any infected areas, plus a little more.  In addition, you cannot let the leaves drop to the ground, as the spores from the fungus will thrive in the ground; when it rains the spores splash up onto the leaves leading to more infection.  Well, it’s damn hard to cut and catch all the leaves without getting a myriad of scratches.  Did you know that one of the first people treated with penicillin was a constable in England who was scratched by a rose thorn on his cheek?  He went on to have a head covered with abscesses and one eye removed due to strep and staph infections from the rose.  Unfortunately, the penicillin did not work for him and he died.  (Incidentally, the next person who received the drug experimentally made a full recovery and lived to be 90.)  Thank God we have the meds we do, because these roses are trying to do me in.

Despite the fungus, the roses have been prolific in their blooms.  It’s getting ready for another spurt…there are little buds all over the denuded branches.  The plant does look better than it did when I first trimmed it, however; it looked seriously sad.  On a good note, it’s an absolutely beautiful evening for rose trimming.  Fall is my favorite time of year and South Jersey has decided to give us a glimpse of what it will look like, with a clear, bright and crisp day.  My daughter is enjoying the evening by reading in the hammock while I attack and get attacked in return.  Those short ribs are still simmering on the stove, so we’ll have our first cool-night dinner, and we have one Russian beer leftover from the Russian Orthodox church luncheon Saturday.  So I’m off for some Neosporin (thank you medical science!) and some comfort food.

(Musical background for this post is The Shins “Caring is Creepy” and “New Slang.”

Short ribs are cooking away for our first fall dinner

Short ribs are cooking away for our first fall dinner

McKenzie and Boo enjoying the fall air

McKenzie and Boo enjoying the fall air

The roses

The roses

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