Monday, July 4, 2011

The rose that would not die…

A few months back we watched our neighbor digging out this rose in her parking strip. She dug and dug and dug some more. She pulled and pulled and pulled some more. (I sound like Dr Suess). She gave up. Andrew thought about going to help her but he had just injured his back digging out our Camellia and was on doctors orders for light duty (it is dangerous being my husband).

Months have gone by and the rose stayed. She’s filled the hole with grass clippings. I thought roses were supposed to be fragile, and difficult? This rose has been abused and ignored…and is beautiful. Look at those big white flowers! Last summer another neighbor disappointed me by pulling out a huge volunteer Verbascum in her front yard. I watched it get bigger and bigger, knowing the day was coming when it would erupt in glorious candelabra bloom. And then I saw it lying limp in her weed pile.

Guess what…it’s back! (or another just like it in exactly the same place). Who will win this year? The Verbascum or the neighbor? This year it brought back-up, lots of it… Happy July 4th! Be safe out telling what crazy business the neighbors might be up to, besides pulling out plants ours seem to have a love of noise and bright flashes of light.


  1. I'm glad the rose survived. She's a beaut. I've got a yellow, fuzzy-leaved verbascum in my garden. God only knows where the seed came from. Although I'm not a fan of yellow in my garden I thought I'd keep it, for awhile anyway. I love the architecture of it. Happy 4th to you Loree.

  2. I love these stories of botanical perseverance. Go plants! On the flip side, it seems I am quite able to kill things I have no desire to kill. How does that work?

  3. You go, tenacious Verbascum, you! Those are such sad moments, especially when there's nothing we can do. Last year a neighbor tore out hundreds of 'Samabor' Geraniums...if I had known, I would have snatched them up without a second thought! Glad to see the Verbascum is not so easily vanquished!

  4. a friend's mother moved into a house with a great big prickly pear at the front gate. She decided to tear it out because such a plant was not, in her view, very welcoming & she did (tear it out). The effort was so much that she just sort of left a few of the paddles behind. OKay she left A LOT of them lying around, out by the gate, in the wake of her wheelbarrow, etc. There is now no place in her yard that does not have some prickly pear. When I admired it years later, she told me it is QUITE INVASIVE. & then I heard the story from her kids.

  5. gorgeous - I love your blog and have been "following" for months. Thanks for being who you are and sharing with the rest of us! :)

  6. Grace, not being a fan of Roses I have still really enjoyed this one, and I too am glad it's stuck around. And the Verbascum! One stared blooming today...I love it.

    chuck b, oh god, I know exactly what you mean. Similar in that I planted 4 Verbascum in my garden and none of them bloomed...yet the ones in the neighbors garden that are seen as weeds are blooming!

    scott, I met the new neighbor up the street last the house with a gazillion old Dragon Lilies...I took advantage of the moment to say "if you ever want to get rid of those..." love it when the opportunity arises.

    mb, love this story! Thank you for sharing it.

    jackieb, thank you for such a sweet comment!

  7. Isn't that always the way. The ones that nobody wants, is the one that seems to be more determined to win.

  8. That rose is quite lovely.
    mb love that story-the opuntia wasn't invasive-she spread it around!

  9. Where do these neighbors get off, banishing plants we would gladly take off their hands if given the opportunity? Some of the beauties that have disappeared from neighboring yards: huge yucca, a whole hosta garden, ceanothus hedge. Grrr


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