Compass Rose

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Thankfully, in Southeast Texas roses seem to grow all year.

No matter what course I find myself navigating, whether it be in the valleys of Central Pennsylvania, the crabby shores of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, the salty air whipping around my Myrtle Beach condo’s balcony, or now while living on a sailboat along Galveston Bay in Texas, my love for roses continues to bloom. It would seem this obsession only grows the more I age and experience as does my desire to share their enchanting beauty and hope. Although I no longer have numerous rose bushes flourishing in a garden for my garden these days consist of containers on the cockpit of my sailboat, I still smile (border line drool) over photos of roses or rose catalogs. Through it all, I wander the aisles of garden nurseries or even the garden sections of Walmart, Home Depot, and the like dreaming of potential roses I could acquire and eventually share.

Relatively new to the liveaboard lifestyle, I find myself still making a way to enjoy roses for I purchased a “body bag” rose for just $6 recently. The Grandiflora known as ‘Arizona’ will be an experimental rose for me as she grows in Texas’ high heat and humidity partially shaded from the scorching sun by my sailboat’s bimini (awning type of structure over the cockpit).

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Full Sail, hybrid tea

In hindsight, perhaps I should have purchased ‘Full Sail’, a fragrant white rose with a nautical theme or ‘Ebb Tide’, a lovely purple rose.

Nevertheless, this new lifestyle and new gardening zone presents many new exciting challenges. While getting used to living aboard a small yacht and showering in a marina, our dock box is already full of not only fenders (bumper pads for your boat) and boat cleaning supplies, but potting soil, gardening gloves, and pruning shears as well. At first, my husband protested our boat being transformed into what could be appropriately labeled a “BOATanical” environment, but now he is getting on board even wanting to grow tomatoes on our boat. He is easily influenced. 😉

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Compass Rose design

 

Soon, we will officially change the name of our sailboat. Initially, I liked the name of ‘Sailvation’ to represent our faith in addition to sailing, but lately, I have been thinking ‘Boatanical’ or ‘Compass Rose’ (the navigational compass on nautical charts) are equally, if not more appealing.

Whichever name or destination we choose, it’s become crystal clear, I will always be rooted in a love for roses.

Florentina Transplated

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Florentina, a climbing Kordes rose. (photo credit unknown)

Since moving to the beach earlier this year, I purchased and planted 2 potted roses to decorate my barren balcony. How hard it was for me to surrender my splendid rose garden back in Pennsylvania! Ironically, my $5 Walmart special rose, known as Miranda Lambert, a hybrid tea, has bloomed beautifully over and over again; yet, my $40 mail ordered climbing rose, known as Florentina, hasn’t bloomed once! Go figure!

After fussing over her and trying numerous tactics imploring her to produce a rose bud, I finally decided to seek permission from the HOA to transplant her to a garden bed here in my condominium community. Thankfully, the Board graciously agreed to accommodate my rose plea. On one warm day last week (it is reaching the 60’s and low 70’s here in Myrtle Beach), I relocated Florentina from her pot to a sunny garden bed. I read online that the more petals a rose has, the more light it will need to flourish.  Although the morning sunlight was sufficient for Miranda, Florentina, my climbing rose, evidently has higher standards. Get it.. climbing rose..higher standards? 😉20171124_124223[1]Florentina has numerous petals (more so than Miranda Lambert) so I am hopeful she was producing blind shoots (canes with no buds) due to inadequate sunlight on my balcony. In the few days since transitioning her to new soil, she has produced numerous fresh leaflets. In time, I hope to finally see her reach her full potential by producing blooms of scarlet red…

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Florentina should produce blooms of scarlet ruffles. (photo credit unknown)

In the meantime, I will enjoy the ongoing blooms Miranda Lambert continues to bless me with.

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Miranda Lambert, a hybrid tea rose, produces fragrant petals of pink.

The Miranda Lambert Rose

In recent weeks, I stumbled across a Miranda Lambert rose found in a ‘body bag’ at Walmart. Body bags are gardening-slang terms for a bareroot rose found in those small bags sold at chain stores like Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. Sometimes you can get them for really great prices, but there’s a chance the rose isn’t healthy or is mislabeled. Regardless, I find they are difficult to resist especially when this particular rose was just $5! Thus far, she is doing well after I planted her in a large 20 gallon pot on my balcony. I recently moved to Myrtle Beach, SC and have a North facing balcony so my new plants only get 4-6 hours of early morning sunlight. It will be interesting to see how this rose performs with limited direct sunlight and under hot and humid conditions. Below are a few shots of her first bloom. I’m hopeful she will produce many more blooms…ML.partialsidemirandalambertroseupclosemirandalambertrose.side

A Rose For Your Balcony @ The Beach

downloadAfter relocating to Myrtle Beach from Pennsylvania in recent weeks, today I was finally afforded the opportunity to choose a rose for my new balcony.  It certainly was difficult surrendering my gorgeous rose garden in Pennsylvania, but I suppose a balcony at the beach will make up for such a loss! 😉 Because my balcony faces North and only gets direct morning sunlight verses seemingly endless hours of afternoon and evening sun, I needed to research roses that can handle some shade in addition to a very hot and humid climate. As if that wasn’t difficult enough, I needed a disease-resistant rose since I am figuring roses in a humid climate will be prone to black spot among other diseases. And, just for kicks and giggles, it would be a big bonus if it were fragrant too.  After some perusing through print and online catalogs, I finally decided to order a David Austin English rose known as ‘The Alnwick Rose’. This pink beauty has 120 petals and met all my requirements! I am hopeful it will perform well and thrive in my new  container garden on a balcony at the beach!

Here are more pictures of The Alnwick Rose:

New Life and Purrfect Opportunities

warmingkittenAfter the dormancy of winter, I welcome new life and new opportunities sprouting forth this Spring. The birds joyfully sing and the foliage of my roses burst into a song of their own. Spring has once more resurrected my garden and soul! Oh, what happy days!

While dumping potting soil into a new container one sunny and recent Spring day, I heard a distinct sound that differed from the usual twitters of my flying friends. I stopped tilling the soil to simply listen. As it’s frantic cries beckoned my curiosity, I discovered a rejected newborn kitten within the boundaries of my yard. One of the local and very pregnant alley cats frequently napped in my garden, but apparently on this particular day she moved a large piece of cardboard from our recycle bin area to make herself a temporary home to give birth in. For whatever reason, she opted to remove this tiny, gray, and fiesty kitten from her nest. Hoping this little guy had just wandered away, I waited from within my home watching to see if Momma Cat would retrieve her helpless kitten. As I anxiously peered out my window, storm clouds approached threatening to drown the abandoned newborn. The drops came fast and furious while Momma Cat still refused to rescue her kin. I had no choice but to make a dash to retrieve the frightened baby. I quickly bathed it and warmed it to my chest. A few hours later, Momma Cat began putting one kitten after another outside the nest rejecting all four of her litter. I read feral mother cats are more likely to become overwhelmed, stressed, and malnourished forfeiting their parental rights in order to simply survive. kittens.5daysNaturally, my husband and I rescued the crying kittens.

God surely has a sense of humor because just the other day I was wishing my tubes weren’t tied. Suddenly, I have quadruplets! To my surprise and delight, these precious babies require much of the same care a human infant requires: Feeding them every couple of hours or so, burping them, wiping their tooshies before and after feedings, and many loads of laundry. I am sleep deprived and exhausted just like any mom caring for her newborn. Nevertheless, I am grateful for this resurrection season of new life and new opportunities! It’s simply purrfect!