I took this photo of a miniature rose recently in the month of December. Roses grow all year long in the Houston, Texas area, but seem to thrive in the Fall, Winter, and Spring.
This week’s Torah portion is/was Behar, which means “On The Mountain”. While on Mount Sinai, Abba (Father) shared with Moses the need to let the land rest every 7 years and the consequences for the failure to do so manifested many years later. The concept of resting every 7 days and every 7 years is prophetic of the future Messianic era when Yeshua reigns…It also reveals to us that we can rest knowing Abba will provide for us on the 7th day and in the 7th year. #torahportion #shemitah #sabbath
Although the date on our Gregorian calendar will be different each year, at sunset on Friday, April 5th, 2019, also known as Nisan 1 or Abib 1 in the Hebrew calendar, the New Year has officially sprung! According to the Bible, the Biblical New Year begins in Spring. Makes sense considering all the new life blossoming in Spring.
Exodus 12:2 “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.” (NKJV)
Scripture then goes on to describe the events of Passover and the Hebrews/Israelites miraculous exodus from Egypt by crossing the Red Sea (see Exodus 12-14).
Deuteronomy 16:1 “Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover to the LORD your God, for in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night.” (NKJV) See Exodus 13:3-4 also.
With fair winds and sunny skies, my roses are ever-blooming creating quite the “BOATanical” experience. As liveaboards choosing to live full-time on our sailboat, we wanted to live “tiny” on the water. However, anyone who has followed my blog, knows I adore roses so naturally, I had to acquire a few since relocating to Texas – boat or no boat. ‘Full Sail’, a Hybrid Tea, consistently produces large and incredibly fragrant white blooms and she barely has any prickles (thorns) and is snugly positioned at the bow of our sailboat thanks to some creative uses of bungee chords. After owning numerous roses over the years, I must say, ‘Full Sail’ has gotten my full attention as she blows me away with her healthy, abundant, and delightfully fragrant blooms that fill our salon with scents of honeysuckle or citrus.
Another charming rose I’ve recently acquired is ‘Arizona’, a Grandiflora. She was a “body bag” rose I purchased on the cheap from Walmart. Although ‘Arizona’ has recently started producing a lovely show of orange blooms with edges of pink, her leaves have succumbed to powdery mildew. I suspect because she was originally positioned in a container under my bimini (awning shading the cockpit of the boat), perhaps she didn’t get enough sunlight and air circulation, which seems surprising consider how much wind reaches even in that somewhat sheltered area. Most likely, since it is shaded from some of the sun, ‘Arizona’ probably could not shake the mildew built up for the rays of the sun normally dry any moisture gathering on the leaves. One thing I’ve learned is gardening on a boat presents it’s various challenges, but it is possible and I welcome the challenge. Of course, I may be singing a different tune once faced with the Houston area’s extreme heat and humidity with little wind come the summer months (or so I’m told). This bright colored Grandiflora now is perched in a container on the deck of the boat embracing much sunshine and breezy days. Overall, I’m confident ‘Arizona’, a very prickly. but evidently a delicate rose, will bounce back after some organic treatment of baking soda and water. To learn how to treat powdery mildew, check out a previous post here. While I usually also like to use neem oil, I could not find it in the stores here till most recently so I tried rosemary essential oil instead, which was something I had on hand. The rosemary oil did effectively kill the rapidly growing fungus, as my online research foretold, but seemed to also burn the leaves even more than neem oil can. I probably failed to dilute the essential oil enough with water in addition to experiencing a plethora of sunshine after applying the treatment. Organic treatment using neem oil and evidently rosemary oil can burn the leaves on particularly sunny days – it’s best to treat the leaves on cloudy, low heat days, or so I was reminded in this BOATanical lesson. Thankfully, roses usually are most forgiving and she seems to be producing more dark green foliage once again. Moreover, I love the way ‘Arizona’ glows against the blue boom (the device attached to the mast that contains the main sail when not in use).
Overall, I am not surprisingly thoroughly enjoying this ever-blooming “BOATanical” garden and look forward to many more blooms and challenges. As I scribe this post, my husband and I have relocated the roses to shelter them on the floor of our cockpit since the winds are gusting at around 35 mph tonight. It’s always interesting dwelling on a boat – especially with roses! 😉 Follow along our Ever-Blooming Roses blog and Facebook page to learn more about our developing boatanical garden.
For the first time since being here in Texas, my husband and I traveled to a nearby nursery known as Congo Nursery located in Pasadena, Texas, which is along the Gulf Coast area. The marina my husband and I live at as “liveaboards” on our sailboat generously bestowed us a garden bed to appease my delight in roses. Upon pulling up to this urban nursery just a bit southeast of the Houston area, we were astonished at how many roses this retailer packed in their corner store lot. We have never seen so many roses for sale at any nursery prior to this! To see last year’s list of roses they sold click here –>Roses List. It appeared all of these were present this year as well. Furthermore, all of the 5 gallon rose bushes on display were superbly cared for and healthy. Most of these spectacular roses were in full bloom as they dazzled onlookers bewildered eyes! I thought I must have died and gone to rose heaven! Texas just keeps getting better and better. 🙂
I intentionally wanted to inspect the hybrid tea known as ‘Full Sail’, a very fluffy, or perhaps I should say ‘luffing’ (a sailing term), white rose with delicious honeysuckle fragrance. After all, I do live on a sailboat. I thought this could be the perfect rose to fill the marina garden bed entrusted to us. Upon locating ‘Full Sail’ in the sea of roses, I was more than impressed by her incredibly large and magnificent blooms. I do believe her blooms were even larger than the famous ‘Peace’ rose, which also produces gorgeous petals, but little to no fragrance. After perusing the plethora of stunning roses in various colors and varieties, we purchased ‘Full Sail’ and headed back to the marina.
While digging in the garden bed though, we discovered it was plagued with large, thick tree roots, which caused us to forgo planting our newly adopted rose bush for fear it could not compete with such conditions. Naturally, the only other solution was to go to Home Depot to purchase a large pot so ‘Full Sail’ could thrive nicely on the bow of the boat! 😉 Now when I open the hatch of the V-berth (within the bow of the boat), I get whiffs of honeysuckle! We used a couple of bungee chords to keep her secure on the bow.
Due to thinking I had some space in a garden bed to plant roses combined with the struggle of resisting roses in general, I had previously purchased two other roses, all of which are dwelling on our sailboat! LOL In addtion to ‘Full Sail’, the largest of the four, yes four total roses, plus a few succulents, a tomato plant, and sweet pepper plant, our sailboat is quite the ‘BOATanical’ experience! When living aboard a boat, you have quite a bit of packing away things before they slosh around in your boat while out sailing, so the plants will have to hang out on the pier whenever we want to go for a sail. Overall, I am overjoyed in this life of tiny living on the water, rocked by the gentle waves, surrounded by wildlife and now roses too!
Here are some photos of the magnificent beauties @ Congo Nursery for your viewing pleasure. If you are in the Houston area, do yourself a favor and visit Congo Nursery. They also have good deals on veggies, fruit trees, and loads of interesting hanging plants too!