Walk With Me

In a world consumed with valid concerns of this novel coronavirus and the consequent sadness of loss of life, I invite you to virtually walk with me in a field of roses to remind and encourage you to embrace life and each precious day we are given. These photos were taken at Hershey Gardens in Hershey, Pennsylvania several years ago. I hope you will take the time to “stop and smell the roses” even if they are only online.

‘Michaelangelo’
‘Mardi Gras’
‘Moondance’
‘Scentimental’
‘Melody Perfume’
‘Johann Strauss’

May you and yours be “ever-blooming”!

Dew in December

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.

Happy Biblical New Year

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.

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Ever-Blooming On A Boat

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.

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‘Full Sail’ blooms at the bow of our sailboat.

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.

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‘Arizona’, a Grandiflora rose.

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‘Arizona’, a Grandiflora rose.

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‘Arizona’, a Grandiflora rose.