A Boatanical Experience

CongoNursery

Congo Nursery, Pasadena, Texas

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. 🙂

FullSail

‘Full Sail’, a hybrid tea rose.

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.

FullSailonbow.jpg

‘Full Sail’ in her new home on the bow of our sailboat.

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!

 

Compass Rose

42374637_1853205101400630_5224941064065908736_o

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).

full sail

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. 😉

compass rose

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.

Pretty in Pink

Sweet Drift, by Knock Out Roses / Star Roses and Plants, has been an excellent disease-resistant performer for me here in Zone 6b of Central South Pennsylvania over the years. I have four of these beauties planted in a row. They just love to try to take over my walkway that runs parallel to them. Though they were alleged to be small ever-blooming shrubs, these clusters of abundant pink easily grow 3 – 4 ft high and about 2 – 3 ft wide if I let them. Oh, I don’t mind their eager growth though for they sweetly greet me every time I drift to and fro.

sweetdrift-cluster-oct2016-websig

sweetdrift-sep-25-2016-websig

Sweet Drift in all her shades of pink say farewell. {Sept 2016}

sweetdrift-cluster2-oct2016-websigsweetdrift-cluster3-oct2016-websig