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God gave us memories that we might have roses in December–J.M. Barrie
It’s a lovely sentiment, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, not all our memories come up roses (pace Ethel Merman):
And our memory gardens inevitably include thorns, thistles, poison ivy, and an abundance of other nasty weeds we encountered at some point in the horticultural year–start to finish–that has been our life.
Still, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Life–and reality–are what they are, and somehow we must cope with them.
This year, I’m manipulating the horticultural calendar in a tiny experiment. Two years ago, Mr. She and I had a small sunroom installed on the brick patio on the south side of the house. In the summer, it’s pleasantly cool, shaded by three maple trees we planted in 1986 to provide just that cover. In the winter, the tree limbs are bare, and the sunroom soaks up whatever heat is provided by the watery, wintery sun–even in this miserable winter climate, it’s regularly 80 degrees in there at least three days a week. When the temperature in the sunroom exceeds the temperature in the bedroom, I open the sliding door I installed this past summer between the two, and let the (free) heat in.
This year, I’ve brought some plants, in pots, into the sunroom, and am seeing how long I can keep them going. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring in any roses (note to self: next year!) But so far, and in spite of nighttime temperatures which have dipped, on several occasions into the high teens, some of them–in December–are still going strong:
In order, geranium and strawflower, fuchsia, and Vietnamese coriander. I’d not have expected any of these to have survived, other than in my memory of 2021, but here they (and some sage, parsley, thyme, and dill), still are!
Going to try–for the memories that remain for me–to keep the “roses” going as long as I can, and never mind the rest.
PS: It just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t include, somewhere in a post in which the word “horticulture” or its variants appear more than once, if I didn’t cite the best known quote on that particular subject. So, from the inimitable Dorothy Parker: “You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.”Published in