Quote of the Day: Roses in December

 

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.” 

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  1. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    How nice to have these memories of summer in the gray days of winter. It looks like your planning has paid off.

    As for Ethel Merman, I appreciate her energy and ability to entertain now, but as a younger person I found her voice to be a bit – “pitchy” for my taste.

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  2. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    No need for memories when it’s 78 degrees on December 2nd! We miss the changing of the fall foliage here in Texas (our red maple is still almost entirely green), but in exchange we keep the colorful blooms of our roses, lantana, hibiscus and whatever the yellow flowers are.

     

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  3. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    No need for memories when it’s 78 degrees on December 2nd! We miss the changing of the fall foliage here in Texas (our red maple is still almost entirely green), but in exchange we keep the colorful blooms of our roses, lantana, hibiscus and whatever the yellow flowers are.

    Oh, lovely.  Lantana is one of my favorites. Not sure what the yellow flowers are–they look like African daisies, but I tink the leaves (if those big leaves belong to those flowers) are wrong.

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  4. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    JoelB (View Comment):
    As for Ethel Merman, I appreciate her energy and ability to entertain now, but as a younger person I found her voice to be a bit – “pitchy” for my taste.

    Her voice is “unique” that’s for sure.

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  5. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Good post.

    You expressed so well this mix of feelings about life that we share or will soon.

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  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    She: Still, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Life–and reality–are what they are, and somehow we must cope with them.

    Indeed. When we embrace all of it, beauty and pain, we live most fully. Beautiful flowers, and Ethel always makes me smile.

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  7. Captain French Moderator
    Captain French
    @AlFrench

    Watch out for that Vietnamese coriander – rau ram. The Vietnamese monks are not allowed to eat it because it is reputed to be an aphrodisiac. In the mild climate of western Oregon, it is also a pest, but not likely so where you live.

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  8. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Captain French (View Comment):

    Watch out for that Vietnamese coriander – rau ram. The Vietnamese monks are not allowed to eat it because it is reputed to be an aphrodisiac.

    LOL.  Somehow they left that interesting bit of information off the descriptive tab attached to the flowerpot.

    In the mild climate of western Oregon, it is also a pest, but not likely so where you live.

    It’s a pretty plant, and smells lovely.  I don’t think it’ll spread here—probably won’t make it through the winter unless I cut it back and bring it in. I may try that at some point.

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  9. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    My husband and I saw Ethel Merman (1908 to 1984) in this part on Broadway. It remains one of our happiest memories. 

    As artists go, I’m not sure she qualifies as a brilliant solo voice. But she touched audiences in ways unique to her. 

    We just loved her. 

     

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  10. MoFarmer Coolidge
    MoFarmer
    @GaryBlake

    A couple of years ago we brought into our sunroom several potted flower and herb plants that had been on our patio for the season.  We put them amongst our many houseplants there and eventually we realized we had brought in more than plants.  Those little buggers like houseplants.  We didn’t lose any but we had to fight them off so keep an eye!

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