Why do I garden? you ask. Why do you breathe?, I ask in return.
For me, gardening is not just something I do, it's a way of life. It helps me find... PLEASURE in work, REWARD in toil, PATIENCE in a world of instant gratification, HEALING in times of pain, SUSTENANCE in times of need, BEAUTY in the ugliest of circumstances, STRUCTURE in things once torn down, STRENGTH in weakness, TIME in a rushed atmosphere, PEACE in a world of madness, TRUTH in study, HOPE in things that may seem insignificant at the time, LOVE in times of hate, LIFE in things once dead, FAITH in things yet unseen, and my CREATOR in all things.
I garden perennials, shrubs, trees, but mostly roses that are in someway hardy.
I define "hardy" in 2 ways: "cane hardy", or "bounce back hardy". "Cane hardy" to me means that at least 80% of the cane length suffers no die back and is able to sustain productive flowering growth in the season to come. "Bounce back hardy" on the other hand, to me means that although the rose canes may die to the ground each winter, they replace themselves quickly, early, and are floriferous in the growing season. I provide absolutely no protection for my roses, unless it is a small band, which when it goes dormant, I will then bury most of the plant if not all of it until spring and then repot it, let it grow for a mont or two, and then plant it in its' permanent home.
We have 5 months of winter, 6 weeks of spring, 6 weeks of fall, and 4 months of summer. I only grow roses that do well in Z5, which eliminates 95% of Hybrid Teas, of which I have lost interest in anyway... except for 'Dainty Bess' and 'La France' of course.
I like to photograph my garden at least weekly.
I love to help people learn more about roses, encourage them to grow them, and help them to enjoy growing them.
I enjoy looking for Old Roses when I'm traveling, rustling roses when possible, and to visit botanical and historical gardens.