I Beg Your Pardon, I Never Promised You A Rose Garden…

Hello gentle reader,

I don’t even know how to begin describing the past couple of weeks – renaming my little patch from “Three Pea Homestead” to “Chaos Homestead” might be a start. The renovations are coming along, more slowly than the men folk had wanted, but that’s how it goes with renovations (I just keep thanking them and mentioning what a lovely home we’ll have when it’s all said and done); when they aren’t hanging sheet rock, installing French drains, etc. I have my very handy men prepping pathways and new planting beds for me. Which, as you will see, are sorely needed.

I know it’s technically still winter, but spring fever is in full force locally. It was in the mid-eighties (FO) here on Wednesday so Dad and I took a day off of the DIYing and took a field trip out to Tyler, Texas. For those that don’t know, Tyler is famed for its rose nurseries and is a key player in the rose industry in the United States. We visited Chamblee’s Nursery and had that “eyes bigger than your stomach” experience that you have at a buffet – needless to say, we both now have far too many roses to plant before the heat sets in.

Along with some

Cinco de Mayo

The Fairy

Nearly Wild



Lady Banks

roses I wintered over, I now also have

Apricot Drift

Coral Drift

Peach Drift

Don Juan


Koko Loko

Pat Austin

Prairie Sunset

Mountain Music

And then there are the ones that I’ve already got growing —

Climbing Pinkie

more Cinco de Mayo and

Rainbow Knockout

I’m sure if I dug around, I’d find a couple of other varieties that got lost in the shuffle. And one of my plant swapping friends is giving me a

Martha Gonzalez

There are a number of other nurseries in the area (including Bob Wells – who I like to get fruit and nut trees from). At some point we’ll have to make a weekend trip and find all the little hidden gems East Texas has to offer; perhaps we’ll even venture as far east as Shreveport, Louisiana to visit the American Rose Society Gardens.

The next day I fell even further off of the “no plant buying” wagon and got a few flats of annuals to brighten things up a bit. All this is before I’ve placed my mail orders and gone to my plant swaps. It might be time for an intervention, what do you think?

In and amongst it all, I managed to start readying the garden beds for transplants (the good thing about weeds is that most of them make great chicken and rabbit food — free feed rocks!); running around frantically looking for my copy if Carrots Love Tomatoes to make sure that I can plant beans with my onions (which, by the way, is a no-no). This weekend I plan to start bumping the hundreds of beautiful tomato and other plants in the greenhouse up to 4 inch pots – oh, and I mustn’t forget to get all those plants I bought in the ground. Plus I want to spruce up some of my terra cotta pots and bring a bit more color to the hardscape aspects of the garden. So, if you don’t see my for a while no need to send out the virtual search party, I’m just outside working through this to do list. I’ll be back, it may not be until the temps hit triple digits, but I promise I’ll be back.

To put another twist to our tag line de jour, I’ve recently come across a number of articles about the mental health benefits of gardening. If you’re like me you love picking up a handful friable soil or well-developed compost and inhaling deeply, perhaps you even feel a natural high when you do so? Turns out that, as reported in The Atlantic, “M. vaccae, a living creature that resides in your backyard compost pile, acts like a mind-altering drug once it enters the human body, functioning like antidepressant pills to boost your mood”.  NPR’s food blog also broached the topic. If you’re so inclined,  The Journal of Horticultural Therapy offers a scholarly take on this topic. And after a long day’s toil in the soil I recommend spending the evening with the fur family for even more mental warm and fuzzies— which I’m off to do. Adieu!

4 responses to “I Beg Your Pardon, I Never Promised You A Rose Garden…

  1. Dangit, I just remembered that I have to pull our taxes together as well!!!

  2. So glad you had a great time in Tyler! I’m drooling over all the roses you got. I hope your renovations go well, and fast! It will be soooo exciting when they’re done and you can enjoy those new pathways and planting beds!

  3. What are your favorite mail order catalog companies? I remember seeing all my grandfather’s catalogs over the years and I miss them. Guess it is time to find some of my own to get.

  4. Hi Cairn, nice to see you. You’ll find a list of my favorite mail order companies in one of my first posts:
    If you’re looking for something specific, just let me know (you never know, you might be picking a post topic!)