Revenge of the rose bush

Every year, for about a week, my garden and the whole neighbourhood is awash with the most glorious scent of hundreds of white roses which all come into bloom at the same time. An old rose bush which has grown relatively massive over the years is literally dripping with flowers. It is a sensory sensation which I, and the local bees, fully appreciate. This year I was faced with a dilemma. You see the rose bush has become so massive that it has taken over nearly 15% of my modest estate. It is the kind of rose bush that flowers in the second year on wood that it has made the previous year. So this year’s flowers are on last year’s growth. I wished to reduce the rose bush in volume to make room for my landscaping aspirations a’la Chelsea. I wished also to retain the olfactory extravaganza previously described. Sadly, I concluded that the former requirement must, this year, take priority over the later. That is why, following this year’s best ever flowering, the rose bush is now a stump with two tiny green shoots sticking out of it hopefully, pointing skywards. It’ll be back. I’m going to train it more assertively this time, no more rampant rambling allowed. Steel wires will be installed, ties will be tied, secateurs will be wielded. We’ll see. Next year’s perfumefest, I fear, may be cancelled whilst growth occurs. This years itchfest is, however, in full flood. You see, what I didn’t factor on was that the rose bush had some friends. Lots of them. Lots of little, flying bloodsucking friends possessed of salivary juices so noxious that nine days later my forearms have swollen to Popeye proportions. My belly button is reduced to a fraction of its former capacity and is surrounded by unspeakable angry inflamed horribleness. I’ll spare you the other locations but lets just say those little bastards got to places that very few have ever got to. I’m taking extra strong drugs, I’m trying to find ways of getting my whole head into the freezer to reduce the swelling, I’m slathering on calamine lotion, I’m beginning to appreciate that nature, is indeed wonderful in her defences of apparently helpless plants.

Leave a Reply