Sunday, August 21, 2011

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

It’s been ages since I post an entry on Thorny Issues. For most people, summertime is a time for kicking back and relaxing. My summer has been filled with working in my gardens most days. The amount of energy and time spent weeding, watering, edging, and mulching felt equal to Hercules’ cleaning of the Augean stables. On many a day this summer, I was wetter than the roses when I was done watering and it wasn’t from the hose.

I recently read a book, Live Life Aggressively, by Mike Mahler, a kettlebell trainer par excellence. One chapter, in particular, hit me- “Doing What You Love is Hard Work.” He talks about the process going from amateur to professional. When I started growing roses, it was all so much fun. I often joke that Der Rosenmeister Nursery is the result of a hobby run amok. But in truth, it is more the result of lots of hard work, following my passion for roses by reading everything I can, growing more varieties, old and new every year, constantly experimenting and ultimately sharing what I’ve learned with others. The work is not always fun, but it is almost always gratifying and fulfilling.

  • What give me satisfaction and joy now?
  • Tracking down old varieties that I’ve only read about
  • Seeing a rose bloom that I’ve never grown before
  • Propagating old varieties not commonly found in the trade
  • Watching someone get excited about her first rose
  • Watching a seasoned veteran get equally excited when I can offer them something they’ve been seeking
  • Looking at what I’ve accomplished at the end of a day
  • Planning new beds and new ways of displaying roses
  • Watching the faces and listening to the comments of visitors to the nursery during high rose tide
  • Taking time to smell the roses

There are two weeks left to summer for me, as I return to teaching on the Tuesday after Labor Day. This is a great time to plant roses- they will establish good root systems this fall and be ready to bloom their heads off this coming spring. We still have some gems available for sale. Please, come visit me at Der Rosenmeister, 190 Seven Mile Drive, Ithaca, NY 14850. If that’s not possible, take time to smell the roses in your garden.

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