Sometime during the years that I gave my aging parents the daily in-home care that they needed to stay in their own home in their last years, my rose garden died. I had always wanted a rose garden, so as soon as I owned this home I planted over fifty rose bushes. It only took me a little while, because some days I planted two, three, even four rose bushes in florid enthusiasm. Soon I had a bounty of roses in all shapes, colors, and fragrances; tea roses and floribundas. My rose garden was such a pleasure. Rose gardens need consistent care against beetles and fungus, but as the years went along my parents took more and more of my time and strength. My rose garden died, leaving me with a thicket of thorny dead rose branches.
Now my parents have passed from life, and I am removing my dead rose bushes. Some of the roses grew taller than I am before they died, so I put on my elbow-length suede rose gardening gloves, slid in under the thorny dead rose branches, and clip them down. I am quite careful, but I still get some thorn pricks. My little wrens are distressed to see me clipping away their shelter. They are used to perching in the thorny rose thicket, to dart on and off my patio for the seed that I scatter there each day. It did not matter to them when the roses died, a thicket of thorny dead rose branches protected them as well as live roses. There is a sparrow hawk high in the sky above my yard that thinks removing the thicket of thorny dead rose branches is wonderful, all the better to spot my little wrens.
Now instead of roses, I have volunteer sorghum on my patio, from the seed that I scatter. Last year it was two tall stalks of volunteer corn. Bittersweet.
Caption: Sorghum Volunteer On My Patio In July
by Annmarie Throckmorton 2018