13 June 2010

Pretty in Pink

I've avoided steering this blog back to its stated focus, consciously equating covering up the two posts about losing my sister Sharon with having found, as they say, closure (and to them I say, good luck with that) or the notion that a recipe for roasted tomatoes makes for more worthy a topic. Losing my job, the fits and starts of what might come next, and the Canadian-type winter heaped upon my normally neat-as-a-pin (in contrast to my house) garden - my happy place, where roses bloom into January - did little to distract me from months of mourning for a relationship that only got harder to understand.

Today, 6.13, should have been Sharon's 58th birthday. What remains to me my most meaningful post details the events of this date two years past; last year also merited a mention. So with a tip of the hat to my very-missed Mommie for her oft-repeated observation that things come in threes, and in the spirit of the name Nesting Baltimore, it's truly time to spring this particular, familiar, a-little-too-comfortable cocoon of grief and regret. Yes, other topics will soon top this blog, but without diminishing Sharon's memory.

On Memorial Day (of a different sort), I ventured forth beyond city limits to Valley View Farms to find, I hoped, a no-kink hose in a colour I could tolerate, but what held my gaze was a pink version of what lay in a twisted mess at home. Skepticism about profits from breast cancer merchandise had previously kept my wallet snapped shut - well, that, and an extreme aversion to the usual chalky pepto bismol hue, but I got sucked in by this hose, the same blazing shade of my beloved, almost non-blackspotting Zephirine Drouhin antique Bourbon roses blooming literally by the hundreds at that moment in my garden on their thornless canes spanning more than 20 feet, the whole mass of which fell from my lattice fence in the aftermath of The Winter From Hell. The hose simply made me happy, so home it went.

Perfectly paired with a made-in-the-USA, all metal/no-fuss nozzle, half now snakes demurely around the shadier side of my symmetrical formal garden, the balance coiled neatly and non-kinked under exuberant Baltimore Belle. Sharon comes to mind every time I see and use it, rendering watering much less a chore and my garden an even cheerier place. After the carnage wrought by blizzards and beyond - climbing roses breaking while being re-lashed to the fence, damage to over 200 boxwoods and to me from wrestling violently-thorned rose bushes (I always say my roses are going to kill me and this year I almost was right), my garden thrives as never before - tomatoes setting fruit early, herbs bounding far beyond the borders, and roses - oh, the roses! An unprecedented month and a half in, and the big show's still not fully abated. Funny, but deep pinks Madame Issac Pereire and Rose de Rescht advanced early into second flush as if in harmony with ZD and that hottie of a hose.

This morning's downtown farmers market bursted with the beginning of summer's bounty, prompting a close-out of the flowers and herb plants that crowded tables for the first few fallow weeks. I spied six enormous Maverick Pink geraniums among a jumble of dollar-each pots, a bargain of which Sharon certainly would've approved. Exactly the colour of the new hose, I potted them up with forget-me-nots acquired last week awaiting their mission.