Yay! Summer has arrived!

Posted by Gail Gabrielson at 30 June 2011

Category: Memoir

Tags: ,

It only took a month and a half, but summer has finally arrived in the Red River Valley. It’s so warm that we actually have heat index warnings! How about that? From wind chill to heat index, we get it ALL.

I planted a new rose bush Tuesday night when HighGuy was gone. I waited until the sun went down a bit so I wouldn’t get sunburnt, so of course, the mosquitoes made up for my lack of ambition earlier in the evening. Ya can’t move slowly when you’re being chewed on by mosquitoes!

I dug up three rose plants that were volunteering from the roots. They weren’t blooming and weren’t going to bloom. Apparently the tea roses grafted onto the roots had died, so these plants were only going to send up one red rose. At least that’s what my brother told me, and he should know. He has several roses around his house, too. I filled a bag with quack grass, rose plants and weeds, and found a happy place in the middle of my excavations.

My rose bush was a bargain, too. HighGuy and I went to a major retailer and had to work hard to get into their greenhouse. We had to get a clerk to call the manager over to unlock the area! Hmm, I don’t think they were too ambitious about selling anything from the greenhouse. They did have a bunch of hanging planters out in front of the store that were going BOGO.

HighGuy and I did find a nice rose bush — it’s a tea rose that will have yellow blooms edged in pink. We carried it all the way back through the main part of the store to the checkout stand, along with some other items. (OK, it was chocolate.)

The kid behind the counter scanned the UPC code on the bush, and the price didn’t come up. He asked if we remembered the price, and we told him, “$9.99.” (That’s a good price!)  He looked up a code in a binder,  punched in the numbers and gave us the total. It was $2 cheaper than the bush! I thought the bush must be on sale, so I scanned my bank card, took the receipt, and headed out the door.

Yeah, the bush was on sale, all right. For 99 cents! Apparently the kid didn’t get the third nine punched in, so we got a rose bush for 99 cents! We bragged to Mom about our bargain, and she said that after all our waiting around and pestering a manager, we’d earned the sale price. I think the mark-up on plants is pretty extensive, and I suspect there’s a lot of shrinkage in stock. If something doesn’t sell after a certain time limit, it’s tossed.

This morning, I knew I’d better give my outdoor plants a slurp of water, so I stepped out onto the deck with my watering can. I was hit by the humidity as I opened the door. I gave both pots of impatiens a drink, and then went to the flower bed to water the new rose.  As I rounded the corner of the building, a little rabbit darted out and scampered to the car lot next door. My new rose was still standing, so I watered it generously.

After eating breakfast, I backed my car out of the garage, and took my scissors to the flower bed. I’ve been cutting roses each day to take with me to work. That same little rabbit darted out from the flower bed and took off for the house next door. I was glad I’d shut the car door — I wouldn’t have wanted the critter to take refuge in my car!

I thought for a moment about whether a rabbit would chew on rose bushes, and I don’t think he would. The thorns are the roses’ defense. And maybe they’re the defense for the rabbit and whoever he’s hiding from. Like me.

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