Thursday, July 21, 2011

Only Mad Dogs and Englishmen

...go out in the mid-day sun, according to Noel Coward.

It's 32 Celsius in the shade today and expected to be this hot for the next several days. The word "sultry" comes to mind. It's a steamy, clothes-clinging, thirst-quenching, wish-I-had-a-pool kind of day, but I suffer through it. I sit on the floor of  the cedar forest, mosquito repellent, suntan lotion, water, and a bundle of large green garbage bags scattered around me. I'm scooping up decades worth of cedar droppings. So far, the garden has taken 36 green garbage bags filled with this natural cedar mulch. By my reckoning another 20 will do it.

This is natural cedar mulch, the real McCoy, not the cedar bark chips gardeners pay a fortune for in the nurseries. And it's not that awful stuff that's been dyed a bright unnatural salmon-red color ... the color that clashes terribly with most flowers when it's not making those flowers invisible. Nope. This is the good stuff and a wonderful gift from nature. Natural. 

Mulch. Gotta love it. 

Trees and Meditation

The forest offers so much more than mulch. It lifts ones' spirits. We think better. Things become clearer. Things that don't matter, no longer matter. A betrayal that once ripped at the soul no longer hurts.  We breathe in life, eliminating all that's negative, to simply enjoy the good and positive things this short moment on earth has to offer, to accept change gracefully and move on. I'm so grateful for this forest and the mystical energy within.

We don't spend enough time with ourselves in our fast-paced existences, time to smell the roses, to walk in the country or to enjoy the beauty that surrounds us. And those moments alone in nature, thinking, meditating, asking for guidance in prayers to loved ones who have passed and then getting those answers are so freeing. Surround yourself with people you love and who truly love you. Be happy in life. Embrace it and cherish it. I wish that for everyone.

It's all about the trees, apparently. According to a study conducted by the University of Illinois, led by Prof Frances Kuo, "Nature calms people and it also helps them rejuvenate."  And according to Tree Canada, "The psychological impact of trees on people’s moods, emotions and enjoyment of their surroundings may in fact be one of the greatest benefits urban forests provide."

I also read some research about oxygen effects of plant life. The closer one is to nature, the cleaner the air, the purer the oxygen levels and the better one feels. So get out there, readers. Take that country walk, that hike through a conservation area, National Park, or botanic garden. Remove yourselves from the concrete jungle at least one day per week for a little rejuvenation and breathe in life.

Trees. Gotta love 'em.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Little Rose Rustling

A Mystery Rose: R. Roxburghii

A couple of years ago I was driving down our country lane and noticed a wild rose clamoring up a tree in a thicket, some canes ten feet or more in length. It appeared to be spreading by its roots. Since it was partly on someone's land and partly roadside I asked the farmer, if I might dig up a few "extensions" to see if they took. They didn't, the ground was rock hard and I wasn't able to get much in the way of root. But this year I took some cuttings ... hopeful.

I went through my ridiculously large collection of rose books, and searched online and it appears to be an undiscovered rose. Couldn't find anything that exactly matches this rose. It closely resembles Rosa roxburghii, but it has narrow/ish pointed leaves, seven to a leaflet. It blooms singularly and/or in clusters of two or three. The blooms are very double and a little shaggy, measuring approximately 1-1/2 inches in diameter, too small for a R. roxburghii. Its very sweet scent, bloom size and appearance reminds me of old roses, but it's not a traditional old rose. The stem is woody and reddish, two thorns just below the leaflets, which is actually typical of R. roxburghii. But it doesn't all fit. The leaf shape and the number of leaves per leaflet is wrong, although I understand not all R. roxburghii leaflets have seven leaves. They can have as many as fourteen.

It probably is a roxburghii type, but I'd love to know for certain.

Rose found in an Ontario, Canada location. Zone 5B

If anyone has any thoughts on this rose, I'd love to read your comments.

Update August 14th 2012,
I'm still interested in knowing the answer to this if anyone knows. 

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