You Can Lead a Rose to Water

… but rose perfume is still gonna stink.

This morning’s watering trip to the rose garden was a lovely surprise, and reinforced my belief that watering properly is a Good Thing. Here ya go (to the right).  A picture is worth a thousand whiffs. When it comes to rose perfume, I’ll settle for the snapshot.

rose blooms at weird times in weird weather, smell weird

Lovely results of watering the heck out of the rose bush in front. Unfortunately, they probably  smell just like roses.

I’ve been giving the two rose bushes by the house a morning soak for over a month now. As a result the rose bush to the north is going nuts, putting out all sorts of new growth, running great stickery stems up the side of the house. It’s really looking pretty durn good.

A Rose by Any Other Scent Would Smell Just Fine

I do wish they’d breed a scentless rose, or one that smells like juniper or mint, or chocolate! Somehow I doubt that’s going to happen. But who knows. The sum total of what I know about roses is:

  • they’re pretty,
  • they flower at weird times,
  • they’ve got thorns,
  • they catch on my sleeves, and
  • perfume made from roses smells NOTHING like roses do in person.

My Take on Rose Perfume is that it’s Awful

At the risk of seeming un-American – a nod to the American Beauty – rose perfumes stink. You can’t get me in the same room with rose perfume or cologne or “attar,” whatever the heck that is. Putting me in the same room with rose scented stuff is not quite as bad as putting me in the same room with an open cantaloupe, but close. To me, rose perfume is the olfactory equivalent to fingernails on chalkboards.

Bottom Line – the Confessional

Ok, I confess. I’m one of those people who overreact to quite a few scents and tastes. Aside from the innocent bud under discussion, my eyes water and throat closes up if I get near chrysanthemums, marigolds, some poppies, tomato leaves (and guess what I started to grow FIRST in my brand new garden), peaches, apricots, rhubarb, hollyhock, and some forms of salt cedar.  Turns out I’m not the only one.  Check out this article on perfume allergies and sensitivities at

Oddly, I have no problem with garlic, onions, even peppers.

I should probably skip gardening and settle for an impact-free bubble. But gardening is so much fun!




Graduation to Garden Hoses

I have reached the point in my new gardener path where I’m using a garden hose. How weird does that sound? Well, it’s not, when you remember that I’ve only been gardening for a few months and 90% of that has been indoors. Garden hoses wouldn’t have done much good with no garden – and I don’t think it would have been wise to use a garden hose in my dining room.

garden hose resting between jobs

Don’t do this to your garden hose. Keep it coiled neatly.

My first impulse is to water the world. My second is to get some attachments like hand watering nozzles and a sprinkler, so that I’m not watering the world but watering what I aim for.

Garden Hoses versus Sprinkler Systems

Anyone can turn on a sprinkler system and go back inside while it does all the work – or set a system’s timers so that it does all the work without ever needing someone to tell it to get started. Just wander around once a week and make sure the dog hasn’t chewed through the wiring or the neighborhood ogre hasn’t snapped off any of the sprinkler heads.

But it takes true artistry and dedication (not to mention plenty of sunscreen and a good wide hat) to perform outdoor watering with a garden hose and a hand watering nozzle.

  • Don’t stand in one place too long or overwater a single spot while you get lost in your latest Kindle book.
  • Get some solid stakes, or those doodads that garden hoses will roll past instead of rolling over your plants, or some big rocks – and do this before you’ve uprooted half your garden by dragging a hose through it.
  • If it’s early morning, water the ground thoroughly and the leaves barely.
  • If it’s mid-morning, water only the ground, but keep the nozzle pointed away from the actual plant.
  • If it’s afternoon and overcast, mist the plants in a sweeping pattern but don’t put too much water on the leaves.
  • If it’s evening, avoid letting water land on the leaves or they may develop a rot or fungus.
  • Don’t water the pavement; you won’t grow a parking lot.
  • If you are going to water deeply, use a bubbler attachment – or point the hose end at a paving stone so the water stream doesn’t erode the soil.
  • Don’t run over the garden hose with your lawn tractor. If you have a lawn tractor, can I borrow it?

See? So much to consider with garden hoses.