Wallowing in My Granny Ways

I know that growing roses is an old-fashioned sort of hobby to have, but I don't care. They smell good and they are bright and you get to cut them and give them to people and bring them into the house and put them in jelly jars to brighten up the place. It's fun.

Besides. Being in touch with my inner monkey, "smells good" and "purty color" are benefits enough to make it worth the fertilizing, pruning, pest-control and deadheading. It's not that much effort, really.

Sipping an ice-cold soda out in the sun, watching the little songbirds catch insects while screechy little hummingbirds divebomb your head has its own rewards. Actually, you are doubly rewarded; with roses, a little attention goes a very long way.

That's because roses are the big gay trannys of the flower world: They love your attention and show their gratitude in a very showy, Liberace sort of way - which is partly why I love them so. Give them a little food and attention and they explode into a dazzling display of color, hogging the garden spotlight and putting on one hell of a show. They attract legions of fans, as well: insects, birds, and sneaky neighbors with clippers. . .

Yes. It's true. Our neighbors sometimes snip a bloom or steal a lemon. They gamble we can't see them stealing from our big windows. (We can.) While I wish they'd ask, I usually just watch them slink off with a rose or a lemon curled nonchalantly in their sweaty little thieving hand and chuckle.CactusBloom.jpg

One time when a snooty neighbor lady (who has never bothered to wave our direction despite repeated attempts at friendliness) brought her toddler and a wicker basket to pick a whole bushel of lemons, I did throw open the front door (she straightened up and tried to saunter casually away from the tree, ignoring me completely). I, uh, rather emphatically communicated my displeasure.

I think the words "sorry excuse for a role model" were used. Ahem. Not one of my better moments. Normally, though, I let it go.

We live in the city with lots of gray and black. A garden is all too tempting on that base, monkey-level: They're bright. They're colorful. They smell good. Apparently, there are few of us who can resist.


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I am a writer and lazy artist who loves travel, architecture and design. Right now, I'm into photography. My fabulous husband (a.k.a. The Varmint) and I are also the principals of a San Diego-based creative agency - and new parents to the divine Baby Mak. Read More >