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The Gift of the Fall Flush

The garden has given me one last good fall flush. I hadn’t expected it, if I’m honest. You see, I haven’t been the best rose gardener this year. More on that in a moment.

A bouquet of peach, yellow, and cream roses held against a white wall.

In the meantime, this bouquet is full of Roald Dahl and Wollerton Old Hall. Yes, it smells amazing.⁠ No, I didn’t prick myself taking this picture (somehow, thank my lucky stars).

Now, I used to blog here a bit more frequently about rose gardening, but I’ve kind of fallen off on that front. In fact, the last post about roses was way back in May. Yikes! I’d planned to share updates a little more regularly, but life has gotten in the way.

I’ve Been a Bad Gardener

So let’s talk about what didn’t exactly go well this year.

Roald Dahl had a bit of a hard year and didn’t give me any blooms until October. It was entirely my fault.

You see, things got off to a bad start when I, uh, didn’t prune it. At all. Winter can be a tricky season for me, and unfortunately, that’s when roses need to be pruned where I live. Winter was particularly rough this past year.

Then I let Wollerton Old Hall get a bit overgrown, so it blocked all of Roald Dahl’s light.⁠ Wollerton is a climber, and I have it trained up my chimney and over the front of the house. Roald Dahl sits in a cozy corner under Wollerton, which would be fine so long as enough light got through. If Wollerton gets out of hand, though, that doesn’t happen.

And then, to top everything off, I maybe, um, didn’t fertilize my roses at all this year.⁠

So you could say this was not my best year as a gardener. Yes, you could say that. You’d be right, too.

A bouquet full of yellow, peach, cream, and white roses sits on a dark wooden mantel above a brick fireplace. It's surrounded by black candles, an ornate gilded mirror, and a profusion of fake cobwebs. It's Halloween, but make it granny chic!
Roses, but make them spooky!

Why the Fall Flush Matters

Listen, some seasons we’re more on top of things than others. Sometimes those seasons last longer than a season. It’s okay.⁠

I mention this because it’s easy to look at this bouquet and think, “Wow, she must be an incredible gardener who cares so diligently for her roses and feeds them regularly and pulls off diseased leaves and checks for bugs. I could never do that.”⁠

Nah, friend. I am a chaos engine. I just happen to live where the weather is good and the soil is rich, and it turns out roses are remarkably forgiving.⁠

You don’t have to be perfect to have and deserve joy. Cut yourself some slack if things aren’t going as expected, yeah? You’re doing your best. We’re all just doing our best.⁠

Here’s a soothing video for you to round things out:

@abeeinthebonnet Feeling a bit mawkish over here as we slide into deep autumn and the roses start to settle down for their winter nap. #davidaustinroses #rosegarden #cottagecoreaesthetic #cottagegarden ♬ Hiking – Elgafar

If you’re curious about some of my favorite rose-gardening tools, here’s a round-up of the things I use most! These are affiliate links, which means if you choose to buy something through those links, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I will always identify affiliate links for you. Thanks for supporting my work!

My favorite pruning snips: the Felco F-8

Many other rosarians also swear by the Felco F-2

My favorite liquid fish-based fertilizer

My favorite organic mineral fertilizer

My current favorite leather gardening gloves

The rose gardening guidebook from David Austin is full of tips and tricks

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