As the rain lets up and the shipping trickles to a close, I’m having a bit of time to do things in the garden for ME! Unusual! Like planting up porch boxes, mowing, weeding…ugh/whew. I hate and detest weeding–yet I feel profound relief at the removal of chaos it brings. Like getting out of sodden clothing after a downpour, I feel I can move again. Most of the mowing here I do with the tractor, around the barns & lane, but within the fenced garden areas it’s weed-eater and cursing myself for putting the beds too close to fit the riding mower in between them. They look good that way, and a regular mower would fit if I had one or could push it without wrecking my wrists, but 5′ apart would have been better. And if someone can tell me why wasps love tractors and lawn mowers and weed eaters, I’d appreciate it.
We had over 2″ of rain Friday and Saturday, and the roses and lots else are sprawling. Luckily I had put tomato cages under Mme De Bruxelles as she was heavily laden with buds–she’s nearly on the ground now. This morning I picked a couple dozen more blooms for the rosewater jar, and the steamy heat already by 8 am made the fragrance wonderful. Yesterday when I went out to pick I woke up a fawn who was snoozing in the shade just outside the fence——so I trotted back inside the house after apologizing. I also delayed mowing until last night so as not to scare it or the doe and brand new fawn that are bedded down nearby.
I tell myself that’s why I’m behind on the mowing, anyway. I’m behind on my still room chores because of the weather–the roses are late and suddenly piling up on top of the lavender which feels a bit early.
When I started this year’s rosewater I was reminded of the admonitions to ‘remove the bitter white base to the petal’ in rose recipes and the fact this is something I’ve never done as it’s something I’ve never seen. I emailed around to rose growing friends and the only roses they could list that did were teas & a few hybrids but not Damasks. As Damask roses are the most fragrant roses I’ve ever grown, and the ones used historically for culinary & perfumery uses, I can’t help but feel bad for a person trying to use Teas for rosewater or jelly. Ick: leathery and tough, with a correspondingly coarse scent if any. The petals on a Damask rose are thinner than silk and floatingly sweet. This evening I’ll toast Midsummer Night with rose liqueur and strawberries.