For the first time in 14 years, I took a wee summer break from writing my weekly Heart Sisters posts, and started a small temporary site, The Novice Rose Gardener, in the spring of 2022 – mostly to track my new obsession/adventure: trying to grow balcony roses. I truly believed this learning experience would bring me joy ( I LOVE LOVE LOVE roses!) – but, just like in real life, I learned that it’s far more about managing expectations. My adventure can now best be described as a horticultural roller coaster! By the way, to my readers who have been asking when or if I’ll be getting back to writing those Sunday morning blog posts about women’s heart health: I’m unable to say quite yet. Meanwhile, you can find links to my list of all 900+ articles here. And for all of you who happen to love roses – or roller coasters – I’m archiving my balcony rose posts, starting here with the first essay:
1. Right Rose, Right Place – March
My only experience with choosing and planting roses (as opposed to moving into a home that already had roses in the garden) was back in the late 90s when I read an article about an amazingly fast-growing rose calledKiftsgate. The article said: .
Regular Heart Sisters blog readers may have recently noticed that the Sunday morning blog posts I’ve been publishing here since 2009 have slowed down. Well, not just slowed. They’ve stopped. With spring in the air and my new balcony rose garden on my mind, I’m taking a summer break from writing about women’s hearts. Instead, I’m pulling on my gardening gloves and exploring my latest infatuation: is it possible to grow roses in pots out on a balcony?
And like many writers, the urge to document my summer adventure has turned into a little blog. It’s called The Novice Rose Gardener. For quite a while, I’ve felt the need to write about the things in life that bring me PURE JOY. In the final paragraphs of my last published blog post here, for example, I hinted that I needed a wee break to do just that. Although I’ve been an avid gardener here on the west coast for decades, I’ve never been tempted to grow roses – however lovely the photo on the rose tag may be – mostly because of their nasty reputation: high maintenance, short blooming season, black spot, powdery mildew, aphids. No thanks!
When my mother was already showing early signs of her vascular dementia and had to move into an assisted-living apartment, she hated it. The staff reminded our family that “having something to look forward to” every day would help her feel more settled. They were so right. The move had been scary and overwhelming for Mom, but even knowing that after lunch she’d be playing cribbage or watching a favourite movie could bring a smile to her face.