The Rules for Planting Roses
I knew all the rules:
how you plant only after
you have everything
you need at hand: soil, water,
knowing where to cleave,
and how direct sun won't be
enough if you lack control
and crowd the ground you have
to turn over, or fail to stifle
competition where the crabgrass
has lain dormant 100 years.
At bare roots, I knew, the hungry
don't feed the fussy but take,
and the ball, if bound, won't bed
and reach its full potential.
Sometimes you have to amend
what the earth does not provide
for, adjust for variety, mulch
for moisture, check for black spot,
powdery mildew, inevitable rust.
Pruning doesn't mean expecting
the same performance from every
rose. You have to practice to remove
the weak, the dying, and the dead
well before their infection spreads.
© 2012 Maureen E. Doallas