A recent post on Gardenweb.com threw me for a momentary loop, but it also turned my thoughts and outrageous fantasies in a new direction. A simple post from someone talking about his Old Garden Roses being in the peak of bloom seemed innocuous until I thought, "Wait? What?" and checked the date on the post, and found the date to be correctly listed as the end of November. Further investigation, of course, revealed that the writer was based in Australia, where evidently early summer has just arrived. Easy sometimes to forget that the world has gotten a lot smaller with the Internet, isn't it?
But dream with me a minute, won't you? Imagine that suddenly you've won the lottery and have riches beyond your wildest dreams. Planning to buy that yacht for around the world sailing? Thinking about that trip to Egypt and the Orient to see the Seven Wonders? Well, it occurred to me that a great choice to spend my unearned gains would be a second home, Down Under. I suddenly have visions of two seasons of 'Madame Hardy' every year. Two glorious summers of waves of Old Garden Roses with no need to wait around to see the browning buds and the onset of August blackspot. Two periods of delicious fragrance from 'Madame Issac Pierre', 'Variegata de Bologna' and 'Salet'. Two summers a year in the garden.
And why stop there? If it's a really big lottery win, homes in Texas, Kansas, South Dakota, and Canada might be in order as well; four seasons of Madame Hardy in the northern hemisphere and then another season or two in the southern. Just follow the wave of rose blooms northward, and at the northern end fly to the opposite pole of the earth and start over. Or back to Texas again to see the succession of daylilies start up. Bored as the perfect blooms of 'Madame Hardy' fade? Just a short skip in the private jet and you're back to 'Harison's Yellow' again! Think those surfers in the documentary "Endless Summer" had it good? "Hey man, those 'Charles de Mills' blooms look pretty rad, dude" could become our new mantra.
'Ballerina' at Denver Botanical Gardens 06/24/10
I do have to confess it's not the first time a similar thought has occurred to me. I've always joked with friends that when the rest of the world finally broke me, I would run away to a secluded cabin in Montana. On a trip this summer to Denver Colorado in late June, I chanced to visit the Denver Botanical Gardens and came upon a most gorgeous display of old garden style roses. Thinking that I'd come across some new David Austin varieties that I'd never seen before, I took a long look at the ID tags and realized that I was seeing the same old garden roses that had bloomed in my garden a month earlier, at roughly the same latitude, just at 5000 feet higher in altitude and one month later. At that moment, my crumbling escape cabin in the Rockies got mentally surrounded by a few acres of imaginary roses. Blooming, healthy, disease-free imaginary roses.
While I'm dreaming, do you think it's too much to ask that the cabin would be in a magic deer-free zone of the mountains as well?