May 18th, 2018


I Didn't Smell the Roses

Most days I go outside, walk around and look at all the plants, offer an encouraging word here and there and pull up invasive species. This morning while wandering around the farm, I forgot that the antique rose was blooming, was instead drawn to the red peony. While it's scent is not as powerful as the white one next to it, the color is deep and vibrant and the flowers more tightly spun.

As I have grown older, my olfactory senses have seriously declined, so I was excited to be able to inhale and enjoy the deep musky perfume of the white one. These are old plants, at least 50 years. I've been here for 44 and they were already large when we came. Seven of eight remain; one having been relocated to daughter no. four's home.

A story about the red peony. Years ago when I raised French Alpine dairy goats, there was a developing market in Taiwan for goats to use in dairies. Four very polite Taiwanese guys visited my farm and took pictures of the does I had for sale. While walking to the barn, one of the men paused and looked at the red peony. Most formal was his request to dig up a start of the plant and take it home with him. Now when I look at the red peony I remember the day and I wonder if somewhere she is thriving in a far away garden.

I may go back out and smell the old white rose. She deserves that. Especially so since we did some serious pruning a few weeks back.