Digging Deep

bareroootsoakingUpon letting the roots of my newly purchased bare root rose soak in a bucket of water for approximately 24 hours, I decided to recruit my 11 year old son in helping me plant it. Although willing to help me out, my son was not keen on getting his hands too dirty. After all, his hands prefer Legos and videos games. Nevertheless, I figured he could use the sunshine and learn a thing or too in the process. After choosing the desired area of where I wanted to plant my new rose, we saturated the ground to make the digging easier while also testing the drainage of soil. My son and I then took a few turns plunging the shovel in the dirt till we reached the width and depth we needed. By this point, we were ready to transplant the bare root rose from being in the bucket filled with water to it’s permanent home in the ground. Because the ground was reasonably muddy, I put on pink rubber gloves to protect my freshly painted nails. Apparently, even I don’t like to get my hands too dirty!

I proceeded to create a mound of soil in the shape of a pyramid within the hole so I could rest the rose on top of the mound while sprawling it’s roots out as best as possible for optimal growth. barerootplanted.webWhile holding the rose in one hand, or glove I should say, I used the other to pack the dirt around the roots as well as the dirt around the base of the rose till she was firmly secure. Overall, the process of planting our newly adopted rose was a success, but we sure did make a muddy mess.

Many days later, I reflect on how we as people of faith often like the beauty of our religious traditions and concepts much like we enjoy the beauty of roses or the idea of a lovely garden. pinkdirtygloves.webHowever, we don’t usually like to be too inconvenienced by getting our hands dirty or digging too deep into theological thinking. It’s far easier to be comfortable in our faith journey than to potentially be inconvenienced or challenged as we seek to both follow and ponder God and His instructions, for example. More often we prefer to stand around like my son and watch others dig for God. Or if we do take the plunge, we set limits on our love by wearing gloves so the depth of our devotion doesn’t stain our nails, alter our appearance, or even transform us. And yet, God’s great love, wisdom, and mercy seems to constantly and creatively be digging deep for us with the hopes we’d be firmly rooted in His garden.

I Saw The Light

sunlight on rose

{photo credit: unknown}

You may have heard the expression, “I Saw The Light!”, but before you start buying and planting roses or any plant for that matter, you may want to get familiar with the light your yard receives. It would be a shame to invest in some beautiful rose bushes only to have them succumb to disease or poor performance due to lack of adequate sunlight. To take inventory of your real estate (which should be fairly easy if you live in the city and only own or rent a small parcel of land), investigate the following matters and make a chart or log (be sure any leaves on your trees are leafed out for better accuracy). Enlighten yourself by answering the following questions:

  • Does my yard get more morning light or afternoon light?
  • How many hours of direct sunlight is my garden getting in the morning or afternoon?
  • And what parts of my garden are in Full Sun, Partial Shade, or complete shade and at what times of the day? As the Earth orbits around the Sun, your garden will get different amounts of light at various times throughout the day.

Once you are familiar with your yard’s lighting or lack thereof, you need to understand the lighting requirement terms listed by the rose vendors on each rose. As mentioned previously, most roses need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight, but others can flourish in partial shade. Although there are a few different lighting and shade classifications in gardener’s parlance, the two labels you will find among rose listings are “Full Sun” and “Partial Shade”.


“Peace” taken by Carrie Renee Turner

Full Sun: Means your rose bush/plant will get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. This is ideal for growing roses particularly if your yard receives the most Full Sun in the morning. Full morning sunlight is especially advantageous as it will burn off early morning dew or rain that fell over night; therefore, helping to prevent disease. It’s also better for them to get Full Sun in the morning hours so as to not potentially cause heat exhaustion in you and your roses! Another Pro to exposing your rose bush to Full Sun, whether in the morning or afternoon hours, is it will allow for bigger and more frequent blooms. A Con would be you will need to water more frequently (more on that in a later blog) and the intensity of your bloom’s color may fade sooner.

Partial Shade: Means your rose bush/plant will get somewhere between 3-6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Note: Although most modern roses do best in Full Sun, there are some that do well in Partial Shade. Old Garden Roses (OGRs) can do OK in Partial Shade as well. The Pros to Partial Shade is your bloom’s color will last longer and so will it’s fragrance.


{photo credit: unknown}

Another Pro is your bush won’t need to be watered as often nor get scorched by the afternoon heat. Cons to planting rose bushes in Partial Shade would be your bush may not reach it’s potential by becoming more prone to disease; it may be more spindly as canes try to reach adequate sunlight; and blooms may be fewer and smaller. Nevertheless, if your yard space is limited, you may discover some roses can flourish just fine. To find shade tolerant roses, check out Heirloom Roses’ suggestions.

Overall, when planting roses, be sure you can say, “I Saw The Light”.

The Irony

Eden Rose

Eden {photo credit: unknown}

Upon waking up this morning, my heart nearly stopped when looking at my phone to see snow in this weekend’s forecast. The irony of snow falling on the first day of the much anticipated warmth of Spring. Ordinarily, such a surprise winter attack would not be cause of panic, but when one considers I just planted the newly arrived and leafed out Eden rose a few days prior, my heart sank. Not to mention, freezing temperatures were not in the forecast. Even the forsythia are blooming as well as Japanese Magnolia trees (also known as Tulip Trees) and Eastern Red Bud Trees. With such promising signs the welcomed warmth of Spring was seemingly here to stay, I proceeded in clearing my rose beds and pruning my beloved rose babies just last week.

Naturally, prior to even completing a full cup of coffee, I was on the phone with my local nursery getting critical feedback on how to protect my newest addition, Eden. Upon receiving such advice, I also called Heirloom Roses, where I ordered Eden from, to get a second opinion. Both retailers suggested I apply mulch around the base of the plant then cover the hopeful bush with a 5 gallon bucket and blanket of sorts using a brick to secure it. Fair enough.

While driving to the nursery to purchase mulch for our emergency rose rescue operation, my husband gently, but adamantly declared we will most ardently not be purchasing any more roses in this trip or ever as our yard is small yet full of roses (plus I do believe he is tired of breaking ground). I calmly assured him not to worry. After all, unbeknownst to him, I already inquired on the local nursery’s rose inventory and was informed all they had right now was a few bare roots and left over Knock Outs. Naturally, I had every intention of still browsing their selection as well as all the other garden candy they had to offer. Ironically and much to my surprise, upon walking up to the few bare roots they had on display, my adamant “no more roses” husband immediately fell in love with Angel Face, a lavender purple color rose and promptly suggested we get it (we can plant the bare root rose once this cold snap passes).

Angel Face

Angel Face (photo credit: Pinterest)

Consequently, I about fell over… Then again, I did pull him close and hugged him before entering “the danger zone” of the nursery (aka where they keep the roses). Ha! Although I did not knowingly intend to manipulate, I discovered bodily contact within the nursery limits was certainly a good way to get more roses should he ever attempt to intervene in my apparent rose addiction again.

With all that said, I’m hoping, of course, the up and coming snow fall turns out to be a bust, but am thankful regardless for it provided me an unexpected rose and a productive day of weeding and mulching! The irony!

(Update: Thankfully, the weather experts were wrong. It didn’t snow nor even rained. But Jesus cares about roses and still answers prayers!) 😄