Today, while it was relatively warm and partly sunny, I looked at the mess that is our yard and decided to do a little work. Plants are starting to bud, and leaves are getting ready to burst forth with that bright, new green of spring. It was definitely time to tackle.....The Rose.
We have a rosebush that we got when Keith's dad was selling his house. It was a stubby little bit of a plant in a pot. I hastily planted it in the mulched area of my front yard, thinking I could move it later if need be.
The rose flourished there. It grew at an exponential rate. If it had been Audrey, I would have heard it yelling "feed me" all day and all night.
If Sauron grew roses, he would have this plant. Each stem is densely covered with thick, extremely sharp, curved thorns. Each is like a tiny scimitar waiting to rip unsuspecting flesh.
If you needed a terrible hedge to surround your moat, this rose would be it. Branches sprout willy-nilly, bending, twisting, curving, growing with groping tips, some as long as 8 feet or more.
In the summer, it's a lovely sight. It's covered with tiny, pale pink roses. Unfortunately, they don't have much fragrance. In late fall and winter, it has red-pink rosehips.
This massive, brambly menace needed to be pruned most desperately. There are small trees growing in the middle of it where I can't reach. It is taking over everything that grows near it, and for the past couple of years I've not dared to weed around it as it seems thorny runners out too.
Today, however, while the branches were bare, I laid shears to its bark, and pruned it. I probably pruned at least half of it away. I was able to get to the small trees that grew inside it and cut them down. I filled two yard waste bags with what I can only describe as hazardous waste, as thorny as that rose is. In fact, I could see thorns ripping through one of the bags. My gloves got caught on thorns. My jacket got snagged by thorns. My thumb was pierced by a thorn, and it's slightly swollen and red.
The rose is by no means under control. I could probably go prune another bag of branches off it, and it would still be able to snare an orc. I'll admit this rose always makes me think of the scene in The Return of The King when Frodo and Sam are just inside Mordor and find themselves ensnared in brambles with gripping, tearing thorns.
I do plan to make it up with the rose. Its roots are slightly exposed, as it looks like some small animal has been digging around them. I will make an offering of fresh soil and some mulch, then I'll quickly leap back before those groping branches and talon-like thorns can rip my flesh from my bones.
And maybe someday, when I have a medieval castle to call my own, I'll take this rose with me and plant it as a deterrent to Jehovah's Witnesses.