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Trouble in Paradise

Posted by JoshTx 8a (My Page) on
Sun, Dec 22, 13 at 20:51

I have posted previously about running into problems with trying to plant roses, and my parents' resistance to the endeavor (specifically my dad). I had learned a while back that he planned to redo the front flower bed, and I was surprised since the plants there are so mature. I agreed with it though because the way it is laid out, trees and the house shade it almost continuously so that nothing which blooms can be grown there.

I asked him the other day if I could plant some roses there when he pulled everything out, and he said that he wouldn't allow anymore roses to be planted around the house. Imagine my shock when he says no more roses can be planted, and I have nearly 30 roses sitting on the back porch in pots. Most of them will be going to the cemetery, but a handful like Reines des Violettes and Souv. D'Elise Vardon I originally ordered for my own uses.

So here I sit twiddling my thumbs and scratching my head, trying to figure out what I'm going to do. I put a lot of time and energy into researching roses that would do well here. I have two spaces where I intend to pull up already planting roses and I will use those. Other than that I'm possibly facing a situation where I may have to give the roses away.

Do any of y'all folk with more life experience have any suggestions? It'd be a shame to see them go.

Josh


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Trouble in Paradise

  • Posted by titian1 Sydney, Australiae (My Page) on
    Sun, Dec 22, 13 at 22:16

Why doesn't your father like roses? Has he said?
Would he do a trade? Like part of the garden (hopefully a large part) for you to do as you want with, for something (maybe labour) in exchange.


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Josh,

Could a big part of the issue be the roses in the pots; which I would guess take up space somewhere without adding a lot of beauty at this point? So the process more than an aversion to roses? My ex- husband removed the vast majority of the 150 roses I had planted, but not due to a dislike of roses, he knew that neither him or his gardeners would spend the time maintaining them so they would be healthy and look nice. I would try and find out what the real issue is, and then go from there in finding a solution.

If it is just and aversion to roses then I would refer to Titian's suggestion and see if a little place in the garden could be carved out for you.

This post was edited by desertgarden561 on Sun, Dec 22, 13 at 22:47


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RE: Trouble in Paradise

A little more info about why you are [still] linked to your parents' garden. Maybe it's come up in earlier postings and I missed it. Bottom line, if it's his house, it's his call. Without knowing more about your situation, it's hard to tell you how to manipulate that fact.


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RE: Trouble in Paradise

Catspa,

I am still planting at my parents' house because I am still in school. I have another year and a half to go. After that I may still live at home while I go to med school.

Lynn and Titian,

This summer I was able to Round Up a back triangle of grass to turn into a small bed. The space is really only big enough for two roses, but I squeezed four in back there. I have an Iceberg planted in the front bed. There are a few David Austins in the front too but they are all being shovel pruned except Sharifa Asma which will take up permanent residence on the back porch to replace the Pat Austin I lost to Rose Rosette.

He doesn't have a plan yet but described something like a formal front flower bed with stuff like manicured boxwood. Almost like estate-type landscaping.

Ultimately it is his decision because it's his yard.

Josh


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Roses go wonderfully with formal boxedging (as well as with everything else). Couldn't you find some good pictures to show him what can be done?

Does your father know how much these roses have cost? If he's at all mean he may react to a figure. Look really worried and ask him for constructive advice on what you should do with all your roses now that he doesn't want them.


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RE: Trouble in Paradise

If he doesn't want roses out in front of the house, perhaps just drop that issue since it doesn't seem like he will change his mind.

Instead, ask if you can make a bed about 10' x 5' somewhere way out in back--as far out of his sightline as you can manage. Perhaps he doesn't quite understand what it is you want--enough space to grow a dozen roses, not 2-3 roses.

I imagine he thinks the care of the roses will sooner or later be left to him--and he doesn't want to care for them. You might try reassuring him on that score.

Hope that helps.

Kate


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RE: Trouble in Paradise

I'm wondering if you might have a friend who could keep your roses in big pots until you can plant them or a friend who might like to share them with you at their house. I think Kate is right, that your dad feels like he'll be stuck with the roses after you move. I'm sorry that you are in this situation. I hope someday you will have your own place with lots of room to do whatever you please.


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RE: Trouble in Paradise

My best guess is that there's something going on there other than roses, Josh. Maybe the two of you should talk about things in general. Does he worry there's something 'unmanly' about his son growing roses?


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Josh,

I still go back to the importance of communicating and getting to the "real" source of the problem... He's your dad and your intent is obviously to respect his wishes, which he should be well aware of or it communicated, but you are both adults, it is obviously important to you, so a situation of mutual respect would almost seem to warrant you knowing why:

1. He doesn't like roses much.
2. He doesn't want to maintain them because he knows at some point you will be moving, as I did and left many roses behind
3. He considers all the little roses in pots un sightly

Or whatever....

Could you draw a plan for the yard, keeping in mind what he wAnts, but integrating roses? Also, there are great rose gardening/ landscape books that have images. Maybe a visual could help. You know your dad.

Lynn


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Your dad sounds a lot like my husband, lol, but certainly not in such a dictator-like, parent way. (Little does he know I have a dozen more roses being delivered this spring, haha!)

I think the reason may be that he has not seen much of a return on the roses that you have in pots and have already planted. Especially if they're still awkward, little own-root twigs. Some people who aren't familiar with roses can't imagine what the plant will look like several years into the future. Perhaps some pictures of mature roses would be helpful. Roses really aren't for everybody though. My husband doesn't think they are attractive as shrubs when not blooming, and I think he does have a point, especially when blackspot rears its ugly head.

If you can plant as many roses as you like at the cemetery, why not just focus your efforts there? Maybe once your roses mature, he'll come around and you can plant more.


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Hmmm... if you can't come up with a better solution, how about a foster home for them until you get through school and get your own place? How many roses are you talking about?


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I'm guessing this one of those hints that your parents are expecting you to move out after you graduate. Boxwoods are a sign of low-maintenance landscaping, something they can take care of themselves. Before you even think about roses, you should probably make sure they even want you to live at home if you do go to med school or any other graduate program. I suggest you focus on becoming a self-supporting, independent adult.


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My kids could live with me forever and ever. The cost of any kiind of school can be overwhelming, and it is logical to live at home.

As we get older, we want to be sure we can handle our lives independently. We make our decisions early so that age will be a graceful transition. If he does not feel that he can care for the roses, he may not want them to be his vision now. If you have the right kind of conversations with him, you may figure out a way to help him with his vision, and use the roses. Also, you may promise him that before you leave, you will destroy the roses, and plant what he wants.

He may want a gazebo in the back. You could create that, and then plant the roses in a special place in the back yard.

:Otherwise, you must be thankful that you have a home, and can prepare your live in any field you wish. You are very lucky.

Sammy


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Josh, are there such things as community gardens where you live? Could you possibly arrange to rent a bit of land (this is what I do with my allotment)? Or friends who have more space? Or, do you ever do any gardening for money? This fulfills a number of things - the need to get experience with different plants, different styles, not to mention earning some extra money. Really, doing gardening anywhere is better than doing no gardening....and if you have to put roses on hold for a bit while you get to grips with other things......which leads me to ask whether you and your dad could actively collaberate on a garden - you know, his age and experience (and money and space), allied with your youth, energy, strength and enthusiasm. Could make a dynamic team.
My youngest still lives at home at the age of 26 - property prices are sky-high in Cambridge - around 13x the average wage so his situation is shared across an entire generation - we both have had to accommodate each other (we have a small house) but in general, solutions are findable (mostly).


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  • Posted by AquaEyes 7 New Brunswick, NJ (My Page) on
    Mon, Dec 23, 13 at 13:57

Josh, my advice is to focus your gardening energy on the cemetery. Use that piece of land to express your creativity, and leave your yard to your dad. Ultimately, it's his yard, and he may be thinking that your interest in roses will lead to a lot more garden maintenance than he is willing to endure after you move out on your own. If you really want roses at your house, you'll have to let your parents be convinced of how they can look with less maintenance than they expect by showing them your plantings at the cemetery. Get that going, and if it looks nice, your mom or dad will likely say at some point "Oooh, that's nice...can we get one of those for our yard?"

In the meantime, you're at a frustrating point in your life -- you have adult desires for independence, but remain dependent because of financial constraints while a student. I understand -- I've been there. From your parents' perspective, it can be tough as well. They have their own ideas for how they envision their home and yard. They may not share your passion for roses, and perhaps don't understand the fuss, seeing only the pots of twigs lined up in the yard and not yet seeing end-results to justify the "ugliness" they see now. So work on something for the cemetery, and invite them to see your progress.

I understand your desire to carve out something of your own, but you also have to understand your parents' reluctance to handing over their yard to you for practice. I went through much of the same before I moved out on my own. Once, during my senior year of high school, I was granted an area on the side of the driveway for "my garden", but despite my pleas to "leave it alone" until I came back from my freshman year of college to get it going again for its second year, my mother went and planted impatiens in the whole bed. Your parents are your parents, but they're also people, and sometimes people don't like the idea of someone else "showing them up" on their own property, even if it is one of their kids. Annoying, I know, but you'll be that much more motivated when you get gardening in the cemetery, because it will be "your place."

:-)

~Christopher


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I have to reiterate what others have said. In this day and age, with high property values, tough mortgage requirements, the crazy cost of college and the struggling job market, it's not possible for many young people to move out. I lived at home until I was 27, aside from being away at college, and I didn't even have a college loan; my masters was covered by scholarship. After graduating, staying at home and working 2 jobs was the only way I could save up enough for the kind of downpayment I needed to get a mortgage. I think it's the responsible thing to do, rather than taking on more debt that you can handle.

I'm smiling because my situation was sort of the opposite. While I lived at home, my parents allowed me to plant whatever I wanted. Now that I have my own yard, I want to relocate a lot of those plants, but my parents were less than thrilled to lose them, haha. I ended up taking divisions of the perennials, so win-win. Maybe you can figure out some sort of win-win situation,


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Josh, your plan to live at home while you go to medical school is a wise one because of the huge costs that are involved. Since it seems you and your dad are not on the same wave length about roses I'd advise that you keep a fairly low profile about them. I wouldn't buy any more right now. By next year it may be obvious which ones that are planted aren't doing well or that you don't like and you can take them out and plant the ones you have in pots that aren't going to the cemetery in those vacated spots. The roses you do have in the ground are going to give you much more pleasure as they mature and bloom a lot more, and you may find you don't need as many as you might think, and they do take time and work. Take it slowly for now since you're not a free agent. Your career goals will have to take precedence over the roses. You have many years to practice your hobby later one. Right how what you need most is a roof over your head and harmony in the household.

Ingrid


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RE: Trouble in Paradise

You're good, Ingrid. I may have to start writing you with my problems. It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders! :)


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Thanks everyone!

I could try to talk to my dad about it, and have tried a little bit, but coming from a military family the notion of having conversations about "why" something is a certain way escapes us. My dad is the silent type, and most times I try to root out the real reason behind an issue he clams up. Emotion words are intentionally not in his vocabulary. He gets frustrated when I ask why to his decisions, and have often heard the phrase, "When I say jump, you say how high. Is that understood?"

So the reason why could be anyone's guess. He may be concerned about the maintenance, true. But when I scraped out a bed this summer, I planted Texas loving perennials. My parents were constantly on my case about dragging the hose out back to water and I told them many times that if a plant wasn't going to fight to be here it was welcome to kick the bucket. All the plants survived, and actually flourished to create a beautiful cottage style bed. My mom often remarks how she stops to admire it when she pulls into the back.

I'm not sure if my success in planting has made them feel like I am showing them up, but I do know that everything of color that my parents have planted this year has up and died. Either by making a poor choice for Texas weather, or by lack of watering, all of their mums, petunias, and potted arrangements are now non-existent. At one point they handed over the care of their potted plants to me and I brought them back from the brink of death and got them blooming.

It may come down to me just needing to place the roses with other rosarians. If that happens, Ogrose you get first pick! Lol. I agree that my focus should be my career, but gardening is how I decompress after a long week of science classes and work. It's depressing to think that there may come a time when I come home and there aren't roses about.

It's a frustrating situation, especially since it isn't like my parents care much for the good and green things. So it's not even about competing for space!

Josh


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RE: Trouble in Paradise

  • Posted by titian1 Sydney, Australiae (My Page) on
    Mon, Dec 23, 13 at 17:47

Ditto, rinaldo!
Josh, I just googled 'photos of box hedge and roses' and a whole host of photos came up.


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RE: Trouble in Paradise

They don't care. You cannot do anything aobut it. My husband and children don't care. From time to time they pretend, but they don't.

My daughters have been in the military, and my daughter still is. They want us to put in a storm shelter. They have been after us for years telling us about how wise that would be, and how important it is. They see no reason why a huge chunk of our yard should not go for a storm shelter.

We all have our own passions, and your passion does not appeal to your parents. It doesn't need to since you can garden in another location.

These discussions are a part of life, and if you end up a physician, you will have to understand where everyone is coming from.

Good luck. By next year you may be too busy to do much with plants. But why don't you keep your mother's plants watered?

Sammy


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I completely understand.

My dad hated everything I planted except the citrus trees. We went round and round about it. Everybody else loved the garden. For my dad it was all about control. No way to get around it. The best thing I did was to find a friend close by with nothing in the yard and make a paradise for them. I loved it. They loved it. You need to find a plant lover or someone who loves flowers and roses and then plant there as well as the cemetary. Your dad will never see the beauty in it. He sounds like he just wants to control the way mine does. No use in talking. Save yourself years of pain and frustration and find a partner to garden with. Then you can feel happy again.

I'm sorry you have to live this as I did but gardening does help when you can get away and just be with the plants when school puts the stress on.


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I agree with Kittymoonbeam that it is about control and feelings of inadequacy on the part of your father. It is a strange thing that sometimes happens when gardeners and non gardeners collide, and unfortunately, all too common. The irrational emotions that are stirred up are unbelievable. Chances are in five or ten years your Dad may come to you and say he loves the roses, after all -- I have seen that, too. But I wouldn't bet on it.


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RE: Trouble in Paradise

Oh Josh, I am so sorry for your situation. Like you, I find gardening as a way of decompressing. Working in my garden is definitely therapeutic. I also understand the sense of accomplishment and calm that can be derived from coming home and visually enjoying the fragrance and beauty of roses. Hopefully, you will be allowed to keep the fruits of your labor that are planted thus far.

Campanula wrote about community gardens. I know they exist in California and Oregon. Maybe such a place exists near you? While you will not be able to see all of your roses from a porch or window, you could bring beautiful bouquets from a community garden into your personal space at home.

One thing is for sure, you are so ahead of things, when the time comes and you have your own garden, you will have the knowledge required to create a garden that you will love.

Lynn

This post was edited by desertgarden561 on Mon, Dec 23, 13 at 19:21


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Josh,
There might be something else, and that might be your parents mortality.
I didn't expect my parents to die twenty years younger than their parents, but both did eight months apart.
When it happened I was on my own and living in Texas. I saw them for a week about once a year. Then one visit, I saw that my Mother's beloved Queen Elizabeth roses that had been in her rose garden for at least twenty years had not been pruned for at least two years. It shocked me and I didn't think to ask why. It was a sign that neither were feeling well and was a harbinger of serious medical problems that emerged about six months later.

Try to look for the tell tale signs. Good luck.

Ann


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Josh,

You are getting such excellent advice from some very wise and concerned fellow rose lovers, that I feel my additional input may be redundant, but for what it's worth...

You may not have the time to properly maintain the roses being in medical school no matter how much you want to.

It may be best for you now to find appropriate homes for your potted collection. I am sure you will find people or places that would greatly appreciate your roses.

There will be plenty of time in the future to get back into roses when you are established in your profession and are a property owner. Then you can do as you please with your grounds and grow roses to your heart's content.

It seems to be that this is a case of postponing gratification in favor of a more pressing, immediate goal, becoming a MD.

Your father should be overjoyed to have a son like you who is interested in honorable, uplifting pursuits like rose gardening and pursuing a difficult demanding career like medicine...unlike the distasteful, wasted activities of so many crude children today. I do not believe he realizes what a gem of a son he has. However, it is always best to honor your father, even a rigid, unyielding one.

I am sure you will come out way ahead in the end, when you are an independent adult.

Thorntorn


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Josh, take a look at this website.
Maurizio Usai from Sardinia, started planting roses in his father's garden when he was still a teenager.
I remember him telling us that his father did not want him to, but he must have talked him round.
His garden in Sardinia is now one of the most beautiful ever seen. He now turns other people's gardens into paradise.
Show your father his page on Facebook. You never know, it might work.
Daisy

Here is a link that might be useful: Maurizio's gardens.


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Josh,

It might be that your father is concerned that your rose growing activities are, or may, interfere with your studies. Your family appears to be stressed over your brother's deployment. In a case like that a man of your father's temperament may feel a greater need for control, especially since he cannot control the situation with your brother. Rather than asking him why, which could be viewed as a challenge, ask him for specific information, such as; may you keep the potted roses that you have as long as you don't get anymore, may you plant some in the back yard, what size space would he allow you and where.Tell him that you need the information in order to know what you need to do with the roses you have.

We have a son deployed and my father was in the military. As a child one directive we were given, if we had made a mistake, was to say "No excuse, sir." One day I said, "No excuse, sir but I do have a reason." It was worth a smile and a concessionary nod.

As others have said, your first objective is to get your education. Work your rose growing around that. You do need the solace that gardening brings and you will find a way to balance both needs.

Cath


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Josh, I can so empathize because I had the same kind of father. They're emotionally closed off and often have a secret sense of inferiority which they try to hide with their tough attitude and need for control over others. They cannot be reached because looking inside of themselves is much too painful and threatening. Without self-knowledge there can and will be no change. I know this must be very painful for you, but I learned that acceptance and turning towards others who love and truly care about you and are not afraid to show it is the only way. If alcohol plays a part that makes it even worse. I found that removing myself emotionally and understanding my dad's limitations and that he would and could not change was the only way that I could live with the situation.


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Dear Josh,

One idea I have come up with since my last posting...

If you direct your attention to volunteering, as time permits, in a local public rose garden, I believe you will fulfill all your 'contact with roses' needs and then some.

A public garden is a place where more than just family members and neighbors get to see the fruits of your labor in roses. This is very gratifying and why so many public rose gardens have a core of very capable and dedicated rosarian volunteers.

Most public gardens are short staffed, both paid and volunteers, and would be overjoyed to have a young man assist in the care of the roses, especially an obviously outgoing and friendly one as you impress me as being.

You will gain invaluable experience working along side other rosarians, some of whom are likely to be experts.

You will be exposed to roses you may not be familiar with and in the process discover rose treasures you did not know about. When you have your own place you will be immensely more successful having this knowledge.

You will be associating with like minded people with whom you may develop life long friendships.

When you schedule gets too heavy with school work, you can cut back on your volunteering and when you have more time you can incease your commitments to the garden.

You can also adjust your volunteer schedule to suit you. As the garden managers, persons in charge, discover your talents and ability with roses, you will probably be encouraged to come into the garden at times available to you (in the evenings paarticularly), to perform your tasks: dead heading, weeding, watering, etc.

Please give this idea some thought.

Respectfully, and wishing you good success in your endeavors,

Thorntorn


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Josh, if you are secure in your relationship with the cemetery, I'd plant them all there where you and others can enjoy and care for them. Once you're finished with school and in a garden of your own, you can easily propagate the ones you want and bring them home. Until then, they will be teaching you how suitable they are for the minimal care growing you hope them to be. You never know what changes life has in store for you, or your parents, in the mean time. Imagine getting all you want at your parents' home, only to have them decide it's time to "downsize" or something similarly upsetting. Good luck and Merry Christmas! Kim


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RE: Trouble in Paradise

Everyone,

Thank you so much for taking the time to advise me on this matter. I talked to my dad a little bit about keeping a few roses, and he said that he may consider keeping the 'thornless purple one.' So Reines des Violettes may stay here.

Other than that, if he truly cannot be persuaded to let a few rarer roses stay, then all of commercially available roses will be planted in the cemetery. The rare Teas, Chinas, and Hybrid Chinas I will try to place with the Chambersville Tree Farm up the road. They are a public rose garden with ties to the Heritage Rose Group. I hope they will see the roses preserved and propagated. If not, I will come up with an arrangement like I did with Connie of Hartwood Roses.

Thanks again for all of your support and sharing many of your personal stories! Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas everyone!

Josh


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Josh ...

Happy Holidays back to you.

Sometimes, our parents, no matter what their parenting style may be, just do not share our passions. When I first started learning to play the violin, my father made me practice in the barn.

It's true that those just beginning to play the violin are more capable of making the instrument squawk rather than sing. I was no exception ... but the barn ????

Smiles,
Lyn


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Josh -- In truth, if Medical School is in your near future, the Cemetery may absorb all of the gardening time open to you. The suggestion of a community garden was a good one, but the Cemetery is even better.

My niece is in the latter stages of residency (and her mom was a little startled the other day to realize that Maggie really IS already "Doctor Jo...." (Her brother is at about the same stage in preparing for the life of a Veterinarian.) I know that neither "Doctor Jo...." or "Doctor Jo..." have much time right now for gardening, but I think both will find time for it later.

Let your dad have his boring boxwood -- you will have the glory of the cemetery. Fair trade.

Jeri


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Lyn,

I had a similar experience! I played the violin and was told that I could only practice when no one was home! Lol. That's not nearly as bad as the barn, but needless to say I quit playing very soon after I started because I was discouraged. I play the cello now, and it's much quieter so they don't complain as much.

Jeri,

I understand where you're coming from. My time would be better spent securing the roses in the cemetery so that when my life becomes medicine, the cemetery will continue to flourish. It can be both a public garden, and my garden. Perhaps when it is all finished my parents will come round. Though I asked them if they wanted to come help break ground on it, and they quickly declined. To each their own then, I suppose.

Thanks for your help!

Josh


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Let's hope there's no dire symmetry at work here, sending your roses to the cemetery in the lead up to medical school and then sending unsuccessful patients on there to join them a few years hence!


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  • Posted by alameda 8 - East Texas (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 26, 13 at 22:50

I got my BSN in nursing and graduated in 2002. It helped so much to get out in the yard and play with my roses, even for a short time. But......my time was totally spent on studying and clinicals - and I had 40 miniature horses to keep up and a large house and property. I had no time to buy roses, just barely maintain what I had. Medical school will be worse. You will want to sleep when you get free time! I cant understand why a small plot of roses in the backyard would be an issue - my parents were over the top supportive of my horse showing activities. But......your #1 priority will be school. Plant the roses where they will thrive - if at the cemetery or at a friend's place where you can tend them - if that is close by. Could you get big pots and pot them in that, telling your dad you will take them when you move? When I was in school, I had to curtail lots of things and activities because I was determined that nothing would derail my goal. I had to put on hold things I wanted to do - but school consumed my life, so I had little time to mourn them. Once I graduated - I was back at it with a fevor and am now wallowing in roses, chickens, horses.......You are young, eventually there will be time for roses. One day you will have your own place and can do what you want. I think the cemetery idea is very good. Can you join a rose society nearby? You would meet lots of nice people and perhaps find a spot for your roses..........or come see me and help me plant my pot ghetto! I have lots! Just know that "one day" you will be able to fully indulge your passion and do what you want. Personally, I would be thrilled to have my son living with me and wanting to grow things - knowing he would be at home and accessible to me. He is in the Navy living in California, I see him twice a year. Your parents don't know how lucky they are to have you there. Oh, and if they haven't told you to move the potted roses - you still have those to play with!

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! I love the holidays, but I am ready to get back to gardening.......
Judith


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Rinaldo,

Lol. Let's hope there is no symmetry indeed!

Judith,

The cemetery is my best bet for seeing the roses thrive. Part of me has severe control issues, and so having that access to them without contending with opposition would allow me to definitely see that the roses survive. Plus, the roses need that opportunity to prove their mettle.

I would be glad to come help you with your pot ghetto! I am hoping to get out to Chamblee's in order to pick up some Earth-kind roses for a local church that asked me to plant for them. Perhaps I can stop by and play in the dirt with you while I'm out that way. Shoot me an email. And tell your son thank you for his service, from one military family to another.

Josh


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You go, Josh. My niece and nevvy have been incredibly fortunate in their supportive parents. I wasn't -- so I know the difference. You'll be a terrific doc, with a great garden. You Go!


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