Mystery of the Rose

Listening to: Bayside, “Masterpiece”

Now, this is just plain weird.

I have this beautiful Don Juan climbing rosebush I planted last spring. I planted it next to the stairs leading to our sunporch, and this summer I plan to buy a trellis it can climb on. I’ve always loved roses, and the blooms off this bad boy are gorgeous. Big, full, deep red, with thick stems that are great for cutting.

Over the summer, it grew to about three or four feet tall. Then the fall came, and I knew I should winterize it…but it didn’t seem like fall was ever going to end. And I kept putting it off, and forgetting about it, and then putting it off some more.

I’m good at that–just ask my husband.

So it never got winterized. I’m just kind of crossing my fingers and hoping it makes it through, so I can enjoy more beautiful roses this summer.

As I was driving home from a friend’s house last night, I realized I should probably take a look at it, see how it was doing with all the snow and cold we’ve gone through. I pull into the driveway, get out of the car, and hurry up the walk. The motion-light comes on, and I lean over to peer at my baby.

It’s been cut.

The canes are now about six inches to a foot tall, and the ends are very cleanly cut. Smooth, even. This is most definitely not the work of weather or animals–only pruning shears could’ve done that. And the cut-off pieces are nowhere to be seen.

I think the succession of sounds that came out of my mouth was something like this: “Whaaaaatha…huh?”

Okay, I think. My husband must have cut it. I don’t think he would have done that without asking me first, but sure. So I ask him when I get inside.


And the best part is that these roses grow best on two-year-old wood–so you’re supposed to prune very lightly, removing only twiggy growth and non-productive stems. Granted, whatever damage my midnight gardeners did, I probably did as much by not winterizing the roses…but still. It’s MY plant to damage, and no one else’s. No one has the right to come into my yard and decide what goes on in my garden. You may think, “Well, it’s just a flower, who cares?”

I do. It’s not just a flower, it’s my property. If you decide to clean my windows for me, without asking…well, that’s very nice of you. But if you break one in the process, then you’ve done damage to my property. No matter how wonderful your intentions were, you still damaged my property. And who’s going to pay for it? Who’s going to buy a new rose if my old one is too damaged to bloom this summer? And even if it does bloom, they took a summer’s worth of growth away. I guess I don’t need to bother buying a trellis this summer. Thanks, mysterious gardener.

I’ve slowly progressed from confused to thoroughly pissed.

UPDATE: And now slightly freaked out, because my neighbor says someone was kicking at her back door late one night about a week ago. She suggested that perhaps someone might have cut the rose canes because they’re thorny and they got in the way of peering in the window directly above.

No matter what, the whole situation is strange. If I don’t blog for a while, then I’m either chasing away rose-hating Peeping Toms, or chasing away compulsive gardeners.