Bleu Magenta bloomed in the first half of June; Quickbeam told me she might show more of her blue coloring this year. She made a little nook for herself alongside the lane, near a wild black raspberry patch. My neighbor helped me mow a clear path to show her off.
Celestial and Alba, the white rose of York, both bloomed this year, probably because of the extra sunlight created by the local electric company when they chopped down a swath of trees to replace a power pole. Alba is the classic white rose. Celestial is one of her descendants.
Seafoam is almost a mini-rose, white and cream. She had a hard time in early May; some of her petals were nipped by frost. The potted mini-roses, Sweet Fairy and Cinderella, shed their leaves in late winter but came back quickly once they could finally go outside.
A couple of weeks after Beltane, Quickbeam loaded his van with roses and headed to a party in the country. I volunteered to help him ask people if they wanted rose bushes — free roses, folks, really. While I was roaming around offering roses to random people, our friend May, one of the party’s hostesses, told Quickbeam that she would take everything left in his van to start her own rose garden. I didn’t know about that when I asked May’s neighbor if he needed a rose bush. “My wife’s middle name is Rose,” he said, “and tomorrow is Mother’s Day.”
Quickbeam is our local Johnny Rosebush, spreading the word and the blossoms to all and sundry. A week after the party he loaded up the van again and gave away a dozen rose bushes at the Really, Really Free Market in town. I’m honored by the survival of his gifts, even here in the shade of the wild wood.