18 May 2004 - 10:12 AM
Roses and Departures
I wasn't completely serious about walking into the contract-signing and throwing a letter of resignation on the table, but due to some schedule re-shuffling, that's exactly what happened this morning.
I am a little sad to be leaving teaching. It's not that I love detention duty and certainly not that I love the Stooges -- I would not be leaving except for the Stooges -- but I will miss my kids. The other day, a girl I currently teach, whose elder brother I taught a couple of years ago, said, 'Yeah, my mom says you're the one who made Kevin like reading.'
A knife in the heart. But also vindication. I did make a difference to some of them.
On to other things. If I dwell on this too much, I'll cry.
This weekend, someone flipped the 'on' switch on my roses. All of the roses I put in last year started blooming, and all of the ones I put in this year are showing buds. Even the little sweetbriar (Rosa eglanteria) I put in a couple of weeks ago opened a blossom.
Sweetbriar is one of the most worthwhile species roses, if you have room for it. It blooms only once a year, but the foliage is apple-scented, and if the bush is placed where warm breezes will blow past it, it will spread the fragrance around the garden even when it's not in bloom.
'Reine des Violettes' (1860, usually labelled as a hybrid perpetual, though most rose authorities think this is an error) is particularly spectacular. The late G.S. Thomas called her 'the apotheosis of the old roses' and if that sounds like hyperbole, well, you have to see the rose. She's beautiful. I have terrible soil (sand and iron oxide -- it's like gardening Mars, only damper), so I've been mulching her with composted manure and coffee grounds (used coffee grounds add organic matter and are a good source of nitrogen for plants) and it's really paid off.