I’m in a bit of a funk about our city right now, but still mid-June is glorious nearly everywhere in New England, and Salem is no exception: it’s time to celebrate the roses, and the lushness all around us. Roses are spilling under and over fences all over town, whether they are wooden picket, wrought iron, or chain-link. We have passed through the period of the peony and the rhododendron (not a fan of either–too lush) into that of roses, lady’s mantle, and mountain laurel. I wish I could keep the roses going in my own garden, but they seldom put on such a flagrant display after June: they just spurt, and it doesn’t matter how much Neem oil I spray on them, their leaves always turn yellow. But they look good now! Here is this year’s crop, followed by some of my favorite roses around town. Rose bushes are difficult to photograph: the one just below my collage, which is on the fence of the Phillips House on Chestnut Street, is actually more lavender than pink.
There are several of the old Rosa Gallica, or “apothecary’s rose” shrubs in the colonial garden behind Salem Maritime’s Derby House, and I also saw some in the garden of the Munroe Tavern in Lexington as I was driving by last week. I would love one, but I’d kill it. I was scouting out the site of the new archival center that the Lexington Historical Society is building adjacent to the Tavern: now I’m jealous of both Lexington’s old roses and the imminent accessibility of its archives!
Back in Salem and in my garden, the lady’s mantle is peaking, as is the rue (which lasts for most of the summer–a truly marvelous herb), and I found some beautiful variegated catmint for a new border: the cats walk right by it so I don’t think it’s a particularly potent variety. I also put in some masterwort (astrantia) plants along the border of the shade garden: their flowers look like little jeweled brooches and I hope they keep appearing all summer long.
Salem and Lexington flowering, June 2018.
June 18th, 2018 at 10:26 am
I love the apricot colored rose at the top center of your collage. I never saw a rose that color before.
June 18th, 2018 at 10:38 am
Thanks! All my roses are from David Austin–I think this one is “Pat Austin”.
June 18th, 2018 at 4:24 pm
Why are you in funk right now about Salem?
June 19th, 2018 at 7:46 am
Well, this Phillips Library issue weighs very heavy on me. The Peabody Essex Museum has removed it to a vast “Collections Center” in Rowley, about 40 minutes to the north. The Library’s collections include the majority of Salem’s historical records so I’m now living in an archive-less city. Even more depressing, I think, is the fact that the city’s elected officials and “booster” organizations didn’t even put up a fight. Salem identifies as “Historic Salem” so this is very confusing and disappointing to me.
June 19th, 2018 at 7:24 am
The massive appearance of flowers and fruits tell us that winter is over and the earth is joyous again. The joy is intensified by the rich colours and scents.