As counterbalance to the scurf post, here are some photos of our experimental mini-garden, as well as some old-friend roses (and a few weeds).
We've taken off the tomatoes' protective covers:
We've even had a few of the little orange tomatoes to eat already.
Here's the basil, beginning to look sturdy and like it might support future pesto-making, especially that one on the left:
These red roses represent a number of bushes that have survived (and thrived) despite intermittent care over the years.
I've pulled out the thistle and bindweed at lower right. Pulling thistle and bindweed is one of the primary, unending tasks of gardening in this area. One of the most stalwart organic gardeners I've met suggested that these persistent noxious weeds warrant chemical attack, but I haven't been able to bring myself to do that (it's not like the chemicals work any better than pulling anyway, as far as research indicates). So I pull, and pull, and. . . .
My personal rose bush offered a few blossoms this week:
It has incredibly nasty thorns (small, plentiful) everywhere, so pruning it is always a challenge, and it sends up long stalks that need a bit of pruning, in addition to having some dead canes that need to come out. But the blooms are, in my opinion, exquisite and worth the sting:
I usually like single roses. Maybe some day I'll get some planted in the yard. Meanwhile, I do love this one. And it's definitely as sturdy as a plant needs to be to hang on in my garden. It's an Autumn Damask.
I think I like my roses to have as much history as my fibers. One of the links I found says this rose has been grown since 1000 B.C.E. Another says it was bred "before 1600." In any case, it's been around for a while.