The Ladies Page

| July/August 1975

Roses are ordinarily in blossom by June in our north country, that is, the old fashioned varieties to which some of us still cling. One I am guarding with great care is a deep cerise beauty, semi-double, with a beautiful golden center.

This rose came from Pennsylvania with some early settlers, well over a hundred years ago. A root of it was given to my mother after it prospered in its new home. When we left the farm I carefully carried my root with me. It is just settling in here now, and will have to be left undisturbed for several years.

What makes this rose all the more meaningful is the warm knowledge that it was brought to Wisconsin by the parents of the lady who became my spiritual mother. Her name was Mary Wilsie, and as a girl I looked up to this woman as the kind of person I would like to pattern my life after.

There is also one plant of monkshood given me by a neighbor, Mabel Krohn. She was a good friend, as well. On this I am showering special care. Each summer her lovely deep blue flowers bring back memories of Mabel and our friendship.

And have you ever owned a fern-leafed peony? Mine is something special! The first root was given to me all of twenty years ago. It wasn't in the best place at the farm, and never came to the perfection it is attaining here. One is instructed never to let the blossoms be removed from the plant with long stems attached, if you want a nice specimen plant. This is what Wayside Gardens of Mentor, Ohio, tell in their catalog. So, if I ever pick one of the deep red flowers it gets put in a rose bowl and floats.

This unusual plant was given to me by a lady called 'the Talky Lady' by our growing youngsters. She was a jolly German lady with the fastest moving tongue I have ever seen.


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