love & assassination


Take a look at that perfectly serene beautiful  rose ~ my Pink Saturday shot at How Sweet the Sound


Take a look at those disgusting little buggers, that simply need to die! These are aphids by the way, and the beasts like to feast on tender rose buds just as they are about to open up; usually leaving them deformed and diseased looking afterwards ~My I heart Macro Shot at studio water stone.


"Gardens are not made by sighing,

'oh how beautiful'

and sitting in the shade"

~Rudyard Kipling


Very true Mr. Kipling, but the only thing I have ever had to do this wild rose bush that grows in our backyard is clip it back so it does not obstruct our entire deck walkway.  And take pictures of it, or course. Wild roses seldom need much attention as they have survived for decades, and have long established a natural resistance.  But like all heirloom or antique plants, will only bloom once a year.  But with such a heady, heavenly scent!  Incomparable to any hybrid plant you can purchase.

~My shadow shto at   Shadow Shot Sunday 2.


The relationship a gardener has with her roses is complex.

She carries the miniature bloom carefully home from the garden nursery. Tucked safely under her arm, with all the high hopes of new mother.

Visions of grand regal blooms, sure to sprout and dominate her little soil home, thanks to her work and care, fills her with determined optimism.

 Twelve years of rose purchasing, planting, pruning, and pest destroying, has produced more delinquent offspring than golden children I am sad to say. Roses, the most desired of perennials, seem to be the most prone to blight, rust, mildew, and life sucking terrorizing bugs.

And yet…

 I could not help but look on with swelling pride at my  lined- up soldiers of buds this Spring…


that then flourished into this.


    I would like to say that it was because I put tons of times and effort and used a tireless arsenal of organic kitchen remedies on a weekly basis as I, with motherly affection tended this lovely garden child.

Not really. Or not hardly, more like.

I am still convinced that LUCK, unlike  the rearing of children, contributes to certainly some of a gardener's success in the raising of her plants.

That said:

Let me share with you several exerts from a gardening book that I have had on my bookshelf for years.  It has been the source of my gardening philosophy, quirky ideas, and simple, all organic remedies…


Trowel & Error by Sharon Lovejoy.

Here in no particular order are her tips on how to tenderly love your plants and ruthlessly and naturally kill the pests and bacteria that attach themselves to your little darlings.

*Liquid soap mixed with water in your watering can-it quickly covers your plants completely, with no effect on them, but smothers the insect's bodies and assassinates them

* Aspirin, un-coated and dissolved in warm water-helps prevent that gross black mildew or nasty looking powdery crap that is prone to roses and veggie plants especially.

*Banana peels cut up and scattered just beneath a scratched surface of your rose bush- its high concentration of potassium is like a Vit C boost to a rose's immune system.  You are supposed to do this early in the Spring, just as it starts to come out of its winter nap…but I just do it when I remember.  And like Vit C for us, it helps gives a boost when your roses starts to look "sick".

{speaking of Vitamin C} Essential Oil of Orange or Organic Orange Cleaner Product- if using the "green" orange cleaner dilute very well in water as even  while it boasts on the label of being "organic" it can still burn your plants, as that is not its intended purpose. If you use the essential oil, add a few drops to any liquid soap diluted in water and put it into a clean empty spray bottle. The stuff that is in citrus is stuff that kills many pests.

*Epsom salts (just a few tablespoons) dissolved in a gallon of warm water- does the same thing as the bananas do for roses with its high concentration of magnesium, but best helps out your TOMATOES.

*Pepper flakes- I shake a liberal amount of these on top of my tulips bulbs when I put them in the ground in the Fall.  I then add a tiny handful of pea gravel.  These will help inhibit pesky squirrels (affectionately called tree rats by Mr. MS) from digging up and digesting your bulbs. {planting them inside a circle of DAFFODIL bulbs seems to work for me too, as daffodil bulbs are poisonous}.


Her book is filled with so much practical advice and tons of re-purposed item ideas for your garden. {one of my favorite things to do} Her quirky sense of humor and natural garden philosophy had a big impact of how I viewed, cared, and tamed my own little plot of Earth.

And because I am in a rather generous mood, seeing as how beautiful my gardens are doing this year, and Mr.MS made lunch and kept the children out of my hair as I typed this mammoth post.

I will send a pristine USED copy of Trowel and Error via Amazon marketplace to a randomly selected comment-er on this post.  I will draw on Monday.  Contact the winner  on your blog or facebook page.  You give me your address , and I will send the order out that day, shipping to your address.




12 thoughts on “love & assassination

  1. Enjoyed this wander through the light and shade of your garden world! Adore the front verandah and white roses view! Gardening is certainly a liberal dose of luck dependent on the mood swings of Nature’s precocious weather child.


  2. Hey there Leah! Love the post….a girl after our own hearts….gardening 🙂
    Your roses are so pretty….somehow mine made it through looking decent this year…maybe it’s the weather? I know it’s none of your fabulous gardening hints…cause I haven’t done any of that!! Have a glorious day!


  3. I love wild roses! When we bought our first house there was a rose bush right by the steps to the front porch. It was beautiful, old and smelled heavenly. The only problem was – if we didn’t prune it all the time – the mail man could not get to the mail box! I hope your hike was wonderful:) I will mail out your magnet this week.


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