Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My First Rose Rustle of the Year

Over the weekend, I met up with some rose friends in Harrisonburg, Virginia ... about a two hour drive from here.  When I was about an hour from home, whizzing southbound on Route 29 in Madison County, I saw a flash of pink on the roadside embankment.  My "rosey sense" was tingling big time.


Since I was on the way to a fairly civilized gathering, I didn't stop ... even though I had boots and my rustling kit in the car with me.  It was a ditch, after all, and I didn't to be filthy or wet when I arrived at Dennis's house.  When I got to the party and I told Dennis what I saw, he scolded me for not stopping right then.  (I should have known.)  I promised that I would go back in a day or two, and that I would report my findings to soothe his (and my) curiosity.

Yesterday morning, I put Ruby in the Jeep, and we set out to see which rose this could be.  The shoulder of the road is fairly wide at that point, fortunately, and I could get the Jeep all the way off the road with a bit of room to spare.  Armed with pruners in my pocket, and my camera around my neck, I stepped into the ditch ... after doing a quick survey to check for poison ivy ... none found, thank goodness.

Turns out, this is a rose that I am very familiar with ... I know it as 'Shailer's Provence', and I have collected it at least four times in different locations.  In fact, this rose holds the distinction of being the very first rose I ever rustled (along with 'Dr. W. Van Fleet' on the same property) in either 2004 or 2005.
While light traffic flew past my Jeep parked on the shoulder of the road, I worked quickly.  I snapped these photos for documentation, pruned off two long stems that I could reach without climbing the embankment, tossed the stems into the car, and I drove away.  The whole process lasted a maximum of two or three minutes.
A few miles up the road, I stopped in a parking lot so I could trim the stems and put them in some water (a peanut butter jar).  I cut the stems into proper cuttings when I got home ... wrapped them in a damp paper towel, sealed in a plastic bag, and put the packet into the refrigerator.  I will plant the cuttings in little milk jug/soda bottle greenhouses later this morning.
Two buds from my roadside rustle in an antique baby bottle on my kitchen windowsill this morning.
My original 'Shailer's Provence' on 5/20/2013 (tagged "Lansdowne Road Climber" because that's where I found it.)
Please allow me to shift gears here for a second to thank each of you for your generous words of encouragement and comfort in response to Daniel's death last week.  I am truly humbled by the volume of comments and email that I have received.  Just to let you know, I'm okay.  It helps to know that we had no choice but to let Daniel go when we did ... no doubts, no wondering ... it was time, and I am very grateful to have the ability and immense responsibility to do this for him.
One message I received will always stick with me ...
"Daniel is no longer where he was, he is where you are.  He will live on in your heart and will always be a part of you."
Yes, he will.  Thank you!!


  1. I learn so much from your blog. I had never heard of. A rose rustle, but in the future I can rustle roses. What fun.

  2. Shailor's Provence; so easy to root!....one of my first as well.

  3. Love that quote! And love the rose! Especially the one in your garden. I need to keep a kit in my car, I have a small one in the 4-runner, but do most of my traveling in the car now. Roses in my garden are spectacular, could just imagine them in yours! Have a great day!

  4. Great find! Little things like finding a rose on the side of the road are the best.

  5. This rose is so pretty! I love how you 'wrangle' roses! I am glad to know you are doing OK. It is such a hard thing I know! I'm glad you have Ruby, Alice and Dorothy to give you some furry comfort!


  6. So sorry about your beloved companion, I know you're holding your others much closer these days.

    I was delighted to see your "Shailer's Provence." My mother, who lives farther south than you do, rooted some cuttings for me from her bushes (obtained from a rustler)--using your same method. More than 15 years ago I planted them in cold New England soil, where the bushes have thrived. I've got dozens of roses, but this variety will always be special to me. A couple of years ago, when I knew I would be moving eventually, I layered some canes to create new plants, they struck roots and I've recently potted up those new plants--now leafing out so well that I even have hopes of flowers. (Nothing's blooming yet way up here!) I intend to root my own Shailer's cuttings as well to take along to the new house. No such thing as too many!

    I know I will enjoy following your blog.

  7. How interesting that it was growing so well in the ditch! I'm impressed that you take a kit along with you at all times. This is a beautiful rose, but I bet most people drove right by without looking twice.

  8. Connie, I am so sorry about Daniel but that quote says it all. ((( Connie & Daniel ))))
    I have never heard of the term rose rustler. I honestly thought when you said you had your rose rustling kit it was a long stick or something to scare away any creepy critters that may be in the weeds and ditch....LOL ( I encountered one yesterday....ugh)


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