I beg your pardon.

I never promised you a rose garden.

Nonetheless, if you are one of my local readers I am offering you a rose garden today.

This is the view from our back yard.

That is our neighbor Arlene’s rose garden.  Arlene is married to Ken, my handyman neighbor who does all (or most anyway) of my furniture repairs.  They live right next door to us and although we both have fences on the outside edges of our properties, there is no fence down the middle between us.

I’ve admired this lovely view for the past nearly 30 years, why would I want to block it?  And I certainly wouldn’t want to hinder Ken’s ability to walk back and forth from his workshop to my workshop!

As you can see, Ken and Arlene take immaculate care of their yard and garden.  Unfortunately they are starting to find that the roses are just a bit too much maintenance for them now that they are in their 80’s.

As the song goes, along with the sunshine there has to be a little rain sometimes.  So Arlene has decided that this will be the last year for her rose garden.

Both nnK and I offered to help her with the necessary gardening tasks that would allow her to keep the roses for a few more years, but Arlene is having none of it.  If she can’t do it herself, she doesn’t want to rely on others to do it for her.  I also suspect that she realizes that although our hearts are in the right place, it’s doubtful that nnK and I would maintain the roses to her exacting specifications.

So the roses have to go.

She’ll be keeping the rest of her perennial beds, but just digging out the roses and planting grass in that area.

I’m definitely going to miss them.

Arlene has always been very generous with her roses and I’ve used them in many furniture photo shoots.

This is where you come in.  If you are a local reader and you would like to try your hand at growing roses, or if you know someone who would, Arlene’s roses are up for grabs.  Free to a good home.  She plans to start digging them out this week, and hopefully finish up next week.  If you want one, or two, or a dozen, please send me an email at qisforquandie@gmail.com and we can make arrangements for you to pick some up.  If there are no takers we’ll likely put them on Craigslist where they are sure to go quickly.

So smile for a while and let’s be jolly
Love shouldn’t be so melancholy
Come along and share the good times (or at least the roses) while we can.



25 thoughts on “I beg your pardon.

  1. Sad to hear that your neighbors are at this stage in their lives, but they are choosing to be able to stay in their home as long as possible. I hope all of these lovely roses will find new homes and continue to give joy.


    1. Mr. Q and I will definitely do all we can to help them stay in their house as long as possible. They are fantastic neighbors and we are not looking forward to a day when they no longer live next door to us.


  2. As we age, our priorities in life change. I’m sure that the roses will be missed but they will bring joy to others. Perhaps one of your beautiful pictures framed for her would fill a small gap once they are gone?


  3. Hello, Please let us know the names of the roses you posted photos of today. I have some of the same ones and I would love to know what they are called.


  4. My goodness they are so lovely. Thirty years of caring for roses is admirable. They do require lots of tending to look as well loved as her garden. It’s a such a nice gesture to offer them up to other gardners.
    I do hope they find a new home.


    1. Arlene had a very elaborate system of covering the roses in winter that was fairly labor intensive, and then there was all of the tending during the growing season too. She has so many that it’s hard to make it much easier. She is going to keep one or two of her favorites though, which will be much more manageable.


  5. I so, so wish I could take advantage of the rose offer, they are so beautiful! Perhaps you, nnK and your sister could each take one and nurture them as a way to keep Ken and Arlene’s legacy intact? You are so blessed with your neighbors and I love your photos of the roses. Let us know how the rose garden give away shakes out.


    1. I thought of that, but the reality is that I’m not a conscientious enough gardener for roses. I’m afraid that none of us would provide the proper amount of care and then Arlene would just feel bad watching them whither away!


  6. I would love to take a few of Arlene’s lovely roses and fine a place in the Hannigan household for them. My daughter has a bunch of roses in her front yard in Vancouver, Washington. The perennials in her area are abundant because of their long growing season and their front yards are more likely filled with flowers and manicured grass! Linda, just let me know when I can come and get them.


    1. How lovely! I’d love to have more flowers and less grass. One of these days I should do a front yard makeover! I’ll be in touch about the roses Cathy 🙂


  7. Just a correction on my last comment! I meant their front yards have flowers INSTEAD of manicured grass.


  8. How nice of Ken and Arlene to offer up their roses to a good home. Hopefully the takers will show up with a pie or a nice bouquet of flowers for Arlene!


    1. No need for pie or flowers, and honestly if they show up with a pie it might not make it past Mr. Q 😉 Arlene will just be happy to see the roses go to good homes!


  9. How sad for you and her! I wish that I lived closer! I think that I have told you before that I am a nurse. To make a long story short, when my sister passed away I decided to take a break from nursing. So, I went to work at a local nursery here in town. Because of my love for roses, I was put in charge of the rose department. During that time I ended up planting 53 rose bushes in our gardens. I loved them. They are a lot of work, but worth it. We had a big dog then, and kept him in a kennel on the property. He was great at keeping the deer at bay! After the dog died, the deer came in and chewed on my beloved roses and practically ate them to the ground. I put a sign out front of our place that said, FREE ROSES, you dig. They all went in a matter of days.I did keep 6 of my favorite bushes, and just planted them in pots and kept them up on our deck. I am sure that Arlene will miss them. Now is a great time to take many pictures of them before they go. Maybe you could share them with her. 😊


    1. What a great story Monica! Thanks for sharing that with us 🙂 I tried to suggest the ‘you dig’ idea to Arlene, but as you can imagine she did not want anyone else digging in her garden. Although she might be changing her mind on that now that she’s discovered it’s quite a lot of work to dig out those roses!


  10. Oh my! The picture of the roses in the white pitcher is breathtaking! I live in full shade and can only dream of roses, but that is a wonderful picture of her rose bed!
    It appears Ken and his wife are perfectionists in what they do! You are fortunate to have good neighbors! Bad neighbors can make you miserable and can ruin a neighborhood!


    1. I mainly have shade as well Shelly. When I first started gardening I was bummed out about how much shade I had, and how little room for my favorite flowers like roses, delphiniums, fox glove, iris, etc. But over the years I have grown to love my shade gardens. It’s so much more pleasant to take care of a garden in the shade rather than under the hot sun. But then again, I always had Arlene’s roses to admire from a distance 🙂


  11. Gorgeous garden! I must admit, I’m somewhat thankful that those are not your roses — my first thought was “oh my gosh, how does Linda do all of her beautiful painting, work a job AND have that gorgeous garden?”. I was beginning to think you were not human lol. Thanks for sharing, and for being real. Like us.


    1. Yep, I’d never have time for those roses! I prefer low maintenance gardening. I have lots of hostas, bleeding heart, ferns, clematis, hydrangea and other perennials that require very little effort. I mulch it up good in the spring to avoid having to do too much weeding, and I pretty much give up on weeding entirely by mid-August.


      1. Yes, I have lots of those same plants. Hubby and I finally got into a weekly maintenance phase so that it wasn’t an all-day weedfest when we finally got around to it. Mind you, we bought this house with tons of gardens. Loved the house but I’d sworn I wouldn’t have big gardens anymore. We do love them once we weed them though..! Lol

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I guess I’ve been lucky… I played a few roses years ago and do no maintenance and they bloom and bloom! One is a long stem peachy color and the smell heavenly!
    If I weren’t in Michigan I’d be popping over for them 😉😜
    I hope someone will take them. I’d not— I might have to make a road trip!!

    Liked by 1 person

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