Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bad Things

So, I did a bad thing.  No I didn't litter or hurt anyone or any animal, but I did permanently borrow something.  Without asking.  Yes, it has taken me a while to work up to the deed.  I pass by the tempting place frequently enough and just keep on walking.  Sometimes I pause, but nothing more.  But something happened this evening when I was driving home from Lowe's after purchasing ANOTHER set of hand pruners, having, I assume, thrown yet another pair out with the yard waste.  I keep doing this.  Trim trim trim, bag up for city compost, can't find pruners two days later.  But as I was saying...

You see, I couldn't stop thinking about them, having seen them resplendent a few days ago on one of my walks.  Outside a church that will remain nameless.  Two of them, encroaching on the sidewalk, as they were.  Taunting me.

And there I was driving home, in the dark, with sharp new pruners in the passenger seat, and a half filled bottle of water I stopped drinking abruptly when the bad deed crossed my mind.  And just like that, I decided: I was going to do it.  I was going to steal two cuttings off of the most magnificent rose bushes in all of downtown Charleston, under cover of darkness.  Super double sneaky style.

And there's were things started to go not as planned...

It all started with this whole cover of darkness premise.  Because the time had changed just 2 days previous I had this false sense of lateness.  Also I hadn't slept well that night because there's a mad arsonist in town burning houses down in the middle of the night for kicks and having so far burnt 82 houses in the past 8 years without our top notch PD even having a clue, Monday at 4am another house was alight not two blocks from me.  But lets not get me started on the arsonist here.  Talk about bad things grrrr.   So anyhow,  I was driving the extra few blocks to the target flora, and as I approached the street (urban, buildings on both sides), I realized there were people all over the (badword) place.  I checked the clock.  It was precisely 6:22.  (badword)! Now fortunately there was still a lot of darkness, because Charleston is just one of those places that tries to keep every block just light enough to film a Vampire movie.  So my nerve held.

And then problem #2 became apparent.  The Church WAS FULL of people too!  On a Tuesday. Argh.

And then I realized the most troublesome fact thus far... because it was after 6, but not very far after 6, the evening parking restrictions were lifted and there wasn't a spot to be seen.  I mentally backtracked.  (another badword)!  I hadn't seen any parking spots for many many blocks. Argh.  Plus there were  4 unsuspecting cars stacked patiently up behind me, as Southerners inexplicably have the power to do,  as I crawled past the church bushes casing them.  I turned around looking at my options.   My mental picture of rolling up to the church pruners reaching out of the car and lop lop was withering.  But I also knew my puritanical other identity which usually rules when not exhausted and carrying pruners would never let this opportunity happen again.  I knew it was now or never.  My heart rate ratcheted up as I saw someplace to park... right between the two church buildings in one of the 5 spots labeled "xxx Church Staff Only.  Violators will be Towed.

{to be continued}


  1. You're as goofy as I am. Jusy cut one, or ask the yard man working around the grounds. They have to trim them anyway , or ask them for a good root cutting. Smile and swing that blond hair around woman. Keep us posted.

  2. Argh! You left us hanging LOL. I love that you're contemplating 'borrowing' roses from a CHURCH garden. I can just see you having to explain that one while standing in front of pearly gates. In your defense, roses only grow and produce their best if they're faithfully pruned, so clearly they need to be trimmed. Oh, and a can of orange paint, to paint those pruners handles, has saved me a number of expensive trips back to the tool department ;)

  3. haha - I can't believe you didn't finish! I would never, ever have the nerve to do this! And that arsonist worries me. See, I would be worried that someone would see me slinking around, with my luck the church would burn down the next day, and I would be named! That's the way I think. That's why I would never be able to do that. I would just know I would get caught!

    If you did, I hope you didn't get caught. Or named as the arsonist. I hope you're not writing this in jail! See what you're doing to me? You need to finish this post!

  4. I bet if you just asked them they would say sure go ahead. But I know how these ideas get into ones head.

  5. You stole flowers from a church.

    You're going to hell :D

    (I'll save you a seat right next to me.)

  6. Jess, This is hilarious! I love the way you left us hanging, but since you started the post by confession that you "did" a bad thing, I'm pretty certain that the deed actually got done. The fun part will be learning about your misadventures along the way. (I'm pretty sure they don't allow internet access in jail, so I'm not worried about that.) -Jean

  7. to be continued!!! GAH, I can't wait to find out what happened. I'm laughing a little as we just did a small gardening crime today as well. Some baby trees languishing in the ditch, not on our property, but they would have just been mowed over if left there, right? they'll be much happier in our yard I'm sure.

  8. Great story and I hope it ends well :). Is the rose in the picture the one you are hoping to "borrow"? I found a link for you to a California rose hybridizer's blog about rooting late season cuttings:

    He is very knowledgeable and I hope it helps you in your quest :).

    You asked me about early pruning. A lot of my roses are still growing too and I haven't pruned them, but some of my big climbers (other than noisettes, climbers are not known for great fall bloom) have fallen asleep already and stopped growing, so I started with those. I don't expect the pruning to trigger growth because they are basically dormant already. Also I took leaves off them (lots of work!) to force more reliable dormancy - sometimes it is necessary in my climate where some roses remain evergreen and reluctant to stop growing (and they need a nap).

    Even if your roses start growing in winter after pruning it is not a big deal. They will lose a bit of tender growth, and you will probably have to re-prune them (a bit of a pain), but in my climate at least it is not at all a catastrophe. At the San Jose Heritage they have to start pruning in October because they have so many plants, and some of them have already resumed growing. This tender growth will be killed off, but, in a mild climate, the plant won't be any worse off.

  9. I know that feeling, of seeing the perfect specimen plant and dying to have a piece of it, and so I hoped everything worked out for you but guess we'll have to wait to see. ;-)

    My hand pruners are constantly getting lost too. I really need to just buy 3 at a time because I waste too much time looking for them all throughout the gardening season.

  10. Jess, having been in the South only a short time, I would think that if you only asked, those church people would cut an armful for you and supply you with rooted cuttings for your own place - waiting for the happy ending, hopefully not written from the Charleston lockup :)

  11. can't wait to hear part 2. haha! i think like holley...i hope you didn't get arrested as arsonist suspect. it *has* been a while since you wrote part one!