A Day of Good Things

First of all, it was a clear blue and astonishing 70 degrees in Berkeley today. This happens for a few days every February, and my entire being responds with relief and complete delight. The world continues to turn on its axis and travel around the sun. Spring is coming.

Second, I went to the Berkeley Horticultural Nursery and bought a Cécile Brünner climbing rose. I’ve wanted one for years, but I never remember until July, which is way too late to buy and plant a rose bush. Right now it’s only a few bare sticks in the ground, but it will be a whole different story come summertime. This afternoon, the backyard is full of birds — white-crowned sparrows and towhees picking through the turned-up dirt, hummingbirds and goldfinches at the feeders.

Third, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Leah Garchik used a quote I submitted in her Valentine’s Day ramp-up: Overheard Love Quotes. Here are a couple of examples (not the quote I heard; you’ll have to click on the link for that):

Yes, I told him I have a boyfriend and a girlfriend. I mean, I live in San Francisco, don’t I? –Person on cell phone on Montgomery Street, overheard by N. Stricker.

We tried a popsicle cover, but it broke. — Teenage boy to teenage boy, overheard on the 43-Masonic by Dedo Tres.

Fourth, after more than three weeks, the cough of the decade is subsiding.

Finally, Stewart is home from a week of traveling and I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than spend an evening with him.

Of course there’s much, much more. This is simply a grateful nod in the direction of satisfaction. It’s been a good day.

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  • Reply Sean D. May 8, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Cecile Brunner’s are incredibly hardy, though they make take a little while to take off.

    We currently have a wall of blooms on the north side of our front garden. The previous owners next door built a fence on the property line, but only about 4′ high. Their lot had been empty, but when they built their house in 1995, they had to conform to Contra Costa building codes (which is fine for urban sprawls in Walnut Creek or Concord, but is tremendously out of place in small El Cerrito) which meant a huge two-car garage to go with their huge 2-story house. So where a wild field next door to us had been full of grasses, wild roses, and tulips is now filled with a pink cement monstrosity. They went broke building it, had to sell. Now it’s owned by a couple of eldery sisters.

    In order to hide from our view their driveway and garage, we planted a Cecille Brunner a couple of years later. It grew fine, but slowly for awhile.
    Now, it towers some 20 or 30 feet high, a wonderful flowering hedge that is ripe with small pink roses. As it grew, we kept training it up, and trimmed the sides so it’s really a rose hedge (drive along Richmond Street in E.C. between Kearney & Stockton on the east side to see it).

    The first place Terry & I lived in was a rental on the borders of Berkeley, Oakland and Emeryville (surrounded by crack houses as it turned out) and thus neglected by all 3 cities. The yard had not been maintained for donkey’s years, and the large back yard was a jungle of overgrown flowers and trees. In the front of the yard there was a huge mound, maybe 20′ x 20′, that was one Cecille Brunner rose. That was really our first experience with them, and when it came time to find a climber for our own house, there was no other option we wanted.

    Last summer we replaced our furnace with a new one, and also had A/C installed, which means a big ugly box now sits in the front garden next to the front steps. After seeing a yellow climber around Berkeley, we bought one (Lady Banks) but hadn’t planted it before we decided we really liked Cecille Brunner better. So now we have another CB ready to be planted, to be trained over the AC box to hide it, and also to train up the front of the house.

    I read once that when we smell roses, it’s our inner angel responding to the scent. Standing downwind of the blooming Cecille Brunner hedge is like being filled with angels.

  • Reply Shae May 9, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    In just three months, the Cécile Brünner has grown several feet in all directions and begun to bloom. I can see that, without careful pruning and training, it will take over the world. Still, I can’t wait for that scent to fill the yard.

    My parents have both a Cécile Brünner hedge and an enormous waterfall of Lady Banks at their house in Novato. Except that I heard the name wrong the first time my mother said it, so it will forever be known as “Lady Pants.”

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