Hope is in the Mud

Everything that slows us down and forces patience,
everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature,
is a help.

Gardening is an instrument of grace.
~M. Sarton



Fifty empty holes, lining the picket fence of our front yard, lay ahead of me and my mini crew.

Fifty holes dug out the day before the rain fell.

Fifty empty holes that would soon be filled with bare root pink roses – roses that once thrived in the southern region of Spain, brought over the ocean by Acadian settlers.

Fifty rose bush roots, with history dating back to the 1890s,  that represent hope — in our future.

In the distance, fisherman bobbed up and down on the bay waves, half blanketed by a heavy grey fog. The air was still and calm.

My shovel thunked in a plod of red Prince Edward Island soil as I covered up the roots of one of the plants. Just bare roots. No plant to speak of … just buried hopes.

“If we work together, we’ll be done sooner and we can go inside and have lunch,” I encouraged my two man/girl crew, as we continued to fill the holes. “Just imagine how beautiful this hedge will be!”


Chilled, they worked steadily, filling each hole with the bare rose bush root, and topping it off with a bit of our family magic formula: CPT. (Ahem. Commonly known as Cow P**h Tea.)

The cold May spring rain drizzled down upon our heads. Our fingers tingled with the tiny biting left-over winter chill … a cool spring by island standards, but my gardener heart was still hopeful.

“Wouldn’t it look lovely with a hedge of pink roses around our front yard?” I had suggested, earlier that winter, to my patient husband. Huddled inside our home with snow whirling around our farmhouse walls, I’m sure was hard to picture the vision I had in mind. But I could see it. And I had faith in things to come.

And now, a few months later, the rough-looking soggy cardboard box had arrived with the morning post. The box was quickly opened and the roots revived … and into the soil they went. A shovel full of dirt, a splash of CPT and a covering of green grass from the yard. We cannot live without hope … and we cannot live looking backwards. We must look forward – with hope.

Fifty holes of beautiful things to come …

But if we hope for what we do not see,
we wait for it with patience.

May 18, 2023 - 4:10 am

Gigi Danessa, I love roses, too! An absolute favourite! I think the best thing about summer is seeing all the flowers bloom! I have so many roses now, it’s so wonderful. These roses came from Nova Scotia – I will email you the man’s information. Did you mulch over your roses for the winter? I have found that does wonders! So far, all of my rose bushes have survived, if I do that. (and not just the hardy type, but the regular type from the garden centres. This year I am planting a Dave Austen rose and am going to do the same for the winter time. After pruning for the fall, make sure to cover all the way up the stems with mulch so nothing of the rose bush is exposed. I hope that helps! Let me know how your roses do this year!
P.S. In what part of Newfoundland are you?

May 17, 2023 - 7:10 pm

Danessa stride I adore roses, I planted two in my garden last year, fingers crossed they survived winter! I would love to know what variety and where you purchased from, because we have the same climate here in Newfoundland, I want to add more to more garden in the future! I can picture the roses against that white fence, I will be beautiful!

May 13, 2023 - 6:14 am

Kirsty Porter I am from Australia. I just adore roses, especially heirloom varieties. I love the history and the connection to something our great great great grandmother might have grown in her garden. The old varieties are so timeless, hardy and beautiful.

May 13, 2023 - 4:35 am

Gigi Hello Kristy, it will take a few years but it will be worth it. These are a heirloom variety, a heritage rose that is suited for our climate. They are also grown wild all over the island – it’s so beautiful! They are not a nursery variety. I have nursery varieties in my other gardens, however. Where are you located?

May 13, 2023 - 3:59 am

Kirsty Porter Your rose hedge will look amazing I’d love to know the variety you planted.

May 11, 2023 - 4:44 pm

Mom (Gigi’s Momma) Such a bunch of HARD working children!! Bless them xoxo

May 7, 2023 - 7:43 pm

Gigi Amen, Laura!!

May 7, 2023 - 4:01 pm

Laura Jeanne Oh, how lovely! I look forward to seeing the beautiful photos that I know you will be sharing in the future. And I like what you said about having faith in what is to come…so much of the good part of life requires that of us, don’t you think? We will rarely do anything new if we don’t have faith that the results will be worth it. <3

May 6, 2023 - 9:08 am

Monica It will all be so beautiful!!!