I realize now that if I make myself a cup of tea while I am gardening there is serious business to be accomplished, and a commitment made: to stay out there until it is done. It's like taking a deep breath. To whit: my beloved, loyal, gorgeous Abraham Darby had to be ripped from its pot.
It has overcome disease (die back, above) for years and I have not been able to bring myself to discard it. Even as I prepared to cut its roots I saw these brand new buds. Like a sunny face concealing deep, deep trouble. Same plant. In the end, once I had wrestled it from the urnshaped terra cotta and been speared by three thorns which broke off in me (sip of tea), I caved in and repotted it, watered it, apologized to it. I will move it to the roof. Technically roses are edible, right? Right. Only edibles are allowed on the roof. And I need the terrace to be extra pretty this year. More about that, later.
The reason for the move - my bare root roses had arrived from David Austin, via Texas. A replacement Abraham Darby, and deep red Munstead Wood. Their shipping box was deeply dented but the roses looked alright, if alien, and were still wet.
I soaked them for two hours and potted them up. I would have paid extra for instant gratification - buying planted roses, in bloom - but of course it is too early in the season, and neither variety is available potted. I'm a little nervous about how the bare root roses will perform. Hold thumbs.
Munstead Wood, above, is now near the fig, on the right of the terrace, and Abraham Darby II is on the left.
Here's a retrospective of the original Abraham Darby: