Remember when we took possession of our new home on our anniversary in July and I joked about how long it would take until we killed the roses?
It took one day.
It turns out the previous owners had moved at least a month or two before we got the keys to the place. And it just so happens that they didn't leave anyone in charge of watering the roses or the lawn. And it also just so happens that we had one of the hottest summers on record. So when we rolled up to make it a home sweet home, our rose bush and front yard looked like kindling. Seriously, Smokey the Bear was *this close* to mauling us.
I tried to bring it back to life. I fed it water and dead headed the rose flowers. I trimmed off the vicious black spot fungus that had overtaken the leaves. And trimmed it again when it came back. And again. And again. I used a special organic fertilizer to spur on healthy growth. The fertilizer seemed to work, not in producing roses but in allowing the branches to grow super long like thorny octopus legs. So I trimmed those dang branches down and continued the cycle of watering and trimming.
And finally, a few days into October:
There are now two roses on the bush that once had dozens. Whatever! It's progress - and, naturally, just in time for the frost season.