May 19th, 2008
A Rose Even I Can’t Kill

Barite rose
Barite rose on a bed of recycled glass mulch.

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings recently sent me the perfect rose: it doesn’t require any water or fertilizer. I don’t have to worry about black spot or mildew or the flowers balling in Austin’s humid heat. I never have to contemplate spraying poison on it, or be wake up one morning to find that it has been eaten by caterpillars, beetles, or covered with aphids. I don’t have to dread rose dieback.

This perfect rose is a barite rose and it is the state rock of Oklahoma. Dee wrote how moved she was by Tom Spencer’s talk on gathered stones during Spring Fling. Our gardens become reliquaries for those objects (stones, shells, bones, and figures) which have personal meaning to us.

My little pot of everblooming barite roses will always remind me of meeting Dee and all the other wonderful garden bloggers who came to the first Spring Fling.

Barite rose

by M Sinclair Stevens

15 Responses to post “A Rose Even I Can’t Kill”

  1. From dee/reddirtramblings:

    Aww, what a nice post, and I LOVE how you displayed them. I place mine in the sedum and have to move them a lot because they get buried in the beds.

    I’m so glad we all met too. Now, when I read your posts, I think of your sweet garden and you too.


    I thought you must know me pretty well to know I’d be excited with a gift of rocks (as opposed to something cutesy). I love them. — mss

  2. From Gail:

    MSS, what a thoughtful posting and a delightful gift from Dee.

    You’ve planted it in the perfect spot and found a fabulous use for the recycled glass….Isn’t that one of your new pots that escaped smashing by inches?



    It’s not the same pot as in the other photo but one I bought to go with those two pots. It also narrowly escaped a branched (not as big). I intend to group the three of them together. — mss

  3. From Pam/Digging (Austin):

    That’s a cute way to display them. Dee kindly sent me a rock bouquet too, reminding me of childhood vacations in Oklahoma, where I acquired a few rock roses for my collection.

    They’re lovely and also very personal. I like them a lot. — mss

  4. From Kim:

    Awww… I love that rose bouquet, and the way you set them up on the recycled glass mulch! Lovely. 🙂

    Thanks. — mss

  5. From Annie in Austin:

    The container with the barite roses from Dee on a bed of glass mulch looks great, MSS – and the idea of a rose with no blackspot is appealing right now.

    Philo knew about barite but I was clueless.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    I’d never heard of them before, either. I wonder if Texas has a state rock. — mss

  6. From Yolanda Elizabet:

    What a lovely gift from Dee and so nicely displayed too. My mother has those roses as well, we bought them in Tunesia, Africa, when we were there. Apparently they grow in the desert there.

    Here no blackspot on the roses yet, but that may come in time or then again perhaps not. 😉

    Dee also included a little flyer explaining the history and composition of barite roses. Very interesting. I suppose someday archaeologists will wonder how a handful of barite roses made it to central Texas. — mss

  7. From Mr. McGregor's Daughter:

    Those rock roses are great! I wonder if my daughter would be satisfied with that kind of rose? Nah. The recycled glass mulch makes an excellent contrast to them.

    I can see them from my kitchen window and I smile every time. — mss

  8. From our friend Ben in Pennsylvania:

    MSS, how fantastic!!! What a marvelous display you’ve made! I love the terracotta roses set off against the glittering glass contained within the terracotta pot. What an artist you are! As an inveterate rock and shell collector, I’ve managed to fill the house with both (and fossils, of course), and am now working on the property. My latest venture is creating a medicine wheel. Hopefully, it will take me a while to find the rocks to spin out from the center, and that in turn will focus my search. But ah, that display of yours is *very* special!!!

    I was pleased that the color of the barite and the terracotta pot went so well together. And the ambers and the greens of the recycled glass also goes well with the yellowed tones of central Texas. I’ll be looking forward to reading more about your medicine wheel design. — mss

  9. From cindee:

    Wow those are so cool. I have never heard of them before. I had to look online to see what the history was. What an awesome gift!!! They look great in the pot too!!!

    Dee was so sweet to send them. — mss

  10. From Frances:

    Hi MSS, what a joy to see that. I was born and raised in Oklahoma and have one of those rocks, it was in my grandmother’s jewelry box, I didn’t know what it was. That Dee is so smart. I still am in love with the glass mulch. After saving beer and wine bottles, decided the pieces would be too sharp and recycled them. Maybe there is an online source for glass mulch, seems like there was an article about in NY Times or Wash. Post a while back. Love your set up!

    Austin is really lucky to have such a forward-looking recycling facility. Let’s hope other townships adopt similar policies. — mss

  11. From Lisa at Greenbow:

    Now that is the type of rose that I need. I am a notorious rose killer. The way yours are displayed make them even more special.

    I can almost hear the roses scream, “Not me! Not me!” when I pull my shopping wagon through the nursery. — mss

  12. From Amy:

    I’ve never seen anything like that – what a neat idea! I bought what are supposed to be two super tough roses last year. Their leaves were promptly eaten 🙁 I’ve since learned they were attacked by “rose slugs”. Sheesh!

  13. From kate:

    That was an incredibly thoughtful gift from Dee and a constant reminder of the Spring Fling. Rocks are one of the best parts of a garden to me.

    I’m one of those people who picks up rocks along my travels, so it was an especially meaningful gift to me. — mss

  14. From Nancy, Houston, Texas:

    Am I remembering correctly? Don’t the barite roses have something to do with the Trail of Tears?

  15. From Angelina:

    Those are very pretty. I rarely have any ornamental things in my garden that aren’t plants but I’ve been turning my attention to such details and hope to acquire a few treasures to add the unkillable touch to mine too.