The day dawned bright, blindingly bright, but disaster was lurking at the Casa... It was all my fault. I had fallen in love with the wrong sort of guy and while the fling was steamy and brief, it ended badly as they always do.
I should have said no when I saw him winking at me from his pot, strong green branches caressing my arms as I passed. I should have ignored his advances and left him for some other girl. But I didn't.
I turned and smiled, wrote down his info and went home to do a bit of sleuthing. He seemed like a nice guy, well mannered and polite. Happy Chappy wasn't a thug and would get along easily with Graham Thomas. I slept fitfully that night, my heart aching for my new love.
Don't let that handsome face fool you. Happy Chappy doesn't do well in humid environments.
I should have looked deeper, my head triumphing over my heart, but I had fallen hard and was all his.
Happy Chappy grew along side Graham Thomas all summer and my heart swelled when I passed them.
Graham Thomas grows along the fence near the rain garden.
But like all shady romances, Chappy was not as innocent as he appeared. He could no longer hide his guilt.
Black spots had covered every leaf, dying yellow leaves littering the mulch he shared with Graham.
I couldn't believe it! Not Chappy! How could he turn on me like this? I didn't want to accept the truth but questioned his innocence.
I could hide no longer and felt my heart ripped apart. Happy Chappy, my sweet summer love, had black spot and had spread his evil ways to Graham and Westerland.
I worked worm compost, rich with anti-fungal properties and beneficial microbes, into the soil and watered it in with my tears.
It was pure torture. I knew had no choice but to rip him out, clear away the mulch, and drench poor Graham with a fungicide. My heart pounded as he met his death.
Good bye, Chappy!
We'll always have our memories....
Convinced the black spot was temporary, I reassured Graham that all would be well.
"Stay strong, Graham! We can beat this together!"
I was wrong, so very, very wrong.
I removed many of the spotted leaves, but should I remove them all? Will that harm my rose or reduce its ability to photosynthesize? What should I do?
Graham looks like a plucked chicken. Not even a watering can full of mint is enough to cheer him up.
No more summer love for me. It's just me and my best gal, Peggy Martin.