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GARDEN SURROUNDINGS: April Showers Bring May Flowers

By Francesca Filanc.

Photo credit: Francesca Filanc.
Golden Celebration rose.

In the time of climate change, at present, we are back in a drought and having a La Niña year.

The last couple of days have brought a smattering of rain to San Diego North County.

It is such a joy to go out into the garden early in the morning and experience the overwhelming fragrance of roses just coming into bloom. The first bloom is always my favorite. The leaves are dark and shiny and show no signs of rust, mildew or a myriad of other pests and diseases. As I am an organic gardener, when signs of disease show up, I just cut off the leaves that aren’t healthy.

Roses are a hardy and ancient plant.

My ‘love affair' with roses goes back to my early childhood, when, as a very little girl, I asked Mum, Pat Welsh, why she did not grow roses?

Mum responded, "I love roses, but I don’t grow roses, Francie, because I have all these eucalyptus trees and I don’t think the roses will survive with their roots."

Because of how much I loved roses, I decided to save up my allowance and buy roses anyway. First I bought ‘Mr. Lincoln,’ a fragrant red rose, and later, I bought a fragrant yellow rose for the garden. I was so proud of those roses and helped to take care of them. I even remember going to the plant nursery and buying the roses as a gift for my mother. Each rose cost $3.75 of my hard-earned allowance. We planted the roses in pots and they flourished. I will never forget my anticipation and excitement checking on the roses and nurturing them; waiting for them to bloom. The rose’s beauty and fragrance at first bloom are etched on my memory.

Francie Filanc.
Altissimo rose under cloudy skies.

I have grown roses all my adult life. When I designed my front garden with grass sloping all the way to the street, I knew I wanted a French parterre at the top near my home with a tree rose in the center of almost every segment. I picked only fragrant roses.

"It is a joy to check out what is popping into bloom every day."

Enjoy spring in your garden and in nature, with the beautiful blossoms to behold!

Photo and art work by Francesca Filanc.
Painting by the author was inspired by her love of roses.

Happy Gardening!


Francesca Filanc.

Artist, author, photographer, fly-fisher woman, Francesca Filanc grew up in old Del Mar and these days lives, paints and gardens in historic Olivenhain with two French poodles.

Find her art and writings here:

She can be found on social media here:

Have gardening questions or want to learn more about Francie’s art? Contact:


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