Lee Sherman: A rosey outlook
Lee Sherman grew up in New York City, with a mother and aunt whose idea of a garden was to put a pot of petunias out behind their brownstone.
Then, 15 years ago, Sherman - who'd grown little herself other than two sons - took a trip to England to see an old friend.
"I saw all those roses and I just thought, 'That's it!' " says the hoarse-voiced 65-year-old, who now presides over a jungle-like back yard of blooms in Glenwood Hills near the Foothills.
"What I wanted was the whole English garden/cottagey effect," Sherman says, grabbing a handful of staggeringly fragrant petals. "I think I've gotten close."
In fact, Sherman's roses appear to be on the verge of taking over the cottage. One variety has nearly toppled the back-yard gazebo and another with trailing tentacles and thousands of small yellow blooms - "a rampaging rose" - is threatening the house.
As Sherman strolls through the vines, she carefully holds back a thorny branch for a visitor. She calls out names like a mother listing her children - that is, a mother with 600 children.
"This is Charles Lawson . . . Madame Alfred Carriere . . . Vanguard . . . Lady Banks. That's a Sheer Stripe - a hybridist named it after me."
Almost all of Sherman's rose types have been around for a century or more and most bloom just once a season.
"I can live for that one overwhelming moment," she says. "You get this eye candy and it's enough to last me a year - I'm a simple soul."
The rest of the year she plots her varieties on software, e-mails fellow rose aficionados and sends cuttings of exotics to places like California, Canada and Norway - often receiving roses in return.
"I have friends who think I'm carrying it to an extreme by getting anymore," she admits. "It's got to stop. I haven't got any more room."
But before you go, she'd just like to take you out front, where 30 potted roses await permanent homes.
Lee Sherman stands amidst the thousands of roses that crowd her back yard in Glenwood Hills near the Foothills. The collection was inspired by the country gardens she saw on a trip to England.
Photographer:- Lee Sherman, New Mexico, USA
Looking out gate in to big back yard...roses haven't really started in this one..white flowers are hesperis..which reseeds madly here...purple globes are allium...rose sticking through on left is Vanguard..which I imported from Beales years ago...love rose...Lee
whenever I feel blue....I buy a rose
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