Sunday, April 11, 2021

The secret of Sleeping Beauty's castle

In the original Grimm version of Sleeping Beauty, the castle in which the princess slept was gradually overgrown with thorns "until at last the whole castle was hidden from view, and nothing of it could be seen but the vane on the roof."

The story continues: "And a rumor went abroad in all that country of the beautiful sleeping princess; and from time to time many kings' sons came and tried to force their way through the hedge; but it was impossible for them to do so, for the thorns held fast together like strong hands, and the young men were caught by them, and not being able to get free, there died a lamentable death."

Sounds, well, "grimm," doesn't it? All those poor young men stuck in the hedge of thorns.

I've decided I know what kind of thorns were surrounding the castle. It was wild roses.

Seriously, we have tons of wild rose bushes around us here in our new home, and let me tell you they are dangerous and not to be trifled with.

The thorns are huge and vicious.

Can't you just see some poor young prince getting caught within these things?

I expect nesting birds, everything from songbirds to pheasant, will take advantage of the natural barrier against predators to build nests and lay eggs.

The rest of us just have to put up with them.

I've seen neighbors pull in heavy equipment and do their best to rip out the roses, to little avail. They'll just grow back.

Right now the rose bushes have no flowers (too early in the season), but I expect the hillsides will be a blaze of pink by June. Despite the thorns, I'm sure they'll be beautiful.

After all, even Sleeping Beauty's castle must have been gorgeous in the early summer.

From a safe distance, of course.


  1. If they're the multiflora variety, they aren't truly wild, they're English, planted by folks that the Department of Agriculture encouraged to do so.

  2. Here in Ohio we are forever fighting the multiflora rose.

  3. I took me years to fight wild blackberry off in our small lower meadow.
    Hack down.
    Dig up roots.

  4. Spray with Roundup or other herbicide, the problem with digging out roots is you never get them all, and then they come back.

  5. The great artist Burne-Jones painted Sleeping Beauty surrounded by briar roses.

  6. I will trade your wild roses for my blackberry bushes.

  7. Yes, we have them, but keep them trimmed up. They are considered invasive and truly they are. The birds like the berries and plant them everywhere. I pull them out of my garden regularly along with stinging nettle which I know is good for you, but I hate it and it seems to grow everywhere.

  8. Here in WV we have multi flora roses that I call the bane of my existence. When we started clearing our property to build the house, we took out bushes the size of cars. If you leave a tiny root, it grows fast. The best way is to dig them out and then keep mowing until the leftovers die.

  9. At least you will have a lot of rose hips. I am about to plant some rosa rugosas, I hope they do not get like your photos.

  10. my mom had wild rose in her fence row. the only way to get rid of it (pre roundup days) was to cut it down, then build a large, HOT bon fire over it to scorch the roots. after several trys, she, with the neighbor's help, finally got them all.

  11. A quart of Roundup, a 1/4 ounce of Escort, 25 gallons of water.

  12. 1 quart of Roundup, 1/4 ounce of Escort, 25 gallons of water, no multi flora rose