I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
A guest post by author Michael Nolan
I never knew exactly where my aversion to roses originated. In fairness, my earliest memories of the delicate beauties were in North Carolina while I was following behind my paternal grandmother as she sprayed her prized rose bushes with a dishwashing liquid concoction that she swore by. A few days later a cloud of Sevindust was in the air, the residual of which I am not entirely sure has nothing to do with my particular eccentricities.
It would be years later before I even gave roses much more thought when creating a garden space for my ailing maternal grandmother here in Alabama. Knowing that her time with us was waning I wanted to give her the best gift I could think of by reclaiming the garden beds that she had tended so carefully when she was able. A newly added arbor needed the perfect accent and I just couldn’t find anything that worked until I confronted my own apprehensions head on.
White was the perfect complement to the rest of the space. I knew that much but the specific form it would take still eluded me until I came across the John F. Kennedy Heirloom tea rose. Without a second thought I purchased the two perfect specimens and installed them carefully at the base of the arbor. A few weeks later granny was having a particularly good day just as the blooms began to show themselves.
As she took my arm and we made our way to the side yard, the light in her eyes told me that I’d made the right choice.
“My own private rose garden!” she said, only half in jest.
“I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden…” I sang out.
Her laughter resonated in my soul as she tenderly touched the emerging blooms with her tiny fingertips. This month marks four years since she left us, but those precious moments will make it all worth it.
Michael Nolan, The Garden Rockstar is an author, blogger and speaker on gardening, sustainability, food ethics and homesteading. He is currently in the process of writing a new guest post on a different site for each day in May. To follow his progress, visit MyEarthGarden.com.
Pick up a copy of Michael’s book at your local bookstore or buy it online by clicking on the book above.