A few years ago I purchased a rose for my front garden. It was a stunner with red and yellow shading, big plump blooms that looked lit from within.
It was named for the glass artist Dale Chihuly, and was perfect for him with its multiple colors and play of light on the petals.
Once home, I dug a hole, prepared the soil and tucked this baby into the ground.
And for the entire season, it bloomed its little heart out.
This amazing rose greeted me each time I walked down the driveway.
I’m telling you, it was gorgeous and I felt pride having it in my garden.
The next season, something funky happened.
Green growth appeared in the spring, but it seemed as if part of the rose, a big part, had died. There were no showy, multi-colored blooms.
Then late in the season a cluster of small, deep red roses appeared. They were nothing like the Chuhuly rose I’d purchased.
At the nursery, a helpful plant person told me the Chihuly rose had been grafted onto a run of the mill, very ordinary shrub rose. “You’ll probably want to get rid of it,” he said. “It’s nothing now that the Chihuly’s gone.”
So I went home and stood beside this shrub rose with the blood red blossoms. By now the blooms were covering the plant.
How could I rip this growing, living thing from the ground? It didn’t seem like “nothing” to me.
In fact, it seemed quite lovely. The leaves were green and strong, the stems healthy.
This was a bomb proof rose. It didn’t require coddling or special care. It had survived where the Chihuly had not. That counted for something in my book.
If you were to visit my home and walk up the driveway to the house, you’d see the shrub rose, right at the front of the garden.
If you come in the summer, you’re likely to be greeted by a profusion of deep red blooms with little dots of yellow in the center. I’ve decided this is a happy rose.
It makes me happy.
I have great respect for survivors.
The message I get (and you know from reading this blog for a while, this is somehow symbolic for me) is that each of us is our own kind of rose.
We may not all be the fancy-schmancy hybrid variety, but every one of us has our own kind of beauty. And the best and most honorable thing we can do is bloom our hearts out.
Like the saying goes: Bloom where you are planted.