As the saying goes – take time to smell the roses along the way. Whenever I see roses I always think of that saying because I love flowers, especially roses. There are so many varieties of roses. Roses date back centuries – they’re the flower of love, and loved by many. Poets love to write about them, artists love to paint them, and so many people just love to grow them in their gardens for their beauty.
Many years ago, when I was growing up in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn, we had a small garden behind our house. It was just a small strip of dirt about 2 feet wide by 15 feet long. When I was a teenager in the mid 60’s my mother bought 3 small rose bushes – one red, one white and one pink – to plant in her small garden. The pink rose bush was my favorite. Some 45 years later roses still bloom on that rose bush. Through the years, some of the most beautiful pink roses have bloomed on that rose bush. In 1979 I got married and moved from Mom and Dad’s house. Whenever I would go back to visit them I would always go to the kitchen window, which faced the garden, to see if there were any roses blooming. I loved to look at them. My mother knew I loved those roses and she would always cut a few for me to take home.
Fast forward to July 1998, Mom passed away and Dad remained living in the house. Of course, whenever I would visit him I would go to the kitchen window to check on Mom’s pink rose bush to see if there were any roses in bloom. Dad knew how much I loved that rose bush. He would go out in the back and cut some roses for me to take home. As the years passed, on one of my visits to see Dad I went to the kitchen window as usual to see if there were any roses in bloom. There they were in all their glory – beautiful big pink roses in full bloom. The rose bush was now at least 12 feet tall and the roses were so high up on the very top of the bush that Dad had to get a long stick with a hook on it to pull the branch down so he could cut some roses for me to take home. Then I had this thought, why not take a few cuttings to see if I could root them – then I could have my own pink rose bush – just like Mom’s! When I mentioned it to Dad he thought it was a great idea and cut a few stems for me to take home. I carefully wrapped them up and brought them home to my house and placed them in some water.
Many weeks passed before I saw little roots growing at the bottom of the stems. When the roots got a little stronger I planted one of the stems in a small pot of dirt and put a large plastic soda bottle with the bottom cut off over the pot to keep it warm and moist. I kept in on my dining room table for many weeks to come. It may have been a month or more before the stem finally took root in the dirt. Then when the temperature outside got warmer, I moved the pot onto my deck. I placed a little copper name tag in the pot and named it – Fannie’s rose – after Mom, the year was 2002. Fannie’s rose had a home – my back deck in Roxbury, where I live.
As the next few years passed, Fannie’s rose continued to grow – but no flowers, only beautiful shiny green leaves. When it got bigger I transplanted it to a larger pot. But still No Roses! Each time Spring rolled around I tried to remain hopeful, I would patiently wait to see if this would be the year it would finally bloom. Then in October of 2005 Dad passed away. I think it was in the Spring of 2007 when one day I was checking on Fannie’s rose on my deck as I always did, when I noticed a small bud. I couldn’t believe my eyes. My heart was pumping and as I continued to look further I saw a few more buds. There were 7 buds in all that Spring and I was thrilled beyond belief. Within a few weeks the buds were fully opened and there they were – the most beautiful pink roses in all their glory on my deck in Roxbury – just like the ones that had bloomed in Mom’s garden. After that Spring Fannie’s rose didn’t bloom again for the next few years. Then last Spring, just one single large rose bloomed.
But, this year I am thrilled beyond belief once again, because Fannie’s rose bush has 6 buds. For the past few weeks I have been watching and waiting patiently for them to bloom. And bloom they just did – 6 of the most beautiful pink roses – in all their glory. Today, I cut one for Mom and placed it in a vase next to her picture. I left the other 5 roses on the bush so I could look out onto my deck and admire them – just the way I did at Mom’s house from her kitchen window.
We sold Mom and Dad’s house in late 2007. On my last visit there I made one final trip out to the backyard to take some pictures of Mom’s pink rose bush in her garden. It would be the last time I would see her pink rose bush – in all it’s glory.
Last time I saw it in person was 2007 when we sold the house and I took this picture.
I hope you take some time to enjoy the rose pictures!