Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Roses

The other day I looked at our roses. We have five bushes in the rose garden out front.
One is for Larry. He wanted a Sterling Silver, a pale lavender. Those weren’t available at the time, so we have a Stainless Steel—another light lavender.
One is Kim’s. It’s a JFK because she has been fascinated by the president since she was a little girl. It’s creamy white, but occasionally a streak of red appears on the petal. These streaks look like blood.
I don’t have one of my own. I let John, our landscaper, pick one out. He chose a Marilyn Monroe, since he is obsessed with her. (He has photos of her all over his house.) Marilyn is creamy pale rose to peach in color.
We planted a Double Delight for Larry’s mother. It was her favorite, and Dad always planted them for her. Looking at the blooms on her bush the other day, I realized how like her it was.

Letha was tiny and cute. She wore lots of prints and ruffles, jewelry and scarves. She never wore one bracelet when three would do. Her accessories—including shoes and bag—always matched her outfit. Oh, and her earrings did, too.

She resembled Betty White. Whenever she entered a room with her ever-present smile, the whole place lit up. She wasn’t a comedienne, but she always smiled and made anyone in the vicinity feel better. I was blessed to have had her in my life.

The Double Delight bloom is large and showy with a strong, sweet fragrance. The color varies. Just like Mother, it seems to be bored if it stays in the same outfit for too long. (She used to change clothes from head-to-foot at least five times a day.) The rose blooms early and continues to flower late into the season. The color can vary from nearly white, through rose, to deep red and varies from center to tip. The deeper color appears on the edges. We planted one in the church rose garden in memory of Mother and Dad. The first time we went to see it, the large, showy open bloom had a double center. Completely appropriate since it was in memory of both of them.
My mother’s rose is a Mr. Lincoln. It is a long-stemmed single blossom with a slightly tart fragrance I love. When I looked the other day, a single bloom stood tall and straight and proud, just like my mom. And like Mom, the rose is stubborn. While the Double Delight sends out dozens of blossoms all season long, Mr. Lincoln shows only one or two at a time, and usually when few of the other bushes are in bloom.

Mom herself always stood tall. Although she was only 5’4” everyone thought she was much taller. She always wore high heels and dressed in simple business attire—suits and dresses. She preferred a nice brooch to necklaces and rarely wore bracelets. She favored simple, conservative earrings, and her shoes and bag matched.

As I look on their roses, I am always reminded of the two most influential women in my life. Even though I miss them very much, their roses are a reminder of these special ladies.

Have you ever noticed how flowers reflect the people who love them?


  1. I always think of my Grandma when I see a yellow rose, especially the golden Masterpiece.

  2. I had a yellow one in our old home, and I loved it.

  3. We had a big rose garden at our home in Oxnard. We had one for several years hear in Springville. Now in the same place, front of the house, we have miniature fruit trees that haven't stayed miniature.

    1. I love roses. When we moved into our first house, we had a really narrow bed (about a foot deep) next to the garage with three rose bushes. They must have been well-cared for before we arrived because they bloomed consistently without much attention--benign neglect. But I sure loved having cut flowers in the house. I still do.