“Of all the flowers, the rose speaks to me, especially, of love. The delicate petals, layer by delicate layer, draw me to the heart, while the fragrance entrances me with its subtle sweetness. Promising future passions, while echoing back to tender memories” – Ed Lehming
I had not, till now, deeply explored my thoughts and feelings on roses. Those feelings are complex and tied together by many threads of memory. My father and maternal grandmother were both avid gardeners. Since my grandmother lived with us, the two spent much time pursuing their mutual love of gardening together. I found this an odd, but wonderful teaming. My mother had no real interest in gardening, other than enjoying the final product as the backyard filled with sweet fragrances and bright colours.
The gardens were carefully planned and cared for, weeds were quickly plucked from this sacred place, reserved for the chosen plants and no others.
What stands out for me, and the topic of this post, is their extraordinary gift for growing roses. I have no idea of what the varieties were, though I consider myself a talented gardener, my dad and grandmother had a true gift for growing roses. Be it climbers, bushes, what have you. Every garden was ‘anchored’ by some form of rose. I regret never asking them where this passion for roses came from. My grandmother grew up in Berlin and my father came from a small village along the Oder river, in present day Poland. Neither location invokes thoughts of roses for me. I will have to pursue this thinking at some point.
As we enter July and roses begin to peak, I can’t help but look at them and think back on our backyard gardens, carefully sculpted, flowing, planned to be in bloom throughout the summer. Of course, the sight and fragrance of the roses dominated the warm summer days, lounging on the patio and gazing across their labours.
Ah, I took this all for granted as a child and now appreciate those gentle memories that bring me back to simpler times of family, childhood, love and the sweet fragrance of summer. For that, and many other things I thank them, and miss them deeply.
Schneider-Kreuznach Exida-Xenon 50mm f/1.9 @ 50mm (14mm extension tube)
1/60 sec, f/1.9, ISO 4000
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The memory that really stands out for me, and the topic of this post is the roses they grew. I have no idea of the specific varieties planted, I did not acquire their gift for roses.