Why Rose Cultivation Isn’t For Me

Roses and I don’t get along. This began at a rather early age when my sisters and I were playing a robust game of nighttime tag at my aunt’s house. Running from my sister, I tripped in the dark and fell headfirst into my aunt’s prize rose bush. 

My grandmother had always grown a beautiful rose garden. Growing roses matched her personality perfectly. She was patient, gentle and kind. She’d spoil us with our favorite snacks and always had toys on hand for us to take home. But with 27 grandchildren, she did have one hard, fast rule: Stay out of the rose garden!

Stay Out of the Rose Garden!

After that fateful night at my aunt’s house, I knew why my grandmother made that rule. As I lay in the dark atop my aunt’s rosebush, I could feel blood gushing from my face. I had a nasty gash less than an inch from my eye. Terrified, I began to sob uncontrollably. 

Unable to see what was wrong or make out what I was saying, my sisters misjudged what had happened. Thinking I’d lost a tooth, they ran inside my aunt’s house to tell my parents. A scary trip to the ER resulted in 3 stitches from a wise doctor who bribed me with a sucker for each stitch I “bravely” received. I ate one sucker myself and shared the other two with my sisters. 

It’s funny which memories stay with us from our childhood. To this day, I’ve never had much desire for growing roses. Yet to me, roses are the quintessential flower of beauty. When it comes to decorating my home, roses are often my first choice. From rose-pattern fabric comforters to artificial flower arrangements, rose décor is represented in almost every room of my house.

Even as a young bride, I chose dinnerware bearing the magnificent orange Tropicana rose. This rose-adorned fine china really caught my eye. So much so, I attempted to grow a Tropicana rose bush. After all, wouldn’t a tablesetting with matching roses in a vase look absolutely elegant?

Trying My Hand at Rose Cultivation

Needless to say, growing roses is not my thing. I quickly discovered the amount of care roses require. The poor Tropicana rose didn’t even make it a year. Then again, perhaps it was an act of revenge driven by the subconscious trauma of youth.

I never attempted rose cultivation again. Instead, I’m quite content to use rose-pattern fabric and wallpaper in my home. I happily purchase cut roses grown by others. Or I opt for the “thornless” artificial kind from my local craft store.

As for my yard, you won’t find a beautiful rose garden growing there. Instead, I’ll continue to play it safe and stick to less threatening flower species, like marigolds, petunias, irises and hibiscus!

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