We didn’t mean to kill her. But after a couple of years of benign neglect, Rosie No. 1 was looking pretty punk last spring. That’s when one of us (I’m not mentioning names, but it wasn’t me) got out the hacksaw or pruning shears or something and whacked off all the non-producing or diseased branches till all that was left was a bulbous lower trunk and a couple of stems growing out of it.
It wasn’t long before another one of us rode a bicycle with training wheels over what remained of the once glorious red-flowering bush that had come with the house and, if memory serves, had been a gift from the previous owner’s grandmother.
The hacksaw-wielder then decided that there was no future to the poor bent thing and proceeded to cut off its floppy stems, placing a flat rock over whatever remains there might have been.
It didn’t take me long to notice that what once had been a good-sized rose bush was gone, and I felt a bit bad about it. We had not served it well, and coming from good rose-growing stock, I had known better.
But I am not a rose person, and I had warned the two Rosies that had come with our house that they were on their own. I only tend things I can eat. And irises. I love irises.
After the second hacksaw episode, we all figured Rosie No. 1 was done for, but I removed the rock anyway in the belief that you just never know.
Today, as the little guy — now training wheel-free — and I bicycled past the spot where Rosie No. 1 used to reign, I happened to notice a tiny something reaching triumphantly toward the sky:
Baby Rose! I was practically giddy to see her there.
No longer just a rose bush, this is a survivor with more optimism than sense. That’s a nice quality. I’ll mulch her this fall and see if we can keep her around.