My love/hate with roses
My son and I live in a charming little house near his school and in walking distance to restaurants and stores. The rental market in our area is highly competitive so we feel very blessed to live here. I am also very blessed to have a really kind landlord. It is important to me to take great care of his house.
The first time I came to look at the house, I was so excited when I saw the courtyard in the front. The courtyard has a high fence around it, a small path of lawn and a row of very old rose bushes each one is a different variety. My first thought was “I cannot wait to pull those suckers out!” While I am engrossed in my thoughts of how I am going to yank those rose bushes out and replace them with succulents and lavender, I hear my landlord talking about how much he LOVES his roses.
What? Are you kidding me? When I say LOVE he really loves them and is very proud of how old his rose bushes are. I felt like one of the blow up dancing people in the front of car dealerships that had just ran out of air. My dreams of a Mediterranean courtyard deflated.
I don’t hate roses, I just don’t love roses. Growing up my parents had roses. My Dad loves them. As I can appreciate their beauty and fragrance, they are a lot of work! I have memories of listening to my parents talking about them. They were always trying some new concoction to fight off some odd rose issue. The leaves had some kind of fungus on the leaves, then they get those little white bugs on them, then they got some other funky bug that eats the flowers. Then there comes the pruning or “dead heading” of the roses. The roses have to be trimmed in a certain order for a new rose to grow correctly. Really? Is all this work really worth it to get a flower?
There I was, the owner of rose bushes. Now, I had to learn to tend to these high maintenance prickly beasts. Of course, the first few weeks of living here the roses got covered in those pesky white bugs. The leaves looked like it had snowed. My instinct is to always try something natural first, so I made up a remedy I read about online and soaked the bushes in it. It didn’t work. My Mom hit the home improvement store and got special spray that sent that pesky micro bugs packing (I really don’t want to know what was in that spray.)
Now I was left to “dead heading” removing the dead roses. My Dad showed me his technique. But, after a few weeks the bushes didn't look like they were growing back right. So, I went to the place everyone goes to in order to find a solution……. I hit youtube and figured out a few new tricks. I think my Dad like any good father was trying to keep it simple when he taught me his method and not overwhelm me.
Fast forward a few weeks later and now I have some good looking rose bushes. In fact, a few of my friends complimented my roses. They had no idea the work I have put into them. I felt like a proud mama when they said it. Hmmm… am I becoming a rose person? The jury is still out on that. I will say I have learned a lot about care and pay off through care of my roses.
Care of rose bushes is a lot like self-care. I love an easy pay off, little effort = big return. Well, we all know life is not that easy. As I watch my roses start off as a bud and break open into a vibrant layered array of colors, I cannot help but feel in awe of the process. When the flower finishes its life cycle the petals fall off and it’s time to trim it away. It doesn't mean the flower is dead, it is time to remove what is not needed in order for a new one to grow in its place. Nature just knows what to do.
We are all in need of some special care in order to reveal our vibrant layers. We have to shed what no longer serves us in order to grow and break open to expose our true selves.
The process of shedding layers that no longer serve me, has been daunting for me. Treading into the unknown takes trust, trust in nature and the process. My process with the roses has taught me to trust nature and all of life goes through cycles. I am so proud of myself for the daily commitment I made to the success of my roses. A rose is a small pay off for all the work that goes into it. But, the rose is not the real payoff. The process is the pay off. A daily spiritual practice, healthy food, laughter and love are just a few things we can do on a daily basis to care for ourselves. We may not see an immediate pay off and we may get some pesky little bugs that irritate us along the way. It is all part of the process, just be patient with yourself.