My favorite flowers are Lilies. This is probably because I named my daughter Lily. My daughter is also the reason I have a giant waterlily tattooed on my back, even if it does look like a lotus flower. Once upon a time, however, roses were my absolute favorite.
Gramps, my paternal grandfather, has been growing beautiful roses for as long as I can remember. I'm not just saying that because it's been a long time; I really cannot remember a time in my life when he was not growing roses in his backyard.
When we all lived in the
area (the first 11 years of my life),
Gramps' entire backyard was a stunning garden. There was a large deck that my
dad built over an aggregate patio (this is the same aggregate patio I drug my
sister across while "helping" her learn to walk), a small patch of
grass, a sparsely wooded area (that grew into thicker woods if you crossed the
fence), graveled paths, flowers, and roses. Seattle
From the deck, there were two paths to get up into the terraced garden/wooded area. One gently slopped up right in front of the roses. The other started at the top of a very short set of steps by the dog kennels. Star, the mommy German Shorthair, would always bark very loudly walked near the kennel. To a young child, it was very scary and mean sounding. When we took this path, we ran.
The roses were all planted in one large square bed. As a child I was sure Gramps had every color of rose possible. There was even a very light purple that looked almost blue. This one was my favorite. That's probably why I remember it being in the front row, but that may just be where I’ve placed in my mind. I'm old enough now to know that he did not have a large enough lot to grow every possible color.
There were three things my sister and I loved to do in the rose garden: smell the roses, help Gramps cut blooms, and chase the garter snakes. There were two garter snakes that slithered the paths of the garden. Realistically, there were probably more, but we had only ever seen two at once. I blame these snakes for my current desire to own a snake as a pet. Larch keeps telling me no.
Last year for Mother's Day, my children gave me a purple rose bush. We planted it in the planter box they had made the year before. They should have learned, or at least my husband should have learned, that I cannot keep plants alive. I remember thinking I should call Gramps for advice on keeping the rose alive. I might have called him, but with two kids under 5, I just can't remember. It hasn't sprouted leaves yet this year, but then our maple tree just grew buds this week. I hope it comes back. Perhaps, lilies are not my favorite after all; maybe, I am still in love with roses.