Sunday, July 19, 2015

Roses and daisies: life goes on.

A couple of weeks ago, still in rather a funk over the whole mess in Denver, I bought myself a dozen roses at the grocery store. This was partly to cheer myself up and partly to make up for missing the lovely bouquet that my daughter bought me for Mother's Day. I did get to enjoy her flowers for a few days, but the week after Mother's Day was crazy, and then I went back to Denver for another three weeks and by then, well, you know. Cut flowers only last so long.

Anyway, the roses. The floral department had them in a number of colors: red (of course), white, yellow, pale pink, and a deeper pink among them. I picked the deep pink ones, brought them home, and plunked them in a vase.

The thing about cut flowers -- particularly when you get them at the grocery store -- is that they're kind of hit-and-miss, in terms of how long they'll last. Hydrangeas usually wither and die right away for me. Gerbera daisies seem to lose their pluck -- the flowers stay bright, but the stems collapse. Tulips, on the other hand, keep growing, their stalks elongating like some mutant thing. Typically, roses fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum: the buds will start to open, but they crumple into a withered mass before they can reach their true potential.

Not this bunch, though. This bunch of deep pink roses opened beautifully. And they smelled nice! Once upon a time, all roses had a lovely, heady fragrance. But for decades, they have been bred for visual beauty, not for scent. My mother had a rose bush; it produced lovely red roses that smelled like old cigarettes.

So I was pretty pleased with my vase of roses. And then, as the blooms finally faded, I noticed something odd: tiny buds seemed to be swelling on the stems. Sure enough, a couple of days later, new leaves were popping out on my store-bought cut roses.

It reminded me of the time when my mother received a daisy for Mother's Day. We'd gone camping that weekend, and the campground was giving a daisy to every mother in honor of the day. Mom, whose thumb was much greener than mine will ever be, stuck the flower in some water in a two-liter soda bottle -- and it rooted. She planted it after we got home, and we enjoyed those daisies for quite a number of years.

So I did some quick internet research about roses grown from cuttings. Then I filled a pot with potting soil and stuck the budding stems in it. I don't know whether they will take -- some of the new leaves have died already, probably from the shock of transplanting -- but if they don't, it's okay. Deep pink means gratitude in rose talk, and I'm already grateful for the reminder that even after it looks like it's all over, life still goes on.

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These moments of bloggy gratitude have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell
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