I have always loved flowers. I grew up in a neighborhood that was filled with wildflowers every spring, a tapestry of color that led to a babbling creek at the bottom of our backyard. And yet, we didn’t have roses. Well, we might have but I don’t remember them. After all, it was hard to compete with the memories of all those wildflowers.
When we moved to California, we quickly learned that roses will bloom almost all year round here. I came to adore both the splashes of color they provided in the yard, and the heady floral scents they lent to any room. Not too overpowering, but lovely and lush.
My paternal grandmother grew roses in her tiny little yard and she always put them in one particular vase that had roses painted on it. She gave this vase to my mother when we moved, knowing how often we would have roses blooming throughout the year. My mother continued to use that vase for roses long after my grandmother had passed on. After my mother died, my father kept the vase as a decorative item in his apartment, where it provided a pop of color to the pale palette of the shelf. It looked marvelous in its nook, but I always wanted to see it returned to the roses, to its customary history. It became a fun topic of discussion each time I visited my father, with me reminding him that I really wanted that vase!
He finally relented and gave it to me. I keep it in my dining room, where I can pass by it each day and admire its beauty, even when empty.
Today I planted 4 new rose bushes. While they aren’t all yet in full bloom, I can’t wait to place the different colored roses in my vase, to return this lovely vessel to its decades-long tradition. My grandmother and mother will be quite happy, I know.