I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

My lower lip quivered. I didn't want to cry, but at the same time, I couldn't keep silent. "Why won't you promise me a rose garden?" I know it's a metaphor for living luxuriously, but still – where's my bleeding rose garden?

I love roses. I have six rose bushes in my front yard and every intention to plant at least one new rose bush every year until I die. I know – what am I going to do with all those roses?

You can learn a lot of things from the flowers, especially in the month of June – tee hee. Well, who doesn't love Alice in Wonderland? One interesting thing about my roses is that they tend to change colours depending on their circumstance. My favourite rose bush has buds the colour of apricots. In the spring and summer when the sun is hot, they don't stay that colour, but tan to a pinky peach. In the fall, they stay that apricot because there's nowhere near the same amount of sunlight. My Black Baccara starts out black as pitch and by the end, only the outer petals stay black, the center is bright red.

Snip. Snip. You have to be cruel to roses. If you don't prune them almost every time they flower, they'll stop flowering. I cut mine regularly. My best bush had almost thirty buds on it last time I counted and we're past the season. My roses flower over and over and over again until the bad weather comes.

The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the thorny rose. Out came the gardener and sprayed her with the hose. Off went the hose, no longer did it spray, so the itsy bitsy spider did finish her essay. No seriously – my roses have spiders. I am not normally afraid of bugs that are outside. My fear of bugs on the inside of my house is based on the idea that there might be more of them. So, if I'm outside and I see a creeper, I'm not normally bothered. It turns out that even though black and brown spiders don't bother me. I'm terrified of the white ones. Who knew?

At the end of November I wrap my roses up to protect them from the bitter Canadian cold and dump snow through the hole I leave in the top of the wrapping every time I shovel the walk, which is sometimes every flipping day.

So far in the life of my roses they have been burnt by the hot sun, cut up, had spiders crawling all over their silky petals and had snow dumped mercilessly on them. The point is – roses are hardy.

Don't give me luxury – give me a rose garden.

Author's Notes: Thanks to everyone who reviewed my last essay. Remember that my book 'The Blood that Flows' by Stephanie Van Orman is going on sale on Amazon on October 1st. Check out my profile for a synopsis. Love is all around the world.