It’s Garden Week! The best excuse I know to dig in the dirt and commune with the earth, plant some spring flowers, pot fragrant herbs or prune those rose bushes so they rejuvenate and yield abundant blossoms. Once upon a time we had 32 rose bushes in our yard. Yes, thirty-two! They were not my planting but the previous homeowner’s. It was an arduous, prickly process to prune that many plants but the rewards were worth it – beautiful roses of every color, size and gorgeous scent. Over the years they died off from age and the severity of desert heat. I’ve used the earth they once inhabited to plant perennials and succulents that can survive our dastardly summers.
However, a few people in our neighborhood seem to have found the right spot in their yards for roses – less morning sun, the right amount of shade – who knows. I often seek those roses out for a little gaze and sniff on my daily walks because I miss them so. One bush in particular draws me. I wrote about the experience of my first encounter with it some time ago and would like to share it again with you here ~
The other day me feet led me to the most beautiful rose bush. It was one of many in someone’s front yard, but it drew my eye for its soft lavender-colored blooms, some as big and round as Texas grapefruits. I had to enter the yard to get a closer look. Shy by nature, I felt a bit uncomfortable treading on a stranger’s property but decided to take the chance. Who could fault a person for admiring their roses, right?
There were blossoms at every stage: some, still tight and green with only a hint of gorgeous color peeking out the top; others were just bursting (if they had voices, I imagine clear soprano); and then the one that caught my eye, fully opened with layers and layers of soft, purple petals, just dripping with scent. I put my nose deep in its center and breathed in. I couldn’t help but sigh aloud. I had expected the earthy perfume of a lavender bush – no doubt because of the color – but instead it was honey sweet, as if it were hiding tiny, white honeysuckle blossoms in its core. I stood, breathing and sighing for several minutes. No one shooed me off the property. Not even a car drove by. It seemed as if time stood still.
I was so grateful for that encounter – just the rose, its delicious scent and me. My surprise and pleasure in having experienced beauty in its most elemental form carried me peacefully through the entire day. Sometimes life can be just that simple, if you allow it.
Let your garden, or someone else’s garden, capture your senses this week. Stop and smell the roses, so to speak … or literally, if you choose.