Stainless Steel bud
I love flowers: tulips, grape hyacinths, carnations, starburst lilies, roses... They add such color and beauty to the world. Each one also reminds me of various times in my life as they were notebly present during those times. Tulips and grape hyacinths welcomed us to our new home when we moved during my elementary school years. Carnations, the state flower of Ohio, always seemed present during my childhood and were wonderful for placing (white ones) in colored water for showing how xylem worked. Stargazer lilies were carried by my bridesmaids.
Roses have also been constant. Each color has a different meaning. For Valentine's Day at my school, student organizations would sell roses for fundraisers. Individuals would buy a rose to be sent to someone special and that person's significance was indicated by the color of the rose. As an adult, the colors stir other feelings. Yellow reminds me of our grandmothers because yellow was their favorite rose color. Bright red reminds me of love, but also of home. I am a Buckeye, and BCS or not, nothing is like a good ol' fashioned Rose Bowl at the end of the season. Over the course of a few years, I was gifted with a rose garden. It started as four rose bushes (two Oklahomas and two Olympiads). Next we added three Stainless Steels. Finally, the border was added. I now have a beautiful scarlet and grey rose garden! It's a touch of home built with a lot of love.
Many people tell me that they don't have roses because they have heard about how much work they entail. Please, don't let this stop you! They are really not that labor intensive and the reward is well worth the effort! I spray my rose garden weekly and fertilize it monthly. If it hasn't rained within the past week, I water it. I honestly think the most labor comes from the harvesting, and that is labor well rewarded. The other day I counted 50+ buds on my seven rose bushes. 50! When harvested correctly (and it's not that difficult), each bush will produce dozens of roses each year. We decorate the house, take them to work, give them to friends and new neighbors, etc.
There is also a certain zen in caring for a garden, be it rose, vegetable, or other. It's a time of hands-on caring when you can reflect on life or just focus on being a caregiver to a silent, yet responsive, recipient. It's almost like going for a long, contemplative walk in the woods. It's very theraputic and well worth the effort.