My grandmother’s name was Anna. We called her Honey because as a small child I heard my grandfather calling her that, so I took it up. Sixty years ago, Honey was visiting her mother at the family home place in High Point, North Carolina. She took a cutting from a rose bush, brought it back to her home in Elizabeth City, and stuck it in the swampy ground at the edge of the back screen porch, next to the oil barrel.
The rose bush grew there for well over forty years. It could barely get sunlight as large trees grew up. Shingles were thrown on it when the house was re-roofed. Sometimes the two or three canes were tied with string because they got so long and leggy. Still, it lived and produced lovely and fragrant cabbage roses. I remember stepping out on the porch on a humid spring day and smelling the sweet flowery scent, that reminiscent of southern belles of bygone era.
When we moved my mother to Oklahoma to live near us, I dug that rosebush, plopped it in a five gallon bucket and hauled it along. I planted it in the Oklahoma ground in December and prayed over it until spring. Big surprise that it lived, but further surprise that it was not a climber at all, but an enormous shrub rose. It grew better than ever.
Those of you who follow the blog, recall I dug the rose last year when we moved to Alabama. That single rose bush ended up breaking into three bushes. Those three grew all last summer and winter in the pots. Finally last week, Bigstreetrod helped me make a bed for them. We have raised it slightly; this area gets the most rainfall of the entire country.
I remain hopeful to see the bushes take root. They are a reminders to me of my own journey that continues, to grow and bloom where planted, and that we can begin over again and again. Life is full of surprises.
I am delighted to be taking part in Outdoor Wednesday, hosted by A Southern Daydreamer. To see more postings about the doings in the outdoors all over the world, do pop over to her site!
15 thoughts on “Honey’s Rose ~ the journey continues”
A great post. I am a huge lover of roses and firmly believe that every rose has a story to tell. Thanks for sharing this rose’s story.
It was great hearing about Aunt Anna’s rose bush…You must have her green thumb…Good luck with the rose bushes and be sure to give Jimmy some of the credit too…
Aunt Anna would have been so proud of you…I’m sure she’s smiling down on you enjoying the fact you have her rose bush…Let us hear how they do at their new home…
Oh, I know Honey’s rose bush will flourish in that good soil. I still have the one you gave me, and I gave her a bit of pruning and a lot of love the other day. Glad to see you’re having fun in your new home.~~Dee
I love the story! First time to your blog for “Outdoor Wednesday” . I’ll be back! 🙂 Mumzie
That is such a beautiful story, Curtiss Ann. And a poignant reminder that strength endures. I loved it. And I hope you see roses real soon.
Hoping the roses grow well for you again!
My Mom took a miniature rose bush cutting from my paternal grandmother’s home in Pennsylvania over fifty years ago and planted in her Brooklyn, NY, front yard. It is still alive and growing so well it requires massive pruning each year so that it does not take over the entire tiny yard. I will have to take a cutting if I ever move away ( I live on the same block as my Mom) so that this heirloom will continue to remain in the family.
Pat– how wonderful about your mother’s rose bush. And thanks for the encouragement. I go out and look every day for signs of growth.
I do hope it continues to do well for you for you. I love the story of keeping it with you….very nice. Enjoyed reading about.
Some things are meant to be. Because of the precious hands that held it before you, it will survive for you.
You certainly have green thumbs. Those roses must love you, they want to go where you go.
Oh, Riet! Thank you for the picture you put in my mind of the roses’ love.
Oh my, oh my Honey’s rose bush has propagated. Lucky you.
Hi CurtissAnn! Don’t you love heirloom plants? Those old-fashioned varieties are so much stronger than all of our hybrids! I have a Rose of Sharon that grew from a seed from my grandmother’s…fallen into some grape hyacinths I dug up from her yard. What a wonderful surprise gift from her! And to make it even better, there were two…one for me and one for my sister! Keep us posted on how your roses do! Happy week!…Debbie
Oh, CurtissAnn, that’s the most wonderful news I’ve heard all week! Those old rose canes are amazingly strong; now that you know how, you can keep propagating more cuttings and have a whole bed full of Honey’s roses! I think that makes you a rosarian (not sure, I have to check that term)!
Yes, that’s it, you are now a rosarian! The definition is a person with expertise or a special interest in the cultivation of roses
Oh, my gosh, you may be right! I have never been able to do as Honey did, and simply take a cutting, but I have propagated Honey’s rose many times by bending a cane into the ground and covering with dirt and a rock. Wait until next season, and wa-la, a new rosebush!
Sending you hugs, you Master Gardener! CA