Friday, 26 August 2011

The last rose of summer.

I do not have green fingers, most of the plants in my house or garden die and only the hardy survive.
 I'd love to have a garden profuse with plants and flowers but alas only ivy and a large bamboo have survived my tender loving care, but there is one that we forget about because its so small we don't really notice it.

My friend gave me a rose bush as part of my 40th birthday present which was a long time ago you'll be shocked to hear. I planted it against the fence under some ivy and left it, and  in spite of my non- green fingers we had a lot of roses  that first year which was also the year I lost my father.

Just a month after my birthday he became ill and spent the last week of his life in a hospice, a few days before he passed as August gave way to  September I looked out into the garden at my rose bush, there was one rose left, it was perfect, and knowing my dad loved gardens and flowers I cut the rose wrapped the stem in tinfoil and took it to him in the hospice.
My father was not a demonstrative man which made it hard to speak to him about love or anything like that so I thought the rose would say that for me  but fate intervened and when we got there he had slipped into a coma and  he passed away a few days later.
I placed the rose at his bedside and told him  I had brought him  the last rose of summer from my garden.

That was fourteen years ago, the ivy has taken over the fence and I still can't grow any flowers. The rose bush hasn't grown much, it hides under the ivy  and every year since my dad died, in the last days of August or beginning of September only one rose blooms on that very small bush and every year when I see it peeking out from under the ivy I know that my father did see the rose at his bedside and knew its meaning and  every year he sends one back to me.

Eleven months since I wrote this post I'm adding a postscript. The ivy on the fence has been removed and the fence replaced as it came down in the terrible rain and gales we had. The rose bush was cut back to nothing and I forgot about it. Today I noticed it had grown and bloomed again with the usual one tall rose, but beside it was another much smaller one. This has never happened in fifteen years. The gardeners amongst you will probably say it's not being choked by the ivy anymore and it has more light.
 I always say my father sends the rose to me each year and my first thought is he is sending the second one to my new granddaughter, the great granddaughter he never got to see and would have loved immensely.
 A romantic notion? Or a symbol from a loved one? I'll never know but I like to think its the latter.
Not quite in full bloom yet. One for me and one for Abigail.

And in bloom.


  1. What a beautiful story and how wonderful that your father sends you a rose. I'm convinced my own father sends messages from 'up there' too. He's never sent me a rose though. Not yet at any rate. :)

  2. Thanks for your lovely comments Shirley. Strange this do happen.

  3. What a lovely, poignant post. I agree with Shirley, there are messages all around us if we take the time to look x

  4. I'm sitting here with tears rolling down my cheeks. What a beautiful blog post. Beautiful.

    I am hopeless with plants too.

  5. That's very moving and beautifully written too. So sorry to hear about your father but how comforting to see that rose each year.

  6. I agree with Joanne above. There are messages all around us if we take the time to look, there are even aromas to remind us of loved ones. Your rose story will probably make ever reader think of their own father. I know I did, God rest his soul.

  7. Thanks Jessie,I sometimes smell my dad's aftershave so you are right.

  8. This is absolutely beautiful, emotional, lovely and inspiring.

  9. Such a beautiful post and a lovely tribute.


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