I have been planting roses. I never thought of myself as a rose person. I thought they were too delicate. I thought they needed too much attention, too much care. I thought they were an old-person’s plant, I thought I didn’t have time for all that fuss.
When we bought our house we inherited roses and I have found that they don’t need as much fuss as I expected. I have always loved having flowers in my house, and it is amazing to have such a ready supply, perfuming the rooms and providing bright splashes of colour. And I have discovered that you can prune roses quite severely in one season and they reward you with a glorious abundance the next.
I have a note from a sermon in my journal. A blank page with one line:
I really prune the strong ones hard, because they can take it.
I am starting to wonder if that’s why I have come to love roses, maybe it is a not so much an old-person’s thing as a growing thing. An understanding that the strong ones need pruning. The spent flowers need to be removed for others to bloom. The straggly wood that is competing for light needs to be removed to allow other more healthy branches to flourish. The pruning isn’t fun, the time of waiting after the pruning seems interminable. But the abundance that comes from it shows just how necessary those cuts were.
So as I plant my new roses, and prune those I inherited, I wonder what else needs pruning …