The rose bush that didn’t give roses

See that rose bush above? Beautiful isn’t it? It is ever so deceptive and if you enlarge the picture you might be able to see that it’s an illusion. A tease.

Nine years ago we bought this rose bush and it grew very well in the garden. The only problem was that being a rose bush, it was more bush and less rose. Infact there were no roses at all. It was like something that held promise of joy and beauty but did not deliver. Strawberries and cream without the strawberries. Laurel without Hardy. It was a let down.

I waited for the next year. Perhaps it was a late bloomer and one day I would open the blinds to see explosions of roses. But no. Nothing. Not even a sign of a bud.

Another season came. Still no roses. Other rose bushes in our garden in contrast were splashes of colour emitting wonderful wisps of scent.

In the fourth rose-less year I decided to dig it up from the border and move its location to a large pot.

Still no roses.

Seasons passed.

Still, no roses.

In the fifth year I phoned up the rose bush company, a reputable company with heritage. They replied that the reason for the dearth of roses was because it was in a pot. I gave up complaining.

We decided to cut down the ‘rose’ bush earlier this year and replace it with a rose bush that actually gave roses. But as I got the pruners out, I couldn’t get myself to cut it down. It was quite a shapely bush, with strong stems and nice sprawling reach.

So I had an idea. I decided to tie plastic flowers on the rose bush with twine, and that’s the image at the start of this blog post.

It became a rose bush with plastic surgery. A prosthetic perennial and I was rather chuffed with the result even if it was a bit of a fraud. But a thing of beauty is a joy, no matter if it’s a little contrived.

Furthermore, there was no green flies.

Plastic rose tied on with twine

This summer. Guess what happened? Yes. The rose bush, after 9 rose-less years, suddenly started to grow roses. They came one by one, and today is has a mix of pink natural roses white plastic ones. Go figure.

It’s a good job I never got the pruning shears out and I’m glad the bush responded with a little bit of plastic encouragement.


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