Saturday, August 21, 2010

Our rose bush.




Portland's official motto is the City of Roses, and it's easy to see why, whether you're walking around the incredible International Rose Test Garden downtown (see some of my numerous favorites) or simply walking around any of the various neighborhoods and glancing in pretty much anyone's yard. The things grow like weeds here: colorful, delicate, prickly, wonderful weeds. We are lucky to have a huge sprawling bush of our own in front of our apartment. (Being that we rent, saying "of our own" is a little misleading, but, you understand.)

We've lived here just about three years now, and when we moved in I was mainly excited about two things: 1) How much cheaper it was to rent an apartment here than in Boston, and 2) the ability to garden, to actually work with soil and green things any time I wanted. Our complex contained an abundance of huge, somewhat pointless, leaning towards ugly, monstrous shrubs--and the rose bush. I've since added a plethora of other plants and flowers, slowly subtracting the amount of space taken up by grass and adding in much more interesting and useful things, but the rose bush is still the big highlight. Depending on what time of year they bloom, they're always a combination of pink-turning-towards-yellow: yellow with pink on the edges, all yellow in various shades, almost all white, and I couldn't have chosen a lovelier rose bush myself.

As I've worked on developing my green thumb over the last few years I have spent countless hours trimming this massive thing, and, in the way that happens anytime you put a lot of time and effort into anything, I have grown somewhat possessive and proud of it. I love how good it smells, especially when the roses are right on the cusp on dying, I love the softness of the petals when I pick the fallen ones up from the sidewalk, I love how effortlessly the vines can grow right up to almost the roof if left untamed, I love how raindrops squat on the petals and are illuminated by our outdoor light on rainy spring and fall nights. It sits right in front of our big window in the living room, and when I lay down on the couch to read a book in the summertime, during those moments when I'm starting to not really read but instead fall into a half daydream nap space, it is always such a reassuring, peaceful sight to gaze out onto.

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