Like many people I have a garden full of plants, many given to me by friends and relatives. Some of the givers have passed on, but the plants remain. The flowers remind me of people I will forever remember and miss. It’s a happy remembrance, as I look into radiant new petals, pistons, thorns and such, remembering how close we were.
Almost fifty years ago my favorite great aunt, a VERY special lady named Violet, gave me a rose bush. It was a “Sutter’s Gold” tree rose. Its buds were yellow, but as they opened the color turned gold, then orange and then redder as it matured, ending with pink just before the petals fell. The extreme beauty of Sutter’s Gold is second only to its fragrance—one of the best smelling roses I have ever run across.
From the beginning I had a fear of losing this special rose. What if I didn’t water it enough or feed it correctly? To ease my fear, I planted cuttings from the bush and raised the baby bushes with care. Over the years I moved from one town to another to another, but everywhere I went I replanted my Sutter’s Gold and started new little baby golds. That is, until my last move eight years ago when the grand old lady did not survive the move. She had been dug up too many times.
My Aunt Violet had passed away and then, sadly, my link to her was gone.
One day my friend, Marlene, and I were Christmas shopping in Morgan Hill. She asked me where I used to live, so I drove her over to the house we had lived in. Two six-foot Sutter’s Gold rose bushes stood proudly near the front door. Even though it was late fall, end of rose season, one rose remained on a bush I had raised from a cutting many years ago. My first thought was, Violet. The second was, how can I get a clipping?
This story probably has a happy ending. The owner of the house happened to be in the front yard. I told him I used to live there and painted all the murals in the house—five out of the seven murals are still there. I asked for two clippings. He gladly brought out the clippers and I went home with my two clippings wrapped in wet paper towels, and from there they went into water for the night. The next day I dipped them in Tomi’s enzyme powder and pushed them into wet earth.
Stay tuned to see if these little babies grow into beautiful Sutter’s Gold rose bushes named Violet.