Rebecca Returns Thanks To The RoseFriday, May 29, 2009
I think I obtained my first rose bush sometime in 1987 and I am sure it and a few more I bought subsequently died. I didn't give them enough sun and I did no have a clue how to prune or take care of them. Even today I am a tad unsure. I think I could explain most of the types of roses and their origins but that has taken all these years for me to learn. Roses, no matter how often you might be told to the contrary are complex plants. This may explain why my friends of the Vancouver Rose Society are having a World Rose Convention at the Bayshore Hotel and a Rose Festival at the new Vancouver Convention Centre. The dates for the convention are different, too! The convention will be from June 18 to the 24th and the festival from June 19 to the 21st.
But for me there is something good among all the confusion. At the Vancouver Convention Centre I will be one of a few who will be giving lecture/demonstrations for the general public on those three days, June 19, 20 and 21. I have spoken to garden clubs many times through the years about hostas, roses and how to photograph them. But what is special is that my topic is A Rose Through a Child's Eyes. I will be co-lecturing with my granddaughter Rebecca (11) who of late has gone bonkers over roses and in particular over the deep red ones like William Shakespeare, Falstaff, Charles de Mills and her very own favourite (I don't have it. I bought it for her some years ago) Tuscany Superb. Rebecca has informed me that she has no problem talking about roses to any group of people who might attend our talk. I will project my rose scans (the two here are Rosa 'Blanc Double de Coubert' which I cut this afternoon. The bloom had not quite opened yet.) and pictures of Rebecca and Lauren with roses. I will demonstrate with lights how I photograph my granddaughters by rose bushes or with roses.
I had thought that I had a very close relationship with my Rebecca since we started doing things together from an early age. We have traveled with Rosemary to Argentina, Uruguay, Texas, Washington DC and to Mexico three times. We have gone to dance, theatre, opera and baroque concerts. Then a couple of years ago she declared her independence and decided to become a teenager before she was 10. I was despondent and my friend Abraham Rogatnick told me to be patient and that she would come back. I had not expected this to happen so soon nor would I have suspected that the catalyst would be the rose.
Tomorrow after Rebecca's piano class we will label all the roses in the back garden (we did the front garden a couple of weeks ago). In her neat writing she will write the names of the new roses on the metal labels that we place next to each rose. She will write in a notebook the condition of each bush, the colour of the rose, the type of rose it is and she will describe its scent. By the time we finish and with her good memory Rebecca will have full knowledge of my 75 plus roses. As it is she knows more about roses, how to grow them and how to take care of them than I did back in 1987 when I killed my first rose! I look forward, with a great measure of pride, to sharing the floor with Rebecca in the forthcoming Rose Festival.