Since Greek times, rosemary has been associated with rememberance. For my family, it is roses, and this is a story I have shared many times. In fact, the story has now been immortalised in a book after I was asked if the story could be shared a couple of years ago.
The story goes, that 19 years ago, on a Sunday I finished my rose garden, surrounded it with stones to suppress weeds in a rather large area, and also barked the driveway (we live down a ROW). I had a truck arrive during the week, and had shifted it all myself, finally finishing late Sunday afternoon. I was shattered. After finishing, I had finished, I rang my dad. My dad could tell that I was tired so suggested I didn't drive to see him, at that we'd catch up tomorrow. The following day, he was recieving a blood transfusion at the Hospice around the corner from me. To give herself a break, my mum popped in and pruned my roses. Then on the way home, she brought my dad into show him my finished garden. It was the last place my dad visited, as he collapsed walking in the door after getting home. I was only 5 minutes away at the time.
Three months later, on my birthday, I drove in the driveway after holding it together at work for the day. I pulled up into my drive, and burst into tears. After collecting my thoughts, I looked up and saw my first rose. For years afterwards, my mum and I pruned the roses around my dad's anniversary. Every year, the week of my birthday, my roses are in full bloom. It has only been in the last few years that I have been allowed to prune them on my own. It also took me a few years to release that my mum had been sneaking around and cutting the first bunch to take to the cemetary.
My boys call them the birthday roses. My birthday isn't till Sunday, but it is the only present I ever need. I sometimes have one random rose a few weeks out - but they never fully bloom until this week - roughly 12 weeks from pruning. These came out at the start of this week.
For many, there are special places in gardens, or special plants. Some are to commemorate lost pets, or remember a lost family member. For some it is a cutting from a relative - a family heirloom. For me, it is my roses.