Life Lessons from a Royal Sunset rosebush

  • April 11, 2010
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My barren trellis

Three years ago, I spent way too much money on a large climbing rosebush which I hoped would weave an ornate blanket of apricot flowers through the trellis on the front of my house. The first year, the bush did not disappoint. In fact, it produced 47 roses. Believe me, I counted…every day.

I patted myself on the back; my money was well spent. I looked forward to counting more and more blooms each year as the rosebush established itself. I had this fantasy that I would count well over 100 Royal Sunset roses with my grandchildren-to-be.

But the next year, the bush suffered a terrible fate. Maybe aphids attacked it. Maybe it simply froze to death over the Chicago winter. No matter, the bush looked deader than a doornail.

Demoralized, I yanked the brown skeletal, thorny stalks and roots out of the ground and brought the remains back to the garden center with the hope that I would get some of my money back. Standing by its product, the garden center gave me a complete refund. Then, I bought and planted a few hardy “Sweet Autumn” climbers — not nearly as impressive, but more reliable than roses.

The sprig of my Royal Sunset rosebush

To my great surprise, this spring, a small red shoot popped out of the ground where my lush Royal Sunset rosebush once grew.

When I made the discovery, I thought, how instructive for immigrants — for that matter, for all of us.

As the saying goes, “Bloom where you are planted.”

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