The English Mother

Moments in an English Mother's Life

Roses

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For two small, London gardens, one at the front, one at the back, I have many roses.
Two large rose bushes were growing in the front garden when my son and I arrived here ten years ago. So lovely are they that they contributed to my decision to buy the house. People stop to look at them, sometimes surreptitiously trying to take a rose away with them. But the branches are tough and it is a bit of a struggle without secateurs. As they try to give the branch a good yank, they see me staring at them from my sitting room or, more dramatically from my bedroom window, above. I am not particularly cross, just watching. I was once charmed by a man who on seeing me declared, through my open bedroom window, his love for his girlfriend and the beauty of the roses. He seemed so pleased with the rose for his girlfriend it would have been churlish to be anything but happy.
Another time, I felt a little miffed as I looked out of the window to see a shoot for a bridal magazine happening in the front garden. Having modelled for so many years myself, I know the system and the expense to a magazine or advertiser of their shoot’s location. I thought they should have knocked and asked before setting themselves up quite so comfortably in my garden in front of my house.
The rose I have pictured I planted myself. I wanted it to climb around the door but more importantly up to my bedroom window. I have trained it to do so, sometimes, as it grew, tying it around the drainpipe, which is probably not a good idea. It has now made it all the way up and I am delighted. It reminds me of a song ..” Someday my Prince will come..” As sleeping beauty sleeps the roses covered the palace. This is silliness but in fact, Dominic is very good at scaling the wall to deadhead the highest roses.
It is not the moment now for deadheading. April’s sun and rain have brought out so many buds that are about to burst. The leaves and buds cast trembling shadows on my bedroom floor by the window. It is the beginning of the summer months and the imminent bloom of the roses in my garden.

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