Roses, well known to need copious amounts of water and attentive care, are growing in an abandoned, fenced parking lot.
What’s amazing to me is that we just had the third driest spring in our area since weather record keeping began over a hundred years ago.
Last fall a fast food restaurant in the neighborhood mysteriously closed in the middle of the work day. They put the address of their nearest restaurant on the marquee, boarded up the windows and put a chain link fence around the entire property.
Nearly nine months later, I couldn’t help but notice the roses growing in the formerly landscaped parking area. The picture above was taken through the chain link fence erected to keep trespassers out.
Apparently the landscaping fabric in the rose bed is keeping enough of the weeds down to allow the rose to grow.
It brings to mind the many rose societies around the country that actively seek out and rescue old rose varieties. Many old roses are growing wild without assistance from gardeners. These roses are found in vacant lots, abandoned farmsteads and old cemeteries. Heirloom rose preservation societies document, take cuttings of and propagate old roses so that they are not lost to us.
The goal of most of these societies is to collect so-called “old” roses—those developed before the genes of Chinese roses were bred into the gene pool. Although this may be the primary goal of heirloom rose rescuers, I’m betting many obscure “modern” rose varieties have found their way into the protection and cultivation of these organizations.
A rose lover will not refuse to grow a beautiful, unknown rose variety simply because it’s not old enough.
After all, “a rose is a rose.”