When I moved to St.Shotts in 1978 I wanted to beautify our property with something that would grow with very little effort. My in-laws had lots of wild roses in front of their house, so I asked if I could transplant some of their smaller bushes. I dug up some soil near the side of our house and confidently put down the roots, thinking ‘these are wild, so how hard will it be to get them to grow?’ I should ask that why? Well, if you have ever been to St.Shotts you know it is hard to find anything growing here, with the exception of potatoes, carrotts , rhubarb, beet and cabbage. Trees and flowers are rare. About a kilometre up the road I’ve heard people say that you can find trees every letter of the alphabet except o! But in the community being so close to the ocean, the acidity of the soil doesn’t allow much to grow.
So I tended the bushes and watered them when it was sunny for days and I put some rocks around them to keep them sturdy in the soil. My mother-in-law encouraged me and told me I should have no trouble growing them. But they quickly drooped and died, and I counted it as experience. I tried again the following year but had the same thing happen.
I never had a green thumb. My father only grew things that we could eat. He saw no sense in growing flowers or trees. As a fellow who cut cords of wood and bragged that he could do it fast, he didn’t care to grow them. And my mother never had time to grow flowers. She raised nine children with a bad heart, at times with the help of serving girls.
Over the years I have picked Mrs. Mary Catherine’s roses and brought them in to our home and put them in vases. When I had company I brought in some of each color of the pink and white ones. The scent was heavenly. Later I kept the dried petals to put in my dresser drawers.
It’s now over thirty years later and I’ve enjoyed Mrs. Mary’s wild roses every year. Recently I brought some down to Mrs. Mary Chris, a wonderful senior who has a great love for life. It was right after the old house was demolished. My friends Bob and Brenda enjoy the roses when they visit us. And my husband and I have enjoyed the roses every season they bloom but now they remind me of my in-laws who are gone. They remind me of how Mother Nature provides beauty for all of us. We just have to open our eyes and other senses to enjoy what is freely given to us.