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  • Writer's pictureBetty Girardeau

And the winner is...

Roses are often given to those who have won a prize of some sort, like the Kentucky Derby, Miss America, or a female performer. But they remind me of many other things, especially of my Mother. During the 1950's she created a border garden along the back walk at our house. She planted all kinds of flowers in it, but I especially remember the rose bushes. She didn't have that many of them, maybe only four or five, but it was a special day when the first bloom could be cut and brought into the house for further enjoyment. I especially remember a red tea rose she had named Crimson Glory. It was a gorgeous deep, almost velvety red, and had a wonderful scent. I love all kinds of flowers, but I have a love affair with roses and wish I could successfully grow them in my yard. I do have a bright red Knockout bush that appeases this desire a bit, but I am not much of a flower gardener, and tea roses usually need a lot of TLC. Several years ago my daughter and her husband bought a new home in Northern California. The house is pretty impressive, but the roses, well over 100 of them, really endear this house to me. Living where they do, she literally has roses blooming year round. Lucky girl! I have visited the rose gardens at Biltmore and Longwood. I have found roses during almost all of my travels and occasionally on my walks I will find wild ones. The rose image above was captured in France just after a brief evening rain shower. There are several old rose bushes on the grounds surrounding Chateau deGudanes where I have been privileged to go for the last three years. I understand that their recent major project is to restore some of the old garden areas and as part of that restoration they have been planting more roses. Perfect, because, roses and France go together like love and marriage. The French love affair with roses goes back as far as can be remembered. But it was Napoleon's wife Josephine that set the trend. Her rose garden at Malmaison had over 250 varieties of roses, and Napoleon had his captains looking out for new varieties for her from all over the world. Josephine's garden set a trend for other people to develop such gardens. Now, thanks to her, there are over 30,000 different varieties and counting. So as I am remembering my Mother this Mother's Day, I am not surprised that it reminded me of roses. And this is why my "Happy Picture" for you on this special day is of a rose.

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