Drabble 189 – Rhodology

A photo of a pink rosebush.

I grew my first rosebush from bare roots this year. I grew roses at my old house, but they were planted by the time they got there and mostly grew themselves—they were a hardy breed. I was nervous about planting my own roses; a rosebush is an investment, and I didn’t want to feel like I’d thrown money away if it died. But it didn’t. It thrived and produced big white blossoms that smelled amazing. I dried them to use in tea and rosewater and anywhere else I can think of.

There are a lot of risks in gardening; I feel bad every time a plant dies because I didn’t care for it well enough. But coaxing something to grow—whether it’s roses or beans or a giant tomato plant that nonetheless succumbs to blight after you geat only one measly tomato from it—is incredibly rewarding. I hate weeding, I hate fertilizing, I hate pruning, but I get better at it every time I’m reminded of how gratifying it is to know that something grew where it wasn’t before simply because you took the time to nurture it.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

RHODOLOGY

(n.) from Greek rhódon for “rose” and Greek -logia, “to speak or tell”

Someone who studies roses.

Her gardens drip blossoms big as fists, big as hearts. She feeds them blood and bone, and ithey fragrance the property with rich perfume. The wind catches and carries it next door or sometimes to town, and people turn their heads toward its sweetness.

Caring for this garden is all she does. She prunes, she plucks. She breathes in their heady scent as if it will sustain her. In winter, she draws her finger over dried petals wrinkled with age/ If only she can make them last, she thinks, another thorn drawing blood from her thumb. If only, if only.

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