The French are famous for their wonderful gardens and flowers. The roses at the Rodin Gardens are especially beautiful and fragrant. I would find them hard to replicate…but I have something that comes in a close second.
Drummer-boy (aka Chris) grew up in a house with rosebushes that climbed up the side of his house. Every late spring, he recalls how he would run over, every chance he got, and sniff to his heart’s content. He would always get cut by the thorns. "They were the perfect roses" he always said, as he described them to me. I had always heard about these wonderful roses as part of his childhood memories…which some would think a bit odd. It is funny what a man would still remember as a young boy. Roses aren’t generally at the top of the list with football, baseball, frogs and Spiderman comics.
A few years ago, I asked him to drive by and visit his Mom, who still lives there, and to check if the infamous roses were still living and breathing. Sure enough, they were. When he returned home, I gasped in amazement. He was not kidding. They were the perfect roses. Not pink, but not white either. Not really peach. It was a combination of all three…and it depends on the light and how open they are. Pinker when they are closed…and whiter when they are open, with a sunshine center. And the smell. Now I know why he still remembers, some 30 odd years later. I can only describe them as lightly scented. They are not overpowering, like some roses can be. More like the smell of a spring rain…with a little bit of Bellini cocktail mixed in. So subtle that you have to really get up close and personal to get the full bouquet. The same kind of subtleness that you want when wearing perfume. Not like you took a bath in it…but just enough so that your someone special can tell your wearing it when they whisper in our ear.
Ever since that day, every spring, he stops by his Mom’s at least once a week to pick a bouquet. Though they don’t last very long, they are a beautifully fragrant reminder. For him…of his childhood and for me…of French Gardens.
Photos: Bouquet of roses blooming in my Grandmother’s antique crystal vase. Her name just happened to be Rose.