The article said that the garden had been created by a couple who had scouted heritage roses from across the land, finding them growing beside abandoned farm buildings and against house foundations where the house had long since vanished.
This particular rose garden and rose sale was likely to be the last chance for the public to view the garden. The wife had died awaiting a heart/lung transplant. While she waited in the hospital, she had sketched plans to create a rose garden based on the plans created by Gertrude Jeckyll, (a famous name in roses...), plans that Jeckyll herself never saw realized.
There were no pictures with the news article. Just time of the sale, and location, and the belief that this was the only privately owned heritage rose garden open to the public in America.
Once the rose sale was ended, the garden would be leased to a wedding company. After that lease went into effect, I doubted people would be allowed to just wander through in the future.
But....it was a very, very hot weekend. Was I really interested in meandering through a garden in high heat and equally oppressive humidity? And what about the time and money aspect: The garden was seventy miles from our house. Going there would shoot up the better part of a day, and a good part of a tank of gas as well.
Monday gave us an opportunity to buy camera chips at a steal at our local electronic center. We decided to stop by the National Veterans Cemetery to pay our respects, then head to the store. That would put us almost half way to the rose garden....
Bernie and Laura gave in to my wishes. The drive south of Houston to the garden took us thorough farm land and tiny towns that we had never heard of.
Needville. I still don't know how it got it's name. I do now know the high school is home to the Fighting Blue Jays.
Somehow that doesn't seem like a very intimidating name for a football team...
I loved that each rose was labeled with both it's name and creation date.Pereire was both lovely and fragrant.
deceased lady. The garden was still so young but she did not get to see it built nor would she ever walk it in when it came into mature glory
The yellow rose above that was found in that garden was named "Mermaid"-much to mermaid collector Laura's delight. The rose was named in 1918...when the world was at war, and many were lost due to the Great Influenza outbreak of that time.
Even in war and pestilance, there was time to create beauty and tend flowers.
I've been to many lush and elegant gardens and blogged about several of them. While I was walking about I wondered what I could say about this one. Would I encourage people to make the long drive to see it? Was it worth seeing at all?
In the end I wondered if I would have been more impressed if I had seen it on a brisk sunny day when the roses were covered with blossoms and sweat was not running down my brow. I probably would have been.
Still...there was something about seeing a garden built simply for the sake of love, to bring into reality the vision shared by two women, neither who had ever met, neither of whom will ever see the garden themselves, yet they will remained forever honored by those who walk about and see roses that generations that have gone before have treasured.
Like many treasures of life, the garden may not have been glorious, or breathtaking. But somehow it was still fulfilling.
PS: Seriously better pictures of the garden can be seen here on Laura's blog. Her eye and her camera...gee, her pictures just rock.