Rose Season

It’s been far too long, friends. Winter and early spring were . . . let us call them challenging, and move forward. Because now summer is birthing, and rose season has arrived

may roses2

I’ve always loved roses, since I can remember knowing what a rose is–not so much roses from flower shops, but roses on the vine, thorny and sprawling or climbing, messy and brief-lived.

Yellow Rose

The roses in my yard started blooming on my birthday, and have been putting on a show for almost a month now. I love every stage of their growth, from bud to bloom to scattering petals and ripening hips.

Purply / Pink Rose

But this is their sweetest season, when the ground is still moist from winter’s rain and the nights are still cool. Now they flourish with no help from human hands.

may roses4

And their perfume is a balm for a winter-weakened spirit.

may roses1

These roses are in my yard, but there are thousands upon thousands more, all over my neighborhood, all over my city. Portland doesn’t call itself the city of roses for nothing. Roses clamber all over Portland, from the coddled hybrids at the city’s rose gardens to feral, prickly five-petaled wild things climbing fences in empty lots.

Bright Pink Rose

These ladies around my yard have survived several years of being mostly ignored–but this year, after getting a good trimming in late winter, they are riotous. And I’m taking every chance I can to enjoy them.


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