Over the past few evenings the Wife and I have planted 2 rose bushes (a third awaits somewhere to plant it as the place we selected originally is too rocky) - a Peace Rose and a Grace Rose. I bought the Peace Rose last summer in honor of the 100th anniversary of my grandmother's birth (she died 9/12/01, aged 96) but the company didn't want to ship it until this Spring to give it a whole growing season before cold temps come. My sister bought the Grace Rose and the Amazing Grace Rose for me for Christmas and they were shipped at the same time as the rose I had ordered. She picked those particular ones because our grandmother's name was Grace. I'm feeling very protective of these roses. Apparently they represent a whole lot more to me than plants really should. I didn't have any idea that I would feel this way but now that they are in the ground (and if you have ever planted a rose you know it is a labor of love to dig a 2 ft wide by 2 ft deep hole for a 6 inch plant) I have to go and visit them when I get home from work and see how they are doing. I'm afraid the dog will dig them up or dig around them or the landscaper will spray them with weed killer (like they did to the 2 Astilbe last week - dumbasses) or something will eat the roots. We have a rose bush in the yard already. The Wife discovered it under lots of overgrown stuff when we moved into the house and with some fertilizer and sun it's grown into a huge, beautiful bush so I don't think it's likely that anything that lives in the yard will eat the roots but still, I worry. I am fond of that rose bush too and we jokingly say that Grace must have had a hand in its resurgence but I don't feel the same (perhaps because it is larger and seems as though it can "take care of itself" as I do about the rose bushes we just planted.
I still miss her, almost 4 years later, and sometimes I talk to her (in my head, not out loud thankyouverymuch). I'm tearing up just writing this. She was quite the gardener, had the proverbial green thumb. I own some of her gardening books now but most of her knowledge came from a lifetime of observing what worked and what didn't and seemed to be innate. I don't have that same sense. I have to read what we are supposed to do and I don't remember what plants like acidic fertilizer and on and on. I don't have the time she did to devote to gardening, for when I knew her she was always retired. I think she would be proud of the life I've built and the gardening we are doing.
Wherever you are, Gracie, I hope you can see the roses when they bloom.