Rosa Veilchenblau at Giverny, by Spedona
A gardener needs patience; the Good Lord knew this when he told the story of the fig tree that was not fruiting (Luke 13). The gardener was for mercy, for another chance, thinking in terms of years rather than weeks.
That’s the case with cuttings. I tried growing roses with Dermot, who did not understand this need for patience; pulling the cuttings up within a week to look for roots was a bad idea!
I have taken some more successful cuttings more recently. One slip of Mrs O’s Veilchenblau rose has moved to the Franciscan International Study Centre in Canterbury; Sam and Richard are deliberating where to plant it beside their new woodland walk.
Another has gone to my mother, who says it is thriving; one will go to my brother and one to a friend with a tree that needs a rose to grow through it. A little joy that will last for years; if Mrs O knew – and I’m not convinced she doesn’t – she would be pleased.
This afternoon I met B, a neighbour, foraging for a rosemary bush to raid for her roast lamb. It was more than a little joy to us both when I gave her a rooted cutting grown in Mrs O’s greenhouse. B and her family were good friends to Mrs O, so that bush will truly be ‘Rosemary for Remembrance’.
Remembering our loved ones in what they have given us or shared with us, we are at one with them, living or dead, and indeed we are praying for them by holding them in our hearts before God who sees all.