Christmas Rose


Tiny ice crystals melt and drip into the frozen earth, forming dark pockets in the snow. Inside each of the pockets, a robust white flower with round cup-shaped sepals seems to generate some measure of heat that helps expose it’s presence under the latest snowfall.

It is Christmas. Mother boasts that every season in the year, she can bring some plant life from her garden as decoration for a table centre. A few branches of this lovely flower are Mother’s miracle plant that blooms even under snow.

Our horticulturist grandfather gave this plant to her. Today it is mid June. I have been digging out the rock walled garden, rescuing the crop of tulips and daffodils that I planted only last fall – and the few remainders that my friend the squirrel (arghh!) did not eat for his own Christmas dinner.

In the oak half barrel, there were more dafs and tulips. That barrel had been pure compost, not very refined, only four years ago. Now it is the best earth on the property – rich, black and loose. I filled the bottom of a very large planter pot with this rich soil then dug up the Christmas Rose, its roots dark and robust, extracted a couple of Spanish bluebell bulbs, then carefully wound the long, deep exposed roots of the “rose” under the root ball clinging to the upper roots, tucking them under and into their new home. The plant has been there so long that it has grown sturdy and broad. I was able to get two large plants from it. Tomorrow I think I will be able to extract another few stems of it that were left behind in the garden.

It was light until nine o’clock this evening. I love warm summer nights like this. The wind was up this afternoon and still running softly this evening. But it got too late and too dark for me to do any more digging. The rest will have to wait until tomorrow.

I have a large flat of baby marigolds waiting to fill all the space. I shall have an orange and yellow garden this year. The blue has been dug out for transplanting. The house will be sold and maybe razed.

The treasures of Mother’s garden are coming with me for my new garden.


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