Every Rose

Earlier this summer, I took about half a dozen cuttings from our backyard rose bush and attempted to propagate them. After a brief consultation with the Internet, I gathered some plastic pots, which I washed and sterilized before filling them with organic potting soil. Then I smeared the “wounded” ends with honey (in lieu of rooting hormone, which unlike honey, is not free and within arm’s reach), and stuck the clippings into the dirt.

Weeks passed and nothing much happened, and so I figured the experiment had been a failure.

Then, the other day, I noticed something:

One scrappy little cutting has taken root.

Someday, if I’m lucky and it’s plucky, the cutting may grow into this:

I know almost nothing about this particular rose bush, because I know very little about roses in general.

What I can tell you: its general growth pattern (I’ve observed) is to send out a long, thick, and thorny cane that forms a kind of spinal column, which in turn sends up stick-straight branches along the arch, which host the actual flowers; it’s an irregular repeat bloomer that appears to have enjoyed a long life of benign neglect on the south side of our house; and while it tolerates human intervention (light pruning, fertilizing), it appears to neither need nor especially want it.

In short, this rose would prefer to be left alone to do what it does best, which is grow up the side of our house.

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