Saturday, June 27, 2015

rose bushes

The rose bushes in many public gardens are regularly maintained. They are watered, and fed nutrients. They are pruned to be symmetrical, and so the branches do not break or bend low. After a rose bloom is past its prime, the flower is clipped from the branch at the stem's base so that the drooping, fading bloom is removed, and no broken nor chopped stem remains. The flowers that remain are in the loveliest height of bloom.

In other gardens, the bushes may be left to their own devices. The branches reach out where they may, and the buds and blooms proliferate without pruning. The buds bloom, then fade and droop with time. They are no longer showy and unblemished, but perhaps a little curious and humorous with stamen and pistil standing disrobed, the petals dangling in disarray at their feet.

When rose bushes remain untouched by gardening shears, one gets to see a stage in the rose's cycle that does not occur and thus is not witnessed when the plants are intensively groomed. As the petals droop, turn brown, shrivel, and fall, a spherical pod forms. These are called rose hips. Within the pods are seeds that hold promise of the future of the species, of an abundance of roses in the centuries to come. The seeds also can be food for birds, insects and small mammals in the little ecosystem of the shrub.

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