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Day 53: Honey I’m home!

Day 53

This rose is important to me and today we transplanted it into our new garden. I couldn’t leave this rose bush behind – it had to come with us.

I call this the “Honey I’m home rose”. I have no idea what its real name is and it doesn’t matter to me. This rose bush was a gift to me from my husband Lynsey. As I have come to expect from him there was nothing typical in the way he presented me with this rose.

Lynsey had gone to Wanganui for the day to visit his mother. This is a three hour drive north of Wellington. I was unable to go with him this particular day. Typically when we do this trip we would leave early in the morning and then start driving back in the late afternoon. I was expecting him to arrive back home some time between 7 and 8pm, and was busy working in the kitchen preparing dinner when he turned up.

I heard the car pull up in the driveway.

Next I heard the keys rattling in the front door as he opened it and walked into the house.

“Honey, I’m home. ” I heard him say. “I’ve brought you some roses.”

I smiled and felt the glow of being loved.

Ever since our first date he has always brought me flowers from the garden in Wanganui but I don’t remember him ever bringing me roses. I headed for the hallway to greet him and to receive my flowers.

Imagine my surprise to find my darling husband standing there smiling with this rose bush in his extended out arm as though it was the same as a beautifully wrapped bunch of flowers. The plant looked like it had just been dug out of the ground. The roots were dangling through the clumps of dirt that appeared to be clinging to whatever they could. The only rose in sight was a dead looking red rose which looked like it was about to break off the stem it had grown on. The plant looked so sad and tired.

“You must really love that rose,” I said as I continued to stare at the sight in front of me. I wasn’t quite sure what to say next. This was certainly the most unusual bunch of flowers Lynsey had ever brought me. All I could think about was that this must be a really important plant for him to have brought it all this way. I only hoped it would survive the trauma of its trip.

He began to tell me the story behind this plant …

He was driving through Levin on his way home. He saw a sign “Pick your own roses for $2” so he made the decision to stop and pick a bunch of roses to bring home to me. This was a market garden area and there was always lots of pick your own fruit and vegetables signs. It wasn’t so typical though to see a sign inviting you to pick your own flowers.

As Lynsey drove into what looked like a fairly typical market garden establishment he was greeted by an elderly Asian woman who didn’t speak much English. Lynsey tried to explain that he wanted to pick some roses. She indicated that he should follow her but first she stopped to pick up a shovel and a glove.

He followed her and wondered when they would get to the roses. He expected to see glasshouses with the rose plants in them but none appeared. They walked past a variety of different crops growing in the ground. After what seemed like a long time they arrived at a patch of land that was covered in rose bushes. She turned to him, handed him the shovel and glove and asked him how many he wanted.

“12 for ten dolla,” she said to him.

He was confused. “What was going on here” he wondered. “Did she say 12 roses for $10?”

This was not what the sign said. He couldn’t even see any roses to pick.

He then realised she meant 12 bushes. He wanted to pick rose stems not dig up rose bushes.

After a short period he said to her: “No only one. I only want one.”

She seemed surprised that he only wanted one bush and tried to convince him to take more.

In hindsight Lynsey said he should have dug up more bushes but at the time all he could think about was digging up the one bush and getting back on the road.

As a result I received a gift of flowers that keeps on giving; a rose bush for our garden which has produced plenty of beautiful red roses over the time it has been planted.

We also learnt that “Pick you own roses” doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone.

Update, 4 June 2007: The “Honey I’m home rose” is thriving in its new home. It has plenty of new growth on it and I can’t wait to see the roses it produces. It seems that this plant is a survivor, a bit like the person it was lovingly given to and like the man who dug it up for her.

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