The Roses At The End Of The Lane

By Loren Skoug | December 13, 2021
Image by Dance60
by Loren Skoug
December 13, 2021

Ever since I started my first garden the goal has been sustenance: I grow food. The sense of accomplishment that follows the smell of a freshly roasted root medley excites me just as much as the first harvest in spring. I thought I had my gardening goals all figured out until this past summer, when I stumbled upon the rose garden.

Form vs Function

I’ve always enjoyed ornamental flowers, but never considered growing them. My garden planning has always revolved around food and how much I could grow in my backyard garden.

Form has always followed function.

A few months ago I started taking long walks around my neighborhood and I stumbled upon a small, older apartment complex at the end of a long, well-manicured rose garden. The rose bushes are set back, away from the sidewalk and beyond a long grassy lawn that is bisected by a simple stone walkway. Two vintage light posts flicker alongside the lane, perfectly framing the circular garden beyond. I’m a notorious flower sniffer and after a few trips past the rose garden my curiosity (and my nose) led me down the stone path.  

A Circle of Fragrance

The first time I entered the garden I was surprised at how bare it seemed. The nearly fifty foot path wraps around a tiered stone fountain and is lined by the rose bushes. My initial observations were quickly drowned in the amazing scent that surrounded me. As I circled the fountain I slowly took in each variety until I reached the far end and a bench. I must’ve sat on that bench for a good five minutes before I remembered I was on a walk and quickly hurried along.  

I circle that fountain every time I’m in the neighborhood and it never disappoints. Every time it feels like I’m pulling back a curtain and taking a look at another gardener’s approach to the hobby; one that is full of a lifetime of experiences and decisions that have manifested in that simple circle of rose bushes. 

That first stroll changed my perspective. I no longer look at my garden as a means to an end. I’ve realized that simple pleasure is an essential ingredient in a green space. 

I’ve since incorporated some flowers into my garden, but they pale in comparison to that rose garden at the end of the lane.

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