One of the many floral delights to be found at Illinois Beach State park are the fragrant and lovely wild roses blooming along the trails.
My grandmother was know as “the rose lady” in her little town in northern California. She grew tea roses, and I dearly loved when she would take me on a tour of her garden. Each rose had its own metal tag to identify it. Hers was a test garden, as I recall, for one of the breeders of roses. It all seemed so magical to me….until you ventured into her garage where she kept her cocktail of chemicals to spray on them for a myriad of ills. I grew up thinking roses were fragile things that needed ’round the clock care and dedicated life support. What a revelation it was to me, then, to come across these gorgeous and tough wild roses. They grow all unaided, in lean sandy soil. Nary a black spot mars their leaves, and you’ll see no sign of wilt or aphids or malingering of any kind. It gives me hope for what I might be able to achieve in my strictly no-fuss garden, and I’m thinking I’ll take the plunge this year.
Here, in the meantime, is a painted bloom. I started this little painting 2 years ago, and somehow never got back to it. It’s done now, though, and is serving to remind me of warmer days to come.