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Hi Garrison -- I grew

August 3, 2004 |

Hi Garrison --
I grew up in your neck of the woods and now I live in Portland, Oregon, and I know things have changed since I was a kid, but I'm curious about those roses you talk about. I remember scrawny little roses we had growing alongside our garage. We've got really really big roses out here and also a rose festival.


The roses in the Midwest are not scrawny. Maybe yours were planted too close to the garage and got shaded or maybe the ground was soaked with motor oil. We have climbing roses in our backyard that are a joy to look at and I feel they would compare favorably with any roses that Portland could offer. And I'm no rose grower. I just throw some coffee grounds on them from time to time to stimulate growth and, boy, they are beauties. About the size of cereal bowls. Minnesota roses are hardier, and the cold stimulates bold vibrant colors and blooms that stay fresh for weeks and weeks. Frankly, I don't associate Portland with roses at all. It's where cement comes from, right? I don't mean to get huffy, but it really burns my bacon when people move away from Minnesota ----- usually in pursuit of a dream that never comes true, never could come true, and we could have told them that, but did they ask us? no they did not because they knew we'd tell them the truth ---- and in their bitterness at seeing the folly of their ways, they say deprecating things about the land and people who nourished them. Such as about their roses. Our roses are just fine. We have no need for a rose festival. We have better things with which to occupy our time, such as raising our children to be helpful and kind and not backbiters and nay-sayers, especially when it comes to other people's flowers.

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