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Behind a great rose garden there is an Uncle Dan  

American Beauty, 8 x 8 inches, acrylic on paper, 2011.My sister, Becky tells a story about her attempt at a rose garden.  She bought a dozen rose bushes to plant in her yard. She amended the soil, planted, fed and watered them. She did all the things she read in her gardening books to ensure her roses bloomed. Sounds like she worked her behind off in that garden, doesn’t it? What she really meant was her husband, Bob, amended the soil, planted, fed and watered the roses. I like this story, because I really don’t know any true gardening women. I just know women who go to the nursery and pick out plants and bring them home. Someone else, (insert husband’s name) is out in the yard schlepping wheel barrows of dirt around the yard. Becky’s roses did poorly and she lamented her ( Bob’s) failure to grow roses to our Aunt Dorothy. Becky asked how is it that your roses are so beautiful. You must have the golden touch.  Aunt Dorothy replied, Not at all. I can’t grow anything. They die all the time. Uncle Dan just digs them up and plants new ones. 

Aunt Dot admitted her failure as a gardener freely. She liked that Uncle Dan grew roses for her.  He brought the fresh cut roses in and put them in a vase on her kitchen table.  He always said something romantically nauseating for guests to hear.  But he had a twinkle in his eye and he made her smile.  I think there is something really affectionate about a husband planting and growing roses for his wife, especially if she lacks gardening skills.   As for the women I know, most of them would readily admit that behind a great rose garden there is an Uncle Dan. We have been the lucky recipients of roses planted for us and think it’s just fine.

Dorothy, a real American Beauty.

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