April in Sacramento heralds the end of a cold, rainy winter. I clear away weeds, mow the lawn, and get ready for hot,sweaty summer days.
In April, I also get to enjoy the first rosebuds of the season – which makes me happy every year, because I love roses and also because these roses mean something special.
At one point, my father had over a hundred hybrid tea roses in a garden that stretched the entire length of his house and wrapped around into the yards on either side. He spent every weekend pruning, feeding, and caring for them. After I left home, I often visited on the weekends, and we spent many happy hours together taking care of the roses he taught me to love.
My father photographed his roses, either in early morning to catch the dew or at times of the day when the light (or insects) created an interesting composition.
When he passed away several years ago, he left several volumes of photographs that cataloged his roses – and their tiny visitors – over the years.
Rather than leaving his roses for the house’s next inhabitants, I transplanted fifty of them to my home in Sacramento. This spring, as always, they bless me with beautiful roses and precious memories.
A few weeks ago, when I realized I’d be writing on “home improvement,” I decided to spend some time with the roses – and my camera.
It didn’t take me long to produce more beautiful images than several weeks’ worth of blog posts could support – and to remember the joy I felt when Dad and I pruned the roses, my happiness when I brought them home, and the smiles they bring me every year when the flowers fill my yard with fragrance and with memories.
I’d call that a “home improvement” on every level.
What are your favorite flowers? Are you a “green thumb” kind of person or do you prefer your blooms in a vase?
(And, while we’re at it…did you notice the ladybug and the spider?)