Gardens are such good storytellers! The climbing rose in this picture is on an arbor by our backyard fish pond. It is a Peggy Martin rose. For those who may have never heard this story, I will tell you it is named for the woman who grew it in her garden near New Orleans, along with hundreds of other roses before Hurricane Katrina. All the roses were under about 20′ of salt water for two weeks following the hurricane. When she was finally able to return to visit their property she found new growth on this one rose, all that remained. In the devastation she also lost her elderly parents, her home, and commercial fishing boat that her husband used to supplement their income. She didn’t even know the name of the rose since a cutting had been given to her by mother in law who had also been given a cutting.
Dr. Bill Welch from Texas A&M along with other antique rose experts and growers helped to get the newly named “Peggy Martin” rose into the marketplace where proceeds help restore gardens throughout the South devastated by Katrina and other forces of nature.
The story always makes me wonder what made this rose any different from the rest to give it the resilience and fortitude to say “I’m still here and growing better.” One thing has to be that its roots were stronger and deeper. I am still thinking about the fact that its cuttings root very easily…it is flexible and can handle change. The telling of all this has to include a theme of restoration, too. Out of the Martins’ great loss has come a way to help others.
What a good gardening story! Soul gardening, too.