A Rose Never Bloomed


Rose BudJust seeing the delicate blooms of a rose bring back sweet childhood memories. My adopted grandfather’s yard was filled with every variety that could be grown in South Florida. I would spend hours just sitting in his garden. It was here I imagined what I would be when I grew up. Here I dreamed where I would go, who I would know.

I never considered the possibility that I would not be able to have a yard full of these beauties. And I cannot begin to tell you how many attempts I’ve made to grow roses. One online site had this to say about cultivating these beautiful blooms: Growing roses requires no gardening skills or experience. Essentially, there are three easy steps… Ha! I have many gardening skills and experience, but those three easy steps have not worked for me!

Powdery mildew, aphids, leaf black spot… just a few of my problems!

At long last, I found a beautiful climbing heirloom rose. The  vine quickly covered the trellis into our garden. I held my breath! Almost overnight there were hundreds of buds. Still not breathing! Then, one sunny Washington day, the buds seemed to have been blessed by God and all of the tiny pink blossoms opened. I could now breath. In fact, I could sit near the trellis and once again, as I did as a child…I dreamed. I imagined having a garden full of roses.

We enjoyed the blooms for one week…and then they were gone! I will never know what caused the very short blooming season. And I would never see the blooms again because four months later we had a very strong wind storm. The entire trellis came  falling down, destroying the bush. I replanted a bush that was labeled a climber. Not!

My husband was not willing to call it quits with our rose planting adventures. He thought perhaps he could find a better location. So, last summer he planted a bush rose. Turns out it is a climber. Ok, now I’m laughing! It is climbing horizontally along the flower bed and the buds stick up like daffodil stems. But just seeing the buds gave us hope that we would have roses in vases all over our home. My husband cut the first stem and I gave it a place of honor on the table. We awaited to see the color and we wondered if it would be fragrant. But the bud was too tight to burst into bloom.

By the time that unopened bud and I had a rather long visit, it appeared drooped and forlorn. Remember all those dreams I had as a child? Not all came true. I learned as an adult not to force the dreams. I learned to patiently seek God’s direction in my life. I was amazed to find these very old words penned by an unknown poet who had similar thoughts.


It is only a tiny rosebud, a  flower of God’s design; But I cannot unfold the petals with these clumsy hands of mine.

The secret of unfolding flowers Is not known to such as I. GOD opens this flower so sweetly, when, in my hands, they die.

If I cannot unfold a rosebud, the flower of God’s design, Then how can I have the wisdom to unfold this life of mine?

So, I’ll trust in Him for leading each moment of my day. I will look to Him for His guidance each step of the Pilgrim’s way.

The pathway that lies before me only my Heavenly Father knows. I’ll trust him to unfold the moments, just as He unfolds the rose.


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5 Responses to A Rose Never Bloomed

  1. Belinda Rose says:

    Loved your story, Ruth! Well, my Dad had an amazing green thumb and roses were one of his specialties. One of the best things he passed down to me was his green thumb. We do have lots of flowers and a large rose garden, but roses aren’t always easy. Have you tried any of the “Knockout” variety of roses? They don’t seem to get the black spot etc. and are much easier to grow and maintain.


  2. Your story made me smile Ruth. And I have to say I think only someone with an extreme green thumb would bandy about the claim that roses are easy to grow. But they certainly are gorgeous. I would love to have enough space to grow lots and lots and lots of roses, but I’m so happy to have a little rose tree that is just starting to bud now.


  3. What a beautiful story Ruth. I just planted a few rose shrubs yesterday. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story that had me smiling also. 🙂


  4. Naomi says:

    I got chills when I got to the poem. It is beautiful and so true. Who are we to know the plan?? Good luck with your roses though! I have hybrid roses and they seem simple, but I have some of the same issues with them as you do with yours. 🙂


  5. Ahhh, yes, allowing what will be to be. As much as we’d like to, we just can’t force something to happen. There is really nothing we can force, is there? I love visiting Memory Lane with you 🙂


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