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Sharing flower cuttings is a joy

Since an elderly gentleman dropped off some plants with delicate white blooms at the Foley newspaper office, I have been fascinated by them. They are called Confederate roses. We displayed them on a counter in a glass of water that day. After an hour or so, the blooms took on a pink glow. By closing time, they had turned a stronger rose color. The next morning the blooms were a dark rose, but had turned inward. In one day their life cycle was complete.

A few days later, the man dropped by the office with more Confederate roses. Again we displayed them on the counter for our enjoyment and any customers who came in. One of our ad representatives headed out the door that morning when we were setting them up. Late that afternoon, when the blooms were beginning to transform in the rose-colored stage she rushed in, then came to a dead stop. “I’d swear those blooms were white when I left this morning,” she said.”What are they anyway?”

  I had to know more about those delicate beauties. Why were they named Confederate roses? According to DavesGarden.com, “One story relates that the Confederate rose was in bloom during a particularly bloody battle of the Civil War. A slain soldier fell beside a Confederate rose, and his blood spilled into the ground at the base of shrub. The flowers, which had started out white in the morning, absorbed the slain soldier’s blood throughout the day, so that by evening they had turned a deep, rosy red.”

I suppose it is a fitting name for such a beautiful creation, but it is sad as well. Pondering this, it occurred to me that the plant’s life cycle is similar to ours. At our beginning time, we experience the white and light pink stages. As we grow older, we reach the light rose time. Then comes the deep rose stage. It truly is one of nature’s wonders and a gift of beauty from God.

My mother, who had a green thumb, planted one next to our back door stoop. Within a few years, it was as tall as our roof top. I couldn’t wait for it to begin blooming every fall. My husband attributed its healthy condition to the monthly application of a little left-over wine (grape juice) from Holy Communion.

The plants were easy to root; something I found out after I gave our daughter one. Her husband planted it and they enjoyed it that fall. Then they had some severe cold weather in Tuscaloosa where they lived and he thought the plant was dead. He took one of the small limbs he had clipped and used it to prop up a house plant. To my surprise and his, it sprouted new foliage.

  It was my joy and pleasure to share cuttings with anyone who liked, A friend with a mobile home told me this wife’s also reached the roof top. It was fun to take them to the news office and see the reactions of people who had never seen them before.