One day a Prince who just happened to be my brother offered to clear it all whilst I went on holiday with the Old Queen and the Prince's young daughter. He said he wouldn't be able to save any plants, but I really really wanted him to save an old rose that is just sticking up behind the pile of bricks you can see towards the top left middle of the picture. I couldn't replace this rose because it was older than me and I hadn't been able to successfully identify it. But the rose was quite magic. It had the prettiest pink flowers in various shades of pink. Yes, different tones of pink all on one bush and it smelled so heavenly.
The Prince said he would do his best and then sent me this picture of the works he'd done to clear the garden.
The lovely rose was gone! I estimated it should have been 10 paces from the black compost bin. There was no trace. No stump. Nothing. I got on with designing my new garden layout.
A new wall was built, A round patio circle was laid, grass was laid and two rows of slabs were put at the end of the drive to extend it. I could now park at the back of my drive and get stuff out of the boot without standing in mud!
The works took a couple of years and sometimes I thought of the rose I'd lost. I looked online in vain to try and identify it with the hopes I could replace it.
A large patio was laid and a summer house erected. I planted lots of cottage flowers and shrubs and of course lovely roses.
Then last year about a foot to the side of where you can see that stick in the above picture green shoots started pushing up through the soil. This area had been left to self seed. It was near to a water butt and compost bin. Poppies and chamomile nestled under the dappled shade of a small Victoria Plum Tree I'd planted there. The pile of green shoots looked like a rose. I assumed a dog rose had seeded itself and was pushing up through the ground. But I had a little seed of hope that it could be my lost rose. There had been no trace of a stump. The ground had been weed killer-ed, dug up for the drive paving and all sorts. The chances of a very old rose surviving that were remote. But it's nice to dream. The shoots grew and grew and grew. The Old Queen said they hit her when she went to get in the car but I refused to have them cut down.
This year I noticed the shoots were covered in tight rose buds. And when they flowered...
...there were different shades of pink on the one bush and they smelled so heavenly.
And the moral of this tale? Don't give up when it seems that life throws everything bad at you it possibly can. Be determined. Have faith. Believe. At the end of all the hardship there will be something quite magical.
Or is it just the beginning?