I used to like this patch of yard, rose arbor, benches, views. It fit me fine after all the stuff that kept dying from too much water, or too much wind, or too many pests on this patch of dirt. One year was slugs; then moles; then, baby deer who managed to crawl under the fence and spend the night trapped inside with lots of tender shoots to keep them busy. I found them in the morning, two tiny rabbit-like mouths, having eaten anything tender, their mother waiting for them outside the fence, watching them the whole time.
This area would be under water most winters, but the Cecil Brunner rose kept growing, and soon an arbor was purchased to contain its exuberance.
The rose was a cutting given to me by someone I barely met, a would-be gardener like m. She too had come to the sea to spend her last years, easily frustrated by the winds, the deer, the constant rain, the little sun, but still attempting to garden by the sea.
She didn't tell me that she was gravely ill. Nancy died the following spring, and this rose, growing beyond her pot, and her border, kept reminding me that life was incomprehensible in its cruelty, and most generous in its beauty.
After every winter, roses were pruned and staked, dirt rototilled; new plants and amendments added. In the winter of 2011 the whole place was blown over, arbor destroyed, broken in many parts, bushes and trees uprooted, tender roots waterlogged.
As I write this post, my rose is dead. It did not survive the summer transplanting of 2012, when so many people moved, tilled, built.
It had survived so many storms, such intemperate events, and had continued to bloom under so many difficult conditions. I'm hoping the cutting I took might survive this winter.