Lissa’s Harrison’s rose is the product of some adventure. Our first try involved stealing a clipping from a certain prominent government building, all Tom Cruise Mission Impossible-like, swooping in like secret agents. But it never took root. Then Tim Berners-Lee invented the Internet, and she bought one on line.
It’s a classic old American heirloom – the Yellow Rose of Texas, if you will. There was a brief period in American history when the Republic of Texas claimed everything west to the Rio Grande, so it’s on home turf here of a sort, and it seems to be liking the country just fine. It sent out runners this year in both directions, and it’s on the verge of busting out in bloom. Last year, that happened around about April 25 or so, which means we’re on schedule.
The garden is one of the great joys of our marriage. Lissa and I share a sort of haphazard aesthetic. Lissa is the creative genius, able to visualize through the blank spaces. I simply wait for things she plants to grow. Both of us are flexible in our accommodation of the results, happy to give up quickly on failed experiments and follow our vaguely guided ecosystem when it chooses to head off in its own direction.
On a spring evening like this one, we often go out and wander through the garden together, pointing at this and that, tugging at a weed here, tying up a slumping vine there, marveling at the inevitable surprises. This spring it’s a bunch of random tufts of grass, planted one place several years ago, suddenly making themselves at home everywhere.
From my little office in the back of our house, I can look out over the garden. The sun’s just now dropping behind the neighbor’s house, well beyond Texas’s western boundary. The breeze is jiggling the big elm over the back fence. I can see my pond out the window, and the Harrison’s, waiting to bloom.