Wednesday Vignette – the rise of Roseism

It’s been a ghastly week, and we all could probably use to focus our eyes on something of beauty, rather than on fiery, tear-gassed news stories. Roses are blooms with a long history – some of it excessively bloody. A popular symbol in medieval heraldry, the Houses of Lancaster and York each had a rose in theirs; the House of Lancaster’s rose was red, and that of the House of York was white. For most of the 15th century, the two families feuded over the throne of England, in something that later was to be referred to as the Wars of the Roses.

Rosa Pompom Blanc Parfait

Heavenly scented Rosa Pompom Blanc Parfait in the gardens at Joy Creek Nursery. I stick my nose in this rose as often as I can – it lifts my spirits and strengthens my resolve.

The blood on our streets today are for a different cause, but it’s still a power struggle. It’s no longer red vs white – now it’s black vs white, and a much more widespread affair. Of course racism is nothing new. Remember Rodney King? (Can you believe that was almost 40 years ago? (Edited to say 30 years, as my dear fact checkers pointed out. My math isn’t always great – LOL!) Of course it wasn’t new then either… and it hasn’t really abated since. Sigh.) BUT, if there is any silver lining at all to this horrific, cold-blooded murder, it is that this time around, ALL races, ages, and genders are taking part in the global protests to this display of oppression, that resulted. The old “lines” are blurred, and the great moral majority oppose the targeted injustices that are so painfully and tragically alive and well in our society. And, lucky us – there is an election coming up, so please don’t give up. Where hopelessness flourishes, injustices thrive.

So, where does the rose come in, again? Well, we need to keep the beauty and purity of what can be in laser focus, and keep our thorns at the ready for furthering those ideas. When things look bleak, let’s inhale its magnificent perfume, and keep going. The sweet scent of roses will eventually overpower the stench of racism and hate. The Yorks and the Lancasters were indeed polarized, but I’m willing to bet the bottom strata of their society didn’t care one bit, as long as they were able to keep plowing the fields for their masters, and hopefully able to put food on their tables. Come November, we – the now polarized serfs of current society – need to prioritize the core ideas of a free democracy over those of a fettered authoritarianism, and hopefully not just blindly adhere to old party allegiances. Together we’re going to vote out racism, and sever whatever shredded ties remain with McCarthyism, once and for all. November can’t come soon enough.


Pompom Blanc Parfait is an old alba rose, introduced in 1876, when the United States was a mere one hundred years old. It’s seen a lot, I’m sure. If we don’t give up, it will see great things ahead again soon. Of that I’m sure.

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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20 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – the rise of Roseism

  1. Pauline says:

    I have Rosa lancastrience in my garden, the red rose of Lancashire, to remind me of home, when I lived in the NW of England.. The two roses, red and white were joined together to form the Tudor Rose of Henry V111 so I now hope there will be a joining together of wisdom and tolerance round the world.

    • annamadeit says:

      Amen to that! I really should have taken a picture of the Tudor rose instead, but I’m a bit hooked on this one. How wonderful that you have THE actual red rose in your garden. I really have come to love old roses – not just for their beauty, but for the marvelous historical roles they played through the millenia.

  2. Such a good use of the rose. There is still rivalry between Yorkshire and Lancashire, but no longer violent. My maternal grandparents were one from each of those counties. Splendid photograph with the spider.

  3. Tina says:

    Wise words, Anna, and voting in large numbers will be the key to reverse this course. It will, however, be a long 5 months before the majority’s voices are heard clearly, and a further 2 months before any real clean-up will start. It’s a long time.

    Your rose is a gorgeous one and such a balm for the chaos elsewhere. I hope your garden continues a safe haven for you! Thanks for hosting and here’s my WV:

    • annamadeit says:

      I wish the same for you, Tina! How is your sister-in-law’s garden coming along?

      • Tina says:

        It’s coming along beautifully! Thanks for asking. We’re now in the time of year that it’s best not to plant too much–the long and hot is ahead of us. She’ll eventually buy some soaker hoses, but for this summer, it’ll be hand watering. It’s such a pretty space and I’m so glad there’s an owner who wants gardens, rather than just grass!

        • annamadeit says:

          A couple of neigbors down the block took the fence down between their gardens. They even got chickens! There is another backyard between us and them, but I love sitting outside and listening to the chickens as they muck about. So happy for you and SiL – this will be a fun summer for the two of you! 😀

          • Tina says:

            I was riding today on my regular route and rode down one of those by-pass sort of alleys between a residential street and a park and hear a funny noise. It took me a minute to realize that it was chickens, making their clucking noises. It made me smile. So, enjoy “your” chickens!

            I also meant to tell you that I love, love the title of your post today–another grin-inducing event for my day!!

          • annamadeit says:

            Aww, thank you! Glad I could make you smile! 🙂

  4. I know I’m old…but almost 40 years ago!? You had me reeling. How could it be? I so clearly remember walking home from work in downtown Seattle past buildings being boarded up. No, it was almost 30 years ago, 1991. Whew, I’m old…but not THAT old.

    My WV… I suppose I could have called them wooden roses…

    • annamadeit says:

      Omg – you’re right! Well, 30 is a long time too. I remember my disbelief in seeing the grainy video clip being played over and over and over on the news. LOL – I’d better check my math better, next time!

  5. Kris Peterson says:

    I had the same reaction as Loree to your reference to 40 years! In 1992 I was working in downtown LA. We closed all our offices throughout the area. My boss, who’d taken the bus to work, needed a ride home and, once I was able to get her out there, we took a major freeway to her home in West LA, with blazes burning on both sides. Afraid to get back on the freeway, I took surface streets the rest of the way home. It took me 4.5 hours to get home that day and I’ll never forget it. Just like today, my sympathies were with the protesters but I remember the fear too, And here we are again…It’s pathetic and I can’t even characterize the conduct of that person in the White House in terms suitable to publish in a comment, I’m so angry. Five months seems a long way off but, yes, voting is the answer. I just hope common sense will prevail about the use of mail-in ballots.

    • annamadeit says:

      Wow, Kris – you were actually there… I just remember watching it in disbelief, on TV. And, I agree! Mail-in ballots are the best! We have been using that system for years in OR, and I think as a result, our voter participation is unusually high. I love it! Do your research, fill in your ballot in your jammies over a cup of coffee or two, and drop it off when you’re ready. No hurry, no stress. So. Easy. (And safe!)

  6. hb says:

    Someone remarked it is as though the country is having a nervous breakdown while the “doctor” in the White House is a quack. We still have hope for recovery, despite all.

    • annamadeit says:

      A most definite quack… sheesh! Yes, somehow I think this crazy-ass year will be some kind of catalyst for a turn for the better. I can’t put my finger on it, but I can just feel it!

  7. Jason Kay says:

    I also like roses because they are the symbol of democratic socialism.

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