With the thorns, a lovely rose…

I have to admit, when I visit New York, I don’t think of roses. I dodge the taxis, cover my ears, and hide my wallet. Sure, I visit the museums, the monuments, Chinatown, the Fish Market, Central Park, even Lincoln Center; but, I just never considered that a beautiful red rose was the floral emblem of all this energy, this concrete, these people. But it is.

Somewhere a rose is growing…

To be fair, and I try to be, New York is not just one, huge bustling city. There is the shoreline of Lake Ontario, The Adirondack Mountains, The Lake Country, and almost countless villages and farms, but when we think of New York, the city comes to mind – not a rose.

Need a rose? The Manhattan Flower District has every rose color imaginable and a few more.

All gardeners in New York or Paris or Moscow, grow roses at one time or another in their life. It is a universal symbol of love, peace, beauty and almost every other adjective describing feelings, emotions, or life. Perhaps, the New Yorkers who chose the rose to represent them, had this thought in mind. The diversity of the rose is overwhelming as is the large city. From a simple pink or white five-petaled wild rose to a multi-colored, multi-petaled iridescent combination of love and life, the rose is breathtaking. You know this and many poets can describe the essence of roses much better than I could ever think of doing. So let’s dispense with words and view a few rose gardens from New York and show that all is not concrete, honks, and bustle.

My Garden? Sure! Would you like to buy the Brooklyn Bridge?
I could do that… just give me a million dollars, a hundred gardeners, and a hundred years.
Everyone has a favorite rose… this is mine. Don’t ask me its name.

Does New York have a state wildflower? – no. It surely has wildflowers and how does one transition to a lowly dandelion after viewing such stately blossoms? If you are a wildflower enthusiast, such as I purport to be, it’s easy.

So what is this jewel hidden away from the formal rose gardens? I don’t know – could be a Coreopsis. But what a transition from formal elegance to natural simplicity! Such is the treasure of a wildflower hunter.
This one I know…the New England Aster grows throughout the State of New York.
A Spring Beauty to rival any rose covers the hills of the Adirondacks.

Wildflowers are not really rivals; they are complements to the formal rose garden. You can enjoy one without the other but why try? Stroll the urban garden, enjoy its heady scent, and then search the hills and river banks for hidden jewels. What a wonderful world we live in if we could just stop, smell the roses, and marvel at all the world’s floral bounty. Let’s take one last look at New York’s state flower before heading to our next alphabetical state – North Carolina.

Among the thorns – a rose abloom.

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