Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Grandma's Old-Fashioned Yellow Rose

In the Language of Flowers dictionary a yellow rose denotes infidelity although the newer lists suggest friendship and platonic love. Regardless of what a yellow rose is 'saying', it has always been one of my favorite flowers.

My affinity may go back to the old-fashioned yellow rose that was just to the right of the gate as one entered Grandma Delphia's yard. The early spring blooms only lasted a few weeks but they were profuse and fragrant. I was always disappointed when I tried picking a bouquet that they didn't last long in a vase.
I also remember digging a start of Grandma's yellow rose and having success getting it to grow at my home, but I can't remember at which place I lived when I planted it. Wherever it was, I didn't live there long enough to see it grow into a bush the size of hers or this one I took the photo of this morning on North Lincoln Street.

I had never heard these called anything but Old-Fashioned Yellow Roses, but upon searching to try and learn their name, I was surprised to learn they are also known colloquially as the Oregon Trail Rose and the Yellow Rose of Texas. Harison's Yellow is its cultivar name. It was first grown in the garden of George F. Harison, an attorney in New York City in the 1830's.

The yellow rose at Grandma and Grandpa Ridnour's may have already been growing when they bought their farm and moved there in 1941. Or Grandma may have gotten a start from one of her friends in the way they were passed to family and friends years ago.

It is not uncommon to find them now growing in old abandoned homesteads, needing no human help, surviving, thriving and delicately blooming.

"She walks along the river in the quiet summer night;
I know that she remembers when we parted long ago."
(From the song, The Yellow Rose of Texas.)

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