A Master Gardener once told me that Portland, Oregon is a dumb place to grow roses. Apparently, they enjoy the desert-type climates of California much better than our dark, cold and rainy days.
And yet, Portland is well known as the City of Roses. We have a Rose Festival, for goodness sake and everyone seems to want to go to the Washington Park Rose Garden when they visit. If they are so darn hard to maintain here, why do we Portlanders insist on growing them?
I realized today, on yet another cold and gray spring day, that our hearty pioneer ancestors most likely grew up in climates much sunnier than ours in the winter. They probably grew roses because if anything is cheering against yet another day of gray skies, it is a profusion of colorful roses. Thank goodness there is a neighborhood rose garden on my walk to the train.