It’s nearly two and a half years since I bought this house. On the very first day when we carried in our bits of furniture and far-too-many boxes, I waved ‘hello’ to my next door neighbours. It was only then that it hit me - my goodness I hope we have nice neighbours. Everyone was keeping to themselves, it was Covid times after all, so for months I simply waved a friendly ‘Hi’.
The first thing I noticed when our removal van drove off that day, was the neighbours’ lovely roses. Pinks, purples, whites, peaches and yellows. Some of the taller roses peered through to our side over the wooden fence that divided our gardens.
It turned out our next-door neighbours were an older couple whose adult children visit regularly. Our two gardens, divided by the wooden fence, are very different. They have grass and roses. We have plants and paving.
After a year of ‘Good morning’ and ‘Nice day’, a storm blew the fence down. It was only when we cleared away the pieces of wood that I noticed my neighbour’s vibrant roses were now in full view for me to see without any fence divider.
My neighbour enthusiastically suggested we get a builder to build us a wall. He pointed to the wall on the other side of his garden. Grey, grim concrete bricks. He suggested we get a quote and divide the cost.
You see, I loved seeing his roses every day. The colours, the scents, their different stages of flowering. In fact, I realised that I now had a morning rose ritual.
Every morning, leaving the house for the school run, I gently touch and smell one rose. This teeny action makes me smile before I get into the madness of stressy traffic. I don’t want a wall!
I also didn’t want to fall out with my neighbour. So I suggested a compromise: a replacement fence. I told him the truth: ‘I love your roses, they make me smile’. He was surprised and I think a little amused. So we approached a local DIY man who agreed to come and build a fence. That was a year ago and the man, despite reminders, has not arrived.
All this time, I have been smelling the roses. And… I have also been deadheading them. It turns out I love deadheading roses! That teeny moment of exhilaration as, snap, the dead rose bud is knocked off and falls to the ground. Making way for another bloom to emerge - what’s not to love?!
Another bonus is that my neighbours and I have lots more chats over the roses - minus a wall or a fence. Recently their adult daughter and I had a refreshingly fun chat about dating… but that, as they say, is another story.
Moodscopers, I love my rose ritual. I’d like to hear about any teeny tiny morning ritual that brings a smile to your face?
Long live the roses…