Peggy Martin had to steel herself against grief and dread the first time she returned to her Eden, a 12-acre family homestead that lay beneath a mat of dried, cracked marsh mud.
She had lost her parents to the storm surge Hurricane Katrina hurled on this tiny town in Plaquemines Parish. The home she and her husband had built 32 years before lay in salty ruin.
Her garden, once a paradise with 450 old roses, one of the most important collections in the South, was drowned in 20 feet of water.
But amid this gray destruction, when the waters drained, Martin found a survivor — a nameless old rose.
New life already was sprouting along the arching canes that once had hidden the tractor shed in an explosion of bright-pink blooms.
Today, the resilient old rose again blankets the shed in pink. It's easy to spot from the road that snakes past the homestead and follows the Mississippi River south to the Gulf of Mexico.
Why the rose lived when so much else died, Martin has no idea.
About 4 years ago, my mom ordered me one of these roses from Teas Nursery. It was delivered in a small 2 gallon pot wrapped inside a cardboard box. I was surprised it made the journey through the mail. It was just one, little stem with only a few leaves.
Today it looks like this.
It's at least 12 feet wide and covers the whole back wall of our Master bedroom.
It has just started blooming for the spring. There are a million more buds waiting to open.
This weekend I spent a good hour laying underneath the rose and taking pictures. I couldn't stop. It was so beautiful and relaxing.
And I love the little buds right before they open.
There is no better example of God's beautiful creation.
Anyone else have a Katrina rose? Has yours taken over your backyard too?
I'm linking up with A Beach Cottage for Good Life Wednesdays!