The Saber-toothed Rose

I get dozens of gardening catalogues in the mail, and every one of them is full of beautiful roses guaranteed to grow in the most inhospitable environment. It seems like there are hundreds of roses developed each year, and each year the new roses are touted as being better, more gorgeous, more heavenly scented, and more trouble free than any rose has ever been. Multifarious rose societies have spent uncountable man-hours developing the perfect rose. Tens of millions of dollars have been spent by commercial nurseries such as Armstrong Nursery, Jackson and Perkins, The Monrovia Nursery, and Harry and David. And still, no one has come close to developing a rose that is deer proof and gopher proof.

As a result, instead of the beautiful roses that are displayed in the catalogues, what I get are the decimated leftovers from the midnight feasts of marauding deer and the underground attacks of the pocket gophers. It is time to develop a rose that will fight back. Instead of being attacked by gophers and deer, what is needed is a rose bush that will stand up for itself and attack the attackers. What is needed is a rose with attitude, a rose capable of defending itself. We need a housebroken, saber-toothed rose to arise like a phoenix from the dead, broken remains of the coddled, romanticized beauties sold in the catalogues.

This 4″ x 6″ solarplate etching began life as a charcoal drawing. It was printed on Lenox paper with black, Daniel Smith ink. Posted by Picasa

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