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When we first moved to lovely Santa Barbara, we lived just across the street from the rose garden near the Mission.  It was like having a front yard filled with 1500 rose bushes.  My neighbors advised me that the first bloom was the best.  I always remembered that bit of info.  So when, I heard that the roses were in bloom this year, I hustled on over.  (We’d moved away several years earlier, a few blocks away.)  The roses were  as intoxicating as ever.    I’d just follow my eyes to the most glorious blooms.



Mission Rose Garden - Lawn - Santa Barbara Venues

MIssion rose garden

I quickly developed a sense of ownership for this garden. This was for no logical reason, but just because I lived across the street from it.  From my bedroom window of our house, on the second floor, I’d spy on any suspicious characters who tried to steal the roses.  On occasions, I’d convince them of their folly and they’d guiltily fessup. I only confronted those who looked like easy targets.  That does not mean I was above stealing some roses myself whenever I thought I could get away with it.  Sometimes, it was after dark. I’m easily spooked, so that scenario didn’t happen often.  I would have had cardiac arrest if I’d been caught.

There’s nothing nicer than a bouquet of fresh garden roses in a home.  The more the merrier, but I tried to restrain myself. Sometimes more successfully than others.   Honestly!

Most roses come with thorns.  Rose Thorn Quotes. QuotesGram    This can be a valuable life lesson, if you care to pay attention or don’t mind a few gashes.

When I was a child, an older cousin of mine taught me how to gild roses with the gild I had only used on ballet slippers before a recital.  This was a revelation.  I was sure they were the most beautiful things in the world.

I often accompanied my mother to antique stores.  She’d look for treasures and I’d swoon over paintings of roses on china or postcards!

Oddly enough, I’ve never had much luck growing my own roses.  I will continue to covet my neighbor’s rose garden.  Especially Vasanti’s!

And, I will  always look forward to the first bloom!  Call me next April.

Dianne Vapnek

In an attempt to slow life's quickening pace, I'm writing to share my personal perspective on the aging process, its dilemmas, the humorous self-deception, the insights and the adventure of it all. I spent the bulk of my time in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, but manage to get to NYC a few times times a year. I've been a dancer/dance teacher and dance supporter almost all my life. For the past20years, I help create and produce a month-long creative residency in Santa Barbara for contemporary American choreographers and their dancers. It's been incredibly gratifying. This year, I decided it's time to retire! Big change. I also now spend several weeks a year in Kyoto Japan, residing for several weeks in the spring and the fall. I've been magnetically attracted to Japan for many years. Now I live out a dream to live there part-time.


  • Nova Loverro says:

    Oh, I too love roses. Always have. When my parents built their new home in lower Westchester, my father planted for me a row of English Delany roses (I believe these were the ones) along the north facing side of our home. I felt like a queen as I’d walk along that long row, the roses bowing to me and seeming to smile.