First published in May 2020

A thrill in her voice,
excited as only a true gardener
can be, my daughter says,
‘My Albertine’s in flower!’

I can imagine it,
perfect pink petals,
vigorous, a climbing rose
smelling of summer itself.

A traveller, this plant,
obediently going from one
garden to the next - Milhgavie,
Bristol, Cardiff, Cornwall.

I remember my uncle
giving me six spindly sticks
wrapped in the Glasgow Herald,
‘Three will grow, three die,’ he said.

He was right, we’ve stuck
to that principle ever since.
To prove it, Jenny’s rose is
flourishing in her Cornish garden

and she glories in its rebirth.