It all started in 2006 when we purchased our current house. I am the one who does all the landscaping, such as it is, and I noticed almost immediately that this new house had five roses in the front and two in the back yard. That's seven rose bushes. I never wanted roses.
Its not that I don't like roses. Our family goes to the Portland Rose Garden almost every year just to see all the amazing colors. The problem is, roses don't like rain. It rains a lot here. Roses are susceptible to mildew and mold and things that make their leaves get black spots all over them then curl up and die. So, if you want roses that actually look nice in or near Portland, you have to spray them all the time with stuff that kills the icky spots. But there's more. To keep a rose from becoming a tangled mess of mostly dead, brown thorn stalks, you have to prune them.
So, when I saw those seven roses around our new house, I announced they all had to go. But, you see, my daughter was ten at the time. She liked the roses. It was June and they were in full bloom. Please, Daddy, don't cut down the roses. Why is it that dads have such a weak spot for daughters who are ten-years-old?
Six years later we still have all seven of those roses. Plus six more. They do look kind of nice when I pamper them enough. And I drag my now teenage daughter out in the yard frequently to admire the roses she made me keep. She doesn't complain; she knows it's her fault I have to take care of them.
—John Fort · Program Coordinator