If someone had told me, twenty years ago, that I would be any kind of a gardener today… I would have laughed; I couldn’t keep a house plant alive for more than a minute and the only exposure I had ever had to growing anything was as a child while “helping” my mother plant a vegetable garden.
However, as fate would have it, my husband took a new job in 1995 and we moved away from home, with our young son, to a small town in Georgia where we bought a cute little house with a large plot of dirt in the backyard that needed some kind of attention. Of course, I planted vegetables; it was all I knew how to do. But before anything could grow into anything edible, some kind of critter consumed it and I was once again left with a bunch of dirt. I called my mother for advice on what to do with all this dirt and she suggested I plant a few roses. “I can’t grow roses, Mother….too difficult and temperamental for me to grow” was my response. But she convinced me to give it a try and so I ordered six bare root roses from Wayside Gardens. When they arrived I was shocked; nothing but sticks; sticks on the top and sticks on the bottom. I had no idea which end to plant, but I gave it my best shot and in six weeks… I had roses!! I was hooked. I went to our local nursery and bought six more rose bushes. And I was happy with my dozen roses… for a while.
Two years later, we moved back home and I sadly left my rose bushes behind. But after my Georgia experience, I was inspired to continue growing roses and so I built a new rose bed in our new yard in Dallas… and then another … and another….and another! I ordered new roses from all over North America, researched each of them carefully, and began to exhibit them at rose shows. After winning my first blue ribbon, I was really hooked. Growing to show was not only fun but it made me a better gardener.
Today, I grow over 240 rose bushes in my yard. I have learned a lot through trial and error, the advice of other rosarians, and the reward of creating something beautiful, not just for myself, but for others who stop by to smell, share in their beauty and share in my passion. The joy or growing roses, for me, is realizing the pleasure it brings to others in sharing them.
Over the years I have become interested in other types of gardening, as well, and so now you will find a number of herbs, vegetables, ferns, hydrangeas, peonies and butterfly attractants growing alongside my roses and all the while, I have been snapping pictures of my flowers to capture their moments in time.
My new passion of flower photography is merely an extension of sharing nature’s beauty with others. It is my hope that through these images I have given you a greater appreciation of the wonders of nature and maybe even inspired you to grow your own flowers.
Nancy Pierce….. The Texas Rose Lady