Roses have never been a favourite of mine.
My first impression of roses came from the story of Alice in Wonderland where the Queen of hearts hated white roses and had all the roses painted red. The whole visual scene of roses dripping blood red and the Queen shouting "off with her head!" just wasn't very pleasant for me.
Then I think of all the garish rose related Valentine's day ephemera I ever came across in my life...just a little nauseating.
When I lived in Brisbane, I had the opportunity to visit a real rose garden. I thought it was going to be beautiful and luxerious but was shocked to find a bunch of ugly, thorny sticks tied together poking out of the soil. I don't remember the roses at all. Some how the supposedly most elegant flower in the world looked sinister and gloomy at the top of it's brown thorny branches spraying outward like lanky arms.
Not looking good for roses in my books but last summer I found a new perspective. I started noticing these tiny clumps of climbing roses growing over people's fences and up the sides of houses. Beautiful voluminous bushes of delicate green foliage mixed with clusters of petite frilliness. How have I not noticed this before? Delightful. No pretensions, no disappointments, just down to earth little joys of modesty.