About this time each year, a gift of literally divine proportions occurs in the garden of my neighbor and friend, Maurine Johnston. A trinity of Cherokee Roses, Lorapetalum, and grape like clusters of Wisteria comes cascading over her fence. The purple, burgundy, and white combination creates the most glorious spring spectacle. The Cherokee Rose sprawls across adjacent shrubs and literally forms a canopy of extravagant blooms. God uses so much symbolism in our gardens, and I couldn’t help but think about how the colors displayed here paint the Easter story so beautifully. The red/fuchsia colored blooms of the Lorapetalum represent the blood Jesus shed for us. Purple, represented by the Wisteria, is the color of royalty and also represents suffering. Purity, grace, and the power of the resurrection is represented by the white blooms of the Cherokee Rose which also, incidentally, is extremely prickly. As Jesus was led away to be crucified, he wore a purple robe and a twisted crown of thorns on his head.
The Cherokee Rose, native to southern China and Taiwan, was introduced to the United States about 1780. A proliferant climber, it often reaches 33 feet, and behaves as though it is a native plant. The rose, both disease free and drought resistant, blooms once in the spring, but with favorable conditions will sometimes produce a second flowering in the fall, At the urging of women’s’ club in the state of Georgia, it was named their state flower in 1916. The Cherokee Rose is linked to the “Trail of Tears”, a tragic event that occurred in 1838. Thousands of Cherokee Indians were forced out of Georgia and areas east of the Mississippi River to relocate.
My garden is also the recipient of this magnificent floral display! I couldn’t resist picking some of the delightful, pristine rose blooms to arrange. Use gloves to protect against the thorns while cutting them!
They look so fresh in small alabaster urns, and the blooms will be pretty for a couple of days.
I even used the porcelain like blooms to garnish a friend’s birthday cake!
What a glorious morning as we celebrate Palm Sunday! This was my view early today.. Thanks, Maurine!!
I embellished my rustic cross that I love to use each Easter with the pristine roses..
“Forgiveness costs us nothing. All our costly obedience is the fruit, not the root, of being forgiven. That’s why we call it grace. But it cost Jesus His life. That is why we call it just. Oh, how precious it the news that God does not hold our sins against us! And how beautiful is Christ, whose blood made it right for God to do this”.