Apparently HRH The Prince of Wales’ divine powers do not extend to granting eternal beauty to royal roses. Witness the demise of this once-prestigious rose garden in Dundee, Scotland, which contained “Peacekeeper Roses” planted by (pretty sure that’s a very loose “by”) Prince Charles to honor the men and women who serve the United Nations.
Discovery Rose Garden in Stobsmuir Park has grown so weedy and unkempt that a local crank has accused the City Council of vandalism for the neglect, according to the local paper, The Courier. That’s the complainant, marching around judgmentally above — 56-year-old Doug Thain. Maybe he could work a little tummy off and help his community by weeding a wee bit? Just sayin’.
Now, I’m as hypocritical as the next citizen when it comes to garden neglect. But can we really levy vandalism charges for failure to weed?
Thain says yes. The weeds, thorns, tire tracks, moldy plaques and sad little refugee roses are not be borne. Not in a garden that has welcomed roses from sister cities in Germany, France and America since it was established in 1991. That has received celebratory “Friend for Life” roses from the Bank of Scotland. And that was, of course, touched by the hand of HRH.
“If young people had caused this level of vandalism and devastation, they would rightly be prosecuted,” Thain argues.
The city says, meh. Roses die.
“The rose garden was created over 20 years ago and, since then, many of the roses have either died or reached a point where they are now in poor condition,” Environment Convener Craig Melville says. (Convener? What’s he convening? Weeds?) “Roses are notoriously difficult to re-establish in beds which have previously contained roses.” So the city’s trashing this bed, starting a new one and promising a pergola to boot.
Mr. Melville makes it sound like after 20 years, rose gardens just go rogue. And then you have to start over in fresh dirt. He still doesn’t explain how the city let the “royal” garden die.
A rose is a rose is a rose… until it’s a weed?
I’m suspicious. But I’ve never grown roses, so what do I know?