Say the name ‘Henry Fonda‘ and the first thing that comes to my mind is “On Golden Pond” – the 1981 movie for which he earned an Oscar, a Golden Globe and an American Movie Award as Best Actor. According to IMDb, he has 115 different credits from his acting career and, once I scanned the list, I recognized many – “12 Angry Men”, “The Grapes of Wrath”, “Gideon’s Trumpet” to name but a few – but without the assist from the internet, like I said, “On Golden Pond” is the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the name Henry Fonda.
The second thing is roses. Yes, roses.
Now I am not much of a fan of the rose-bush. I like the flowers in a vase but, when it comes to the plant, I have always found it to be more trouble than it was worth. Send me the lovely bouquet but keep the plant out of my garden. I don’t want to deal with the thorns. I don’t want to be bothered with making sure I only water it at times when the sun will dry the leaves in an often-futile attempt to minimize the risk of diseases like mildew and black spot. I’m not interested in hand-picking Japanese beetles off of the flowers before they chew a nice hole through a bud leaving you with a deformed flower.
I could go on but you get the picture….I’m not a fan of the rose-bush. I’m much more of a low-maintenance gardener.
When we moved into our home though, it came with plenty of high-maintenance roses. If there was a nook or cranny in the garden that didn’t have something growing there, the original owner had tucked in a rush bush. There were miniature roses, hedge roses, wild roses, climbing roses and hybrid tea roses scattered about with no rhyme or reason. Some were in the shade while others were in the sun. Some were getting irrigated and some were not. Some produced flowers (and thorns) while others just produced thorns.
It should come as no surprise that over the years many of those roses have met their maker and some are on the list to make that trip soon…except for one. Standing like a proud sentry as you approach our front door is the most beautiful rose-bush I have ever seen. It puts on big, bright yellow flowers from March to November. It is prolific with its sweet-scented blossoms. Often it is covered in more flowers than leaves yet the plant itself is lush and upright with deep, dark green foliage. Place one of its rose buds in a vase and, over the course of several days, it will open up as magnificently inside as it does outdoors.
The only thing I do to that rose-bush is let the drip irrigation hit it once a week, snip off any spent flowers from time to time and trim it way back every December. Aside from that, it gets no attention except for the oohs, ahs and sniffs from visitors to our front door….and the steady stream of honey bees that feed from its nectar.
Thanks to the metal rose tag that was still attached to the plant when we moved in, I know that my super star rose-bush bears the name ‘Henry Fonda’. The actor may have left us back in 1982 but his namesake rose-bush still gives award-winning performances season after season.