When I was a child the Fourth of July was a big holiday for my family. In my youngest years we would have huge gatherings in our backyard, inviting all of our friends and family to bring lawn chairs and watch the “young parents” I think mostly my mom and my Uncle Steve run around and shoot off what I now realize were probably illegal fireworks. My cousin, Lauren, loved fireworks, despite once being shot in the back of her leg at an extremely close range. I vividly remember Lauren crying over it (which was rare for her, I was the cry baby), but more importantly I remember her looking up at the sky later that evening, sucking on an ice pop, and just marveling at the fireworks. She told me that seeing fireworks was like, watching, “glitter in the sky that makes me light up too.” 
I never felt that way about fireworks, but that phrase, “glitter that makes me light up too,” is exactly how I feel each time I see the cascading colors of flowers. Because of of cold zone (Boo, Zone 5!) I plant my roses fairly late in the season and cross my fingers that I will have my own favorite type of “fireworks” for the 4th of July. 
This year, I expanded my rose garden from three bushes to thirty eight and I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of my first blooms. I would like to play up the drama here, and tell you I have been endlessly guessing who would bloom first, but it has been clear pretty much since the day they arrived that Honey Dijon was destined to be my first roses of the season – and they did not disappoint. 
I ordered three bushes of Honey Dijon from Menagerie Roses this year, and each of them arrived with robust root systems that gave them a roaring head start. They were practically sprouting in my bathtub when I was soaking them before planting. Honey Dijon was hybridized by one of my favourite rose breeders, James A. Sproul, and I was so excited to get my hands on this rose.  With her unique color that I have seen described as “taupe,” “honey mustard,” and “tan,” her soft color pallet makes her feel like something soft and comforting. To me, Honey Dijon looks like if you took a beautifully illuminated antique book and brought it to life in the form of a rose. Her petals have an almost antique look to them as the fade from a creamy leather at their center to the lightest waves of pink around their tips. So far my blooms have a mild perfume that smells light and honied- a perfect companion scent for the rose’s appearance. 
As I write this, I have a whole vase sparkling next to me, and its not even the Fourth of July yet! There are quiet a few other rose bushes that are near-bloom right now, so I am hoping to have a whole cascade of flowers soon and I am really looking forward to seeing what Honey Dijon looks like when I pair her in arrangements with some of my my vivid pinks and yellows. There is just something so special about these flowers, knowing their history, the craftsmanship that went into imaging them into existence, and the literal generations of care, how many hands lovingly pruning, grafting, tinkering, digging and toiling over countless thorny bushes so that these flowers could grow in my yard and then sit in this vase. The whole thing wows me, and makes me feel like I am sparkling inside. 

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