“It is better to understand a little than to misunderstand a lot.”
- Anatole France (1844-1924) French writer.
Only the other day when I was at a grocery store that I saw many beautiful miniature roses on sale neatly arranged at the store front.
It suddenly came to my mind that miniatures are very easy to get to. They are sold everywhere - at nurseries, garden retailers and even groceries stores. My first rose plant; a miniature, had come from IKEA!
Miniatures: flower flood from hilly heaven
Most of Malaysian roses come from the highlands, places where the temperature is ideal for horticulture business to flourish.
For most of us, miniatures are killingly gorgeous but they don’t last long when planted on our warm flat land. I have countless failures with lilies, daisies, hydrangeas and even roses that come from the hilly heaven.
Like most of us, I was not an avid gardener to begin with but I was lured by these beauties sold at supermarkets. The idea of having some roses in the garden seemed exciting. Deliberation aside, I bought miniatures on spot, thinking that beautiful roses in the garden would be instantly realized.
Being a novice and city folk too, I didn’t look elsewhere for roses, as elsewhere meant inconvenience. With constant availability and accessibility of miniatures, I was led to believe that they were THE roses and the only choice of roses there ever was.
When my miniatures died short weeks after, like many, I fell into the zone of blaming my not-so-green fingers. My other obvious choice was to simply succumb to the mass belief that roses could never grow well in warm, humid, 36 degree Celsius garden.
The mini and the real thing
Because you see, I had traded the real roses for miniatures. If I had looked long and elsewhere, I would have had came across the many other type of roses sold at nurseries nationwide and realized that there was a big world of roses out there for me to explore.
The thing is we started with us ourselves know very little about roses in general and about growing them, let alone understanding miniatures - a different and exclusive class of rose altogether.
Miniatures are there for a purpose
Miniatures are beautiful and hardy although they come in small size. They are being bred better nowadays and for plenty of uses, much the same as their big counterparts – they too can be grown for cut roses, trailers and even climbers. But bear in mind, miniatures have always had their basic job.
|Such tiny stuff.|
The job of miniatures worldwide is for decorative purpose. It means elsewhere on earth miniatures are expected to last only for a few weeks. They are bought to beautify home and offices for special occasions and as gifts. For this, they are produced in mass and available everywhere off rack. That explains why we are so bombarded with miniatures and why they are so accessible at every corner of stores.
I bought miniatures for the belief that it would grow me a rose garden. I had a very tall order for minis.
Although miniatures do look good indoors, they are meant to be placed outdoors, as roses require bright direct sunlight. When planted correctly, miniatures can bloom marvelously.
|Blooming miniature in RM5 pot.|
To me, miniatures are meant to beautify. When nurture properly, they can grow well in our humid and warm garden. They belong in garden as ground cover, in hanging baskets or decorative pots. What’s lack in size, they make up in blooms. Whereas the variety of colors and blends they offer is mindboggling. And they are great for small garden.
What we can learn from miniatures in Malaysia is that we ought to understand what we’re getting into (buying roses) before forming an opinion or worst, a belief - as collectively; a belief can be too strong to be undone.
Know your intention when it comes to buying roses. Do you want roses for decorative purpose, planting a garden with roses in it, or planting a rose garden? Let miniatures be minis and no longer be misunderstood or misused.
Author and copyright of Rough Rosa
|Some of the miniatures in my modest collection.|