The Winter Rose

“The Winter Rose” is a suggestive story aimed in particular at girls growing up in conditions which are challenging in terms of space, social environment or family structure. Alternatively, a child can be asked to name his or her favourite animal, and the story can be turned into one about a zoo owner or breeder who succeeds in finding a way to raise this animal in particularly difficult conditions despite all the doom-mongering of his critics, so that it grows up healthy and happy, is admired by many and later becomes the mother or father of wonderful young animals. The story can also be used to boost the morale of patients during long hospital stays, for example while undergoing chemotherapy.

I have some very large terracotta pots on my balcony, and I decided that I’d like to plant roses in them. “You can’t grow roses in pots – they’ll die,” said my father. “That’s a shame,” I said, but I couldn’t get the idea out of my head, and so I visited a plant nursery. “You can’t grow roses in pots, at any rate not outdoors,” said the sales assistant. “They’ll freeze to death in winter because the whole root ball is surrounded by frost.” “Can’t you bring them inside over the winter?” I asked. “They don’t like being moved around,” said the sales assistant. “Take it from me, you can’t grow roses outdoors in pots.” Then one of the gardeners who worked at the nursery entered the showroom. “Of course you can,” he said. “There’s a special variety of rose which doesn’t mind frost at all. It looks a lot like a beautiful wild rose, and it isn’t damaged by the weather at all. It can also be grown in a small space, even in a large terracotta pot on a balcony. It matures well, and its scent is exquisite. It’s a very resilient plant, and you can take it with you whenever you move house – and if you ever move to a house with a large garden, you can of course replant it in the ground

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