So, just like that. Summer 2014 is officially over. Done. Toast.
And yet…to look out at the roses, one would never suspect a change is afoot. Even with the drought clobbering us here in Southern California, the mighty rose continues to blossom, if not thrive.
My good friend Dani Hahn, an official “Rosarian” (2014) and owner of Rose Story Farm in Carpinteria, California says “It’s a little known fact- stress a rose (i.e. no water) and they’ll show off”
To which I say, isn’t it a shame we humans don’t fair so well under stress?!
But let’s not talk anymore of the drought (UGH-speaking of toast) let’s continue to discuss roses instead.
I took the opportunity to tour Dani and Bill Hahn’s spectacular rose farm once again this summer and after sharing a glass or two of rose’ beneath the bowers, I asked Dani if she wouldn’t mind answering 3 little questions for Slim Paley readers.
Dani at her farm
So, here goes (My 2nd interview 🙂 )
SP: Cheers Dani! We first met as really young moms … oh so many years ago. Our older sons were in pre-school and you owned a children’s wear shop in Montecito, remember?! But for many years now you and your husband Bill have been the proprietors of “Rose Story Farm”. Let’s see…living on an organic rose farm in the foothills of Carpinteria, surrounded by gorgeousitude, hosting workshops, tours and weddings, delivering and sharing beauty all over the country- you are really living a fantasy life Lady! I guess my first question would be; “Have roses changed your life, or at least changed it in a way you would have predicted?”
DH: Aside from adding incredible beauty to our daily life, they’ve helped expand my imagination. I had imagined a life surrounded by family, friends, flowers, good food and lots of adventures! Roses have inspired me to live this imagined life. Each day is filled with a new miracle. I am now blessed with a rosey business that combines family, friends & adventures. Our focus at Rose Story Farm is to share our enjoyment of the rose and this lifestyle in as many ways possible! I’m grateful to have the farm as a vehicle to do so.
Rolling hills of roses as far as the eye can see at Rose Story Farm
SP: I’m super grateful that you do too-I feel incredibly fortunate to live so close by. What do you find most inspiring about growing roses?
DH: ‘Growing roses’ is more than just about ‘growing roses’. As a rose blooms, it brings with it a memory, a thought, or a reminder that life is fragile and fleeting. Fragrance triggers memories like no other sense. Once a fragrance is imprinted, it is never forgotten. As we move through life, these memories become inspirations moving us toward our dreams and fantasies. With gardening we get a sense of renewal, of reward, and anticipation. With rose gardening, we get all of this AND a sense of history, of passion, of eternal beauty.
SP: If someone writes a book about famous Rosarians one day (and they should) you, of course, would be included. What would be your ‘Rose message’ you’d like to share with the world?
DH: Everyone can and should be able to grow roses simply. Rephrased, everyone should be able to simply enjoy their roses! After all, roses have brought joy to humanity for over 25 centuries.
DH: Attempting a new approach in the garden, or changing an established routine can be challenging, especially with a flower as seemingly complicated as the rose. However, experimentation can lead in unexpected directions! As in most endeavors, there will be a fair amount of disastrous results. I’ve found, however, that these trials generally lead to spectacular success! We are constantly planting new varietals and trying new approaches.
SP: I like to hear that. It makes me feel much better about one or two failures (I mean vaguely unsuccessful trials) I’ve tried in my garden over the years.
Lastly, some parting words from Dani;
I hope each of you embark upon this journey! Experiment, have fun, and always look for humor in the garden. This flower, the rose, can bring so much into your life: friends, family, and shared experiences. Roses continue to inspire me each and every day.
“Earth laughs in flowers” Ralph Waldo Emerson
‘Roses… they bring sweetness and magic into our lives. Exquisite in shape, with a never-ending variety of tints and subtle fragrance, they make us forget for a little while all our cares and woes. One single rose can bring us happiness if we know how to appreciate it fully. So why should we not be enraptured by the beauty of these flowers, breathe their delicate perfume, and surrender to their charms.’ Eric Bois
Busy bees gather at a fountain with Dani in the distance
It was her destiny!
For more information about ROSE STORY FARM
Two photos of Dani, via Dani Hahn