Do you think faded roses are beautiful?

Faded roses

A few years ago, I would not have considered this picture to convey beauty simply because the roses are a day or so (plus a rain shower) past their prime. The flowers are over, spent, no longer worthy subjects. I wouldn’t have taken the picture, let alone posted it on my blog.

Learning to see like a photographer has loosened me up. If I was a more talented photographer, I’m confident I could find beauty in anything.

You may agree with the old me, or the new me, but no matter what the consensus there’s no way this shot would be selected to sell this variety of rose today on a plant label or in a rose catalogue.

I won’t say it could never be used because our ideas of commercial beauty might change. Now wouldn’t that be interesting?

The petals of the lowest rose in the cluster are just loosely hanging on till the next rough breeze shakes the stem and bounces them off. Yet this is the bloom that most attracts me in the shot, the one that keeps pulling my eyes back to it.

I’ve felt roses like this so often when deadheading that my mind can touch it, even though my fingers can’t. The petals are limp, slightly moist, clingy. I can read the future in the angle of the petals. If they hadn’t been caught in a shower and were dryer, this is rose susurrus in the making.

It’s about time I started to open up to a wider range of beauty in flowers and stopped demanding perfection.

I often say that I enjoy the soft, warm beauty in old people’s faces just as much – perhaps even more than – the ordinary beauty of youth. That’s my idea of a blessing. The easier it is for us to see beauty, the richer our lives will be.


54 Replies to “Do you think faded roses are beautiful?”

  1. I do think that we can find beauty everywhere we look… especially in a garden. This morning I tiptoed around our garden in the frost taking pictures of flowers long past their best. If you look closely, I mean really look at things in the natural world… they are AMAZING.

  2. How true your words – we need to stop demanding perfection from each other too – we are just human after all and beauty should be something we see within something as opposed to what it/she/he looks like on the outside. Thought provoking post. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Yes, there is beauty there. Ok… Maybe it’s *starting* to fade… But everything fades.

    When it continues to fade we can take the rose flower off the plant and use the petals to infuse the scent… And then we can fill our house with that scent and look at the picture and enjoy what it was. And we can do that LONG after the actual flower has faded.

    Nothing is truly gone till there is nobody to remember it and nobody that can appreciate it.

  4. A rose is indeed a rose even in its later, even final stages of existence. Always beautiful to me.

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