A few summers ago I was at a local garden center checking out the markdown plants, and I came across some large but scrawny rose bushes marked $1.00 each. I really wasn't that fond roses then, having heard they had "high maintenance" reputation. I had long since decided they didn't belong in my carefree garden. However, $1.00 a plant was to hard to pass up, so I bought them all. I got them home and stuck them in some plastic tubs full of water because it was too hot and dry then to plant anything. I forgot about them for several weeks and when I finally remembered, I was surprised to find that they were still alive and seemingly quite happy. I decided then and there that they if they had withstood weeks of 100 degree heat living in a plastic storage tub with only an occasional sprinkle of rain to quench their thirst, they must be tougher than I thought. I promptly planted them in a place of honor--right next to the front porch. The following spring they leafed out early and I soon noticed buds forming on the canes. Then one morning I stepped out the door with coffee mug in hand and was greeted by the most spectacular rose blossoms I'd ever seen. The bushes were covered with glowing reddish-orange flowers with star-like centers of gold. The five single-layered petals were delicate in contrast to the vibrant coloring, and the canes arched gracefully to the ground under the weight of buds and blooms. Bees buzzed merrily around the bushes, and several hummingbirds zoomed by, air dancing from bloom to bloom. When I finally caught my breath, a question slowly formed in my mind: what kind of roses were these?! I tore myself away from their beauty and headed into the potting shed in search of an answer. I quickly grabbed the basket that I keep the plant name tags in and began rustling through it. After a few moments, I pulled out a dusty tag with a picture on it that was identical to what was blooming in my front yard. The name printed above the photo was "Austrian Copper Rose". That's all the info it gave me, so I went to my computer and did a quick search online. Turns out, Austrian Copper Roses are an heirloom variety species rose, having survived for centuries in the wild before finding their way into cultivation. They were introduced into society in the 1500's, and they are known to be the ancient ancestors of our modern-day ornamental roses. Wow! All this history growing right off my front porch. Who would have guessed it? Thank goodness I can't pass up a bargain, even if I don't think I need it. And though they only cost me $1.00 each, I now consider them priceless.