A lot of D.C. rowhouses have a rosebush blooming in the front yard, like this one I passed on my way to work last week. Some of the rose bushes are carefully planted in fully landscaped gardens; others, like this one, exist as the yard’s sole decoration. If my experience is any guide, rosebushes in D.C., when planted in a place that gets enough sun, take some work the first few years–pruning, watering, smushing of aphids, plucking of diseased leaves–but then, at least in the spring before the pests wreak their havoc, they’ll thrive pretty much on their own. Whether perfectly pruned, or overgrown and straggly, they offer the sumptuous beauty of their flowers to anyone who passes by. It’s a gift, a thoughtless generosity, by multitudes of people who keep most of their treasures behind locked doors.