The bush is certainly the tallest in Rīga and might be the tallest in Latvia, growing higher than six meters. The rose grows in Purvciems near a flower shop, whose owner Inese Meijere planted the rose eight years ago.
Meijere told Latvian Television: “I had decided that I didn't like that [electricity] pole, which nobody is painting, but I don't have permission to paint it myself because I need agreements. So I planted a rose, which when I bought, I didn't even find a place to plant. There is concrete around the pole. And then I found a place to poke it in and said, God give you strength.”
The rose has climbed the metal pole supporting the cables of a trolleybus. Inese bought the plant for a couple euros at the supermarket. She spoils the rose bush with plenty of water, pours handfuls of peat, and calls it a princess.
“Nothing else. It cheers everyone around, they are excited. [..] In winter, the rose is still out here. Nothing breaks her. She is as she is. I think her warmth and humidity are given by the ivy, which has been planted at the bottom. But that's just my assumption. Asphalt. She must have rooted herself under the asphalt.”
Elsewhere in Riga, streetcorners resemble a desert, but here it's an oasis. On the streetside, where grass usually grows, Inese has planted flowers. From early spring to late autumn, there's always something blooming.
“It brings peace to life. There's a saying, if you have two loaves of bread, swap one for flowers because it feeds your soul,” she said.