The Greenhouse Rose: Illustrated Fairy Tale

The author of this artwork is Francesca Santucci (Italy).

“I am a writer, but I also enjoy painting and digital art, illustrating some of my fairy tales on my own. By chance I came across one of your programs (but I would like to try them all!), AKVIS Sketch (downloaded in trial version), which I found extremely creative, versatile, capable of offering extraordinary "picturesque" solutions. Enthusiastic, I started from a digital composition made with Corel Photo-Paint 11, combining the drawing+canvas effects and I illustrated one of my fairy tales, "The Greenhouse Rose", which I am sending you.”


Francesca Santucci, Neapolitan, poet and writer, has been awarded in both poetry and fiction competitions. She has several publications to her credit, in poetry and prose, prefaces, reviews and journalistic articles; she is part of collective anthologies and multimedia collection with poems and stories.



text and illustrations by Francesca Santucci

It is the time you have wasted for your rose
that makes your rose so important.

(from "The Little Prince", Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)


One day in February a gardener discovered in his greenhouse, where he grew beautiful roses with intense scents, a thousand shades and infinite varieties, scarlet and pale pink, lilac and pearled, cream white and cherry red, copper and orange, grandiflora and small tree, climbing and cutting, half hidden among the spontaneous weeds, a little wild flower.


It was fragile, humble, the petals tightly closed, of a faded and dull color, it did not emanate any perfume; by now it had its head bowed as if it was dying or even already dead, but the gardener picked it anyway because he stubbornly thought that if he transplanted it into good fertile soil and placed it in full sun, it would revive, and from that insignificant bud a wonderful flower would surely have blossomed, and so he did.

Flower Bud

Delicately he removed it from the weeds and transplanted it into humus-rich soil, exposed it to the sun and began to grow it.

That transplanted flower didn't have much trouble getting used to the new land; born wild, he soon discovered the pleasures of farming. The rich nourishment and sweetness of the gardener's care (who even went so far as to speak to it as if he were a truly special creature, and not a flower among flowers), were lifeblood for him.

And so it grew strong and beautiful and blossomed in all its splendor; it became a splendid blue rose, it opened its velvety petals to the caresses of the sun and revived, illuminating its splendid variegated corolla, expressing itself in all its beauty on the loving eyes of its savior.

Blue rose

But a sad fate was in ambush, because, from one day to the other, things changed; the gardener, now distracted by other flowers, began to neglect its care, and the rose, abandoned, was left alone to wither.

For a while the poor rose resisted, confident that the gardener would return to care and love it, but her wait was in vain: the cruel gardener no longer loved that flower, and would never return.

And so it was that, on a day in May, melancholy and gray like a day in November, the rose began to gasp, to gasp, it was almost time, by now, it would have faded away, but then a voice praised its beauty and a gentle hand detached it from the branch: it was the hand of the Angel of the Roses.

Angel of the Roses

He told to the flower:

- Don't be afraid, I will take you to my Kingdom, where only blue roses live; there you will be rose among roses, and you will live forever!

Then the rose breathed, revived, and, in regained beauty, flew towards that fairy kingdom, once again filling the air with its perfume.



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