Monday, 18 July 2016

A Rosy Outlook

Hellooo!! The last few weeks have been very busy indeed, and so I've had to be away from Blogland completely. I have missed you all very much! Now I have some catching up to do and, as there are only 3 days of term left I can feel my shoulders starting to drop and a sense of gradual relaxation creeping into daily life. I meant to share this post two weeks ago, but there are still some roses out in the garden, despite most of them being over now.

If you've followed my blog for a while you'll know how much I love roses. 

Every year I look forward to their arrival in June when they scent the long, light evenings with their subtly different perfumes. I think I must have inherited this love in part from my parents who over the years have filled the long narrow garden of their small semi-detached Victorian house with many roses. I grew up knowing the names of them and was even given one for my fifth birthday; 'Mischief', it was called. In their garden many roses came and went over time, and I remember their names well - 'Peace', 'Whisky Mac', 'Copper Pot', 'Fragrant Cloud', 'Iceberg'. Nowadays they often return from a trip to the garden centre cafe with a new rose and squeeze it in to their neat beds. They have too many to name them all but there are some beauties: 'Winchester Cathedral', 'Tess of the Durbervilles', 'Southampton', 'Buxom Beauty', 'Handel', 'Golden Celebration', 'James Galway'. You could definitely say that they are enthusiasts.

I seem to have inherited their rose-loving genes and enjoy having roses in our own garden. However, as ours is smaller than my parents' and we have lots of perennial plants we don't have as much room. This hasn't stopped me from adding to the roses which were already here. Delicately-scented 'New Dawn' was already scrambling up the front of our house when we moved in.

As was the wonderful 'Gertrude Jekyll' with its fabulous flowers and rich, fruity fragrance.

Also already here was this one golden yellow one which I now think might be 'Charlotte'.

Since then we've added several others: 'Compassion',

'William Shakespeare',

'Mortimer Sackler',

One known simply as 'Gran's Rose' whose parent plant belonged to my great-grandmother (born in 1872) and has a very rich scent.

'Guinee' (at least that's what the label said - I think 'Guinee' is supposed to be much darker than this)

'Etoile de Hollande',

And here is 'Gloire de Dijon', a rose we bought last summer and which is literally not in a happy place at the moment - it's in a dark corner and needs to be moved. However, it has produced a couple of stunning blooms this year. I put one on my bedside table and enjoyed its soft perfume and delicate buff-coloured petals. When I see it I am reminded of D H Lawrence's poem of the same name:

'In the window full of sunlight
Concentrates her golden shadow
Fold on fold, until it glows as
Mellow as the glory roses.'

Finally here is my rose of the moment, and I must admit I am very taken with it indeed. It's 'Rosa Mundi', a very old variety.

As you can see it has the most beautiful striped petals, ranging from pale pink to deep raspberry red, each flower different.

Its petals look as if they have been hand-painted.

Each one very different to the next.

I bought the last two roses from a little independent nursery nearby which sells roses very inexpensively. The trouble is that when I'm there, in the moment, I forget that we have run out of space in the garden for any more. I forget that when we get home and I take it into the garden in its pot, it's hard to find somewhere that's not already taken. There are so many more on my wish list - 'Munstead Wood', 'Heathcliff', 'Boscobel', 'The Lady of Shalott', 'Strawberry Hill', 'A Shropshire Lad' ... I do get carried away! It's a good thing Pinterest exists, because I can collect them there instead, and I count myself very lucky to be able to enjoy the roses which we do have in our garden.

I shall leave you with a photo of the rose petal shortbread which I made two weeks ago, and is a happy seasonal ritual for me. If you'd like the recipe you can find it in a previous post here.

Thank you for dropping by - see you very soon x


  1. So many gorgeous roses; I love them. How lovely to have Gran's rose and I found your Rosa Mundi interesting as one just like that has appeared in our front garden this year from nowhere - how did that happen?! I've made lavender shortbread but never rose petal. I'll definitely have to give that one a try. Enjoy the end of term. xx

  2. Some of those rose names sound very familiar. Some we had and now long gone, some in our garden now. New dawn and iceberg are just two. Lovely photos making me realise I need more roses in my life. But as you say, where to put them! B X

  3. They really are heart warming aren't they. I really like stripy ones this year, so Rosa Mundi is my favourite. I nearly bought a stripy tulip in Waitrose this year, it was all straggly and bendy so I didn't but I've really regretted it! Have fun x

  4. I love roses as well, and they've been looking amazing this year. Your rosa mundi is gorgeous, and William Shakespeare is one that I'd love to grow. I'm trying to persuade Madame Alfred Carriere to grow along a fence at the moment. Not helped by the fact that I cut off a very good stem by mistake the other day. Sigh. I'm off to the allotment to see if there are any that I can pick down there. Have a good week, not long until the hols now! CJ xx

  5. Snap! I too have what looks like a Rosa Mundi in my front garden, planted almost underneath the high conifer hedge that borders the garden. I first noticed it last year, when the pink colour caught my eye as I was mowing the lawn. I really need to dig it up and plant is somewhere more suitable, where I can enjoy those gorgeous petals.
    Your roses are beautiful, I love all of them. Sadly as I live on the edge of Bodmin Moor and we get lots of high winds and rain, roses don't do well here; their poor petals are hammered by all that wild weather.

  6. Oh my word your roses are so so beautiful I am very jealous! We have a 'courtyard' garden and I am having no luck at all with roses in pots :( Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures :) Enjoy the start of the summer xx

  7. Roses are just beautiful, the shortbread sounds good, love the Rose plate as well. Enjoy the summer break xx

  8. Oh, these roses are gorgeous, you green-fingered blogger you.

  9. Your roses are stunning!! I would adore a Glorie de Dijon because of its mention in a series of books that I love from years ago! xx

  10. How lovely to find a blog with beautiful roses...I am looking forward to Spring here with 6 new roses going in the English Rose Garden xxx

  11. Such wonderful photos! Your garden sounds like a dream. Mortimer Sackler is especially beautiful!


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