I took my first picture of Rosa ‘Desdemona’ when I popped in to hug some dear friends working on the David Austin rose display at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Flower Show. Their new white English rose for 2015 was named to commemorate one of Shakespeare’s most independent, open-hearted and gentle heroines: an inspired choice!
Large fans were keeping the air circulating in the nearby Floristry Marquee to prevent the cut flowers wilting, but there was no such luxury in the Festival of Roses Marquee. The conditions were cruelly hot for humans to endure, but to my surprise, the roses appeared to relish being held captive inside a tent on the hottest July afternoon ever recorded in England.
It’s easy to underestimate the dedication required to create and maintain any first-class flower display at the best of times: I could see a lot of dead-heading and watering would be needed behind the scenes to keep the display looking fresh all week long.
We had called in on the first day of the show and the roses were looking as good as I can ever remember. I enjoyed being reacquainted with some old favourites and was intrigued to see the new ones. White roses are always a challenge for a photographer – and shots taken inside a marquee are often harder to pull off – so I was pleased to get this picture showing the whole progression from bud to fully open bloom.
For those new to my blog, I offer my usual disclaimer.