Mystery rose: Buff Beauty

Buff Beauty rose

It’s a real pleasure for me when one of my favourite mystery roses is identified. These are ones I have visited and photographed, perhaps several times, but haven’t yet managed to put a name to.

These pictures were taken in a cemetery in Mississippi where hundreds of shrub roses are planted. Many of them don’t just survive, but flower prolifically, despite receiving little or no care. Continue reading “Mystery rose: Buff Beauty”

Tips for photographing roses 9: it’s not all about your camera

Tips on photographing roses 9 It's not all about your camera

“To write a great novel, you need a really expensive pen, right?”

I’ll always remember David Perry saying this as he began his talk to a group of garden writers who were keen to become better photographers.

I noted how well he grabbed our attention from the start by expressing his ideas in a way we could immediately relate to. Writers and bloggers know that opening proposition isn’t true – if only! – so why would so many of us imagine an expensive camera will magically transform us into master photographers? Continue reading “Tips for photographing roses 9: it’s not all about your camera”

Tips for photographing roses 8: always go straight back

Tips on photographing roses 8: Always go straight backIf you drive past what looks at first glance appears to be a wonderful or very unusual shot, do yourself a favour – turn round, go straight back and capture it. Don’t think you’ll feel more inclined to stop on your journey home.

I can rarely resist the opportunity to take pictures of roses, especially if they are at the peak of flower, but I’ll always regret not turning back to photograph a dishevelled cottage, set just a little way back from the road on a busy street somewhere in the South of England. The yard was full of hollyhocks in flower – I’ve never seen so many in one garden. Continue reading “Tips for photographing roses 8: always go straight back”

Why roses are like dogs

Rusty the dog

It’s often struck me how we treat our closest plant and animal companions – roses and dogs – in much the same way. We’ve sought them out and lavished love on them for thousands of years. Many of us are happiest when we live alongside them. They help us make our houses feel like homes.

We try to train them both: I dare say some of us have had more success training our roses. Continue reading “Why roses are like dogs”

Goosebump roses: garden style beauties for floristry

Posy of apricot 'Juliet' cut garden roses

Imagine buying a bunch of roses. You’ve probably brought to mind a bouquet of classic hybrid tea roses – the ones with long, tapering buds and straight stems that are so widely available. I wonder if, like me, you’ve sometimes felt just a little disappointed when the buds fail to deliver their promise and fade away before they’ve really opened?

Behind the scenes, breeders have been developing a new type of cut rose, inspired by old garden roses. Often mistaken for peonies, these blowsy beauties are so far removed from what’s gone before that they’re almost like a new type of flower. Continue reading “Goosebump roses: garden style beauties for floristry”