It was a sad day when I opened an e-mail to tell me that David C.H. Austin (or ‘Mr A’ to many of those who knew him) had died at the age of 92. So close to the company’s Christmas party, I imagined, just a couple of days before the anniversary of the death of his wife, Pat. You can read the official obituary of someone who will always be one of my heroes on the David Austin Roses website. Here, I’m sharing my memories of the man who changed my life when he approved my appointment to one of the most fascinating jobs I can imagine. Continue reading
On Sundays, I’m sharing a square cropped picture of a pink rose as part of Becky’s Square In September challenge. We are invited to dip in and out of this daily challenge as we please. She’s looking for a post where the main photograph is square and the subject is In The Pink.
Several people have asked if the roses I’ve been sharing this month are especially fragrant. Last week’s was not, so I promised a highly scented one for this week and I have kept my word. Rosa ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ has as strong and lovely an Old Rose fragrance as anyone could hope for. Scratch and sniff!
(It might work, if you have an active imagination).
Three, shapely, pure pink rose sisters spent their brief lives bouncing together in a pretty cluster in a rose garden. As you see, I visited them in their prime.
Unlike many of the larger, heavier, multi-petalled varieties, the flowers of Rosa ‘Wisley 2008’ face upwards and outwards to show off their rosette forms. Those who read last Sunday’s post may be disappointed that the leaves are ‘just’ mid green, more remarkable for their tendency to resist disease than for their colour, even when grown in a rose garden where the proximity of others makes it easier for rose nasties to spread and take hold. Continue reading
‘The Generous Gardener’ rose is one of my favourites. It requires some discipline not to list its selling points, even after so many years, but I’ll confine myself to observing that it is one of the more fragrant English roses, best grown as a short climber against a wall or sturdy pillar. That hardly counts, does it? Continue reading
The recent RHS Hampton Court Flower Show offered the chance to see some new varieties up close. Today I’m sharing a few pictures taken at the show of a new introduction from David Austin, Rosa ‘Mill on the Floss’. Continue reading
Rosa ‘Scepter’d Isle’ caught my eye during our visit to Bodnant Garden in Wales this week. The garden opens until 8 o’clock in the evening some Wednesdays during the summer (please check details online before visiting) so we could arrive fashionably late and still enjoy a (very) warm evening stroll.
We had planned to go a week or so earlier – given the choice, I prefer to catch the roses slightly before their peak when they are at their freshest, before the garden has time to need dead-heading. Winds gusting at 35-40mph put paid to that idea. Although the rose garden was a touch further on, it was still looking lovely, with rambling roses in flower on the many pergolas. Continue reading
I’m surprised to find out this is the first time I’ve blogged about one of my favourite rose varieties. Some roses are easier to photograph than others. This is the only picture I have that I like of this one. Rosa ‘Jubilee Celebration’ is luminous. Photograph it in flat light and you risk losing the joy.
The main bloom is as big as my hand and deeper than I can cup my fingers. The sheeny quality of the petals and their highlights and lowlights of pink and peach create an inner glow. The garden context glows too, adding that all’s well with the world feeling. Continue reading
I’m fascinated by many petalled roses so I’m indulging myself by sharing these square crops of their floral hearts for HeyJude’s February Challenge: Monochrome.
I think the first one is my favourite – the colours are so dreamy. Jude quotes the line ‘Earth laughs in flowers’ which surely makes each unfurling petal a giggle… or at least a perceptible relaxing of the lips. Continue reading