Rosa ‘Scepter’d Isle’ at Bodnant Garden

Pink rose with chalice shaped blooms

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

An English Rose: Rosa ‘Jubilee Celebration’

A pink, multi-petalled rose in a sunny garden

Rosa ‘Jubilee Celebration’ displays its many petals against a floral backdrop

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

February: Monochrome | Roses With Many Petals

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

Desdemona – a new white English rose for 2015

Desdemona rose

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.  Continue reading