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

Oscar Wilde quote: tears waiting in the petals of some rose

Rosa 'Princess Alexandra of Kent'

Linnaeus fell on his knees and wept for joy when he saw for the first time the long heath of some English upland made yellow with the tawny aromatic blossoms of the common furze, and I know that for me, to whom flowers are part of desire, there are tears waiting in the petals of some rose. It has always been so with me from my boyhood. There is not a single colour hidden away in the chalice of a flower, or the curve of a shell, to which by some subtle sympathy with the very soul of things, my nature does not answer.

Oscar Wilde, from De Profundis

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