The difference between a climber and a rambler, meeting a rose for the first time, reuniting with old friends, and the secret to growing roses in pots…
Imagine the finest, most delicate French apple tart. With the thinnest, crispiest base, and apples sliced translucent and thin, just caramelised on top, and with a hint of apricot glaze. Can you smell it?
The bright border is at its midsummer zenith!
It is one of my favourite sensory pleasures to hold the impossibly soft and tender rose in one hand and snip its bristly stem with the other. The petals are softer than anything I know: peach fuzz, babies’ bottoms, duck down: they are nothing to this rose. The spent flower fits perfectly into my hand. Its petals may suddenly let out a silent ‘oh!‘, let go of their calyx all at once. They drop into my waiting bucket, with a flurry of petal confetti. and glorious rose perfume.
I don’t think of myself as a particularly girly girl, and throughout my life I have almost avoided pink. Yet when I look around my rose garden, I see pink everywhere. And yes, I am tickled pink.
We haven’t had as much sun as I would like this summer, but this doesn’t seem to have held back the bright border. In the softer light it has taken on a slightly different character. The coral and warm orange tones are more prominent. The textures and shapes resemble plump cushions and fabrics being draped over one another.
I generally plant roses and herbaceous perennials in groups of three. This gives each variety a presence in the border: their flowers are in sufficient number to make an impact. I like the way they form clear hummocks, like hills, through the border. Their outlines remind me of a child’s drawing of overlapping hills.
This peony is mouth-watering. There is a lightness to intersectional peonies. Where herbaceous peonies are taffeta and tulle, intersectional peonies are a swishy silk skirt on bare legs.
The best buds of all are the oriental poppies. They wear thick woollen tights, but silk knickers beneath. This one is about to burst its breeches.
After five minutes in the garden I have re-charged and re-energised. There is so much to be grateful for. So many little miracles unfolding before me. Energy bursting upwards and outwards, exploding out of buds. Light shining out of stems and leaves. An infinite variety of shapes and textures.
Like with life, the garden is always in a state of flux. Nothing stays the same for long. There is always something new, always change.
Daffodils can be a bit shouty; a bit full-on; a bit draining. This post gives space to the subtle ones.