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.
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.
My guide to rose-pruning, relaxed style.
I remember finding the image of Miss Haversham rather thrilling. Her abandon of social convention. Her total neglect of housework. Her cunning.
This post is an homage to my No.1 favourite planting combination in my garden. It is also a celebration of strong women supporting one another, celebrating one another, and giving one another a leg up.
A simple meditation on the calm brought by gazing at a few cut flowers. Flower gazing brings peace, and wisdom, and enlightenment.
The light in September is soft. Rosa ‘Roald Dahl’ is like melting butter. The greens are sober: sage and jade. They provide the perfect foil for the fewer flowers in the rose garden.
In this post, I’m reflecting on which plants are the real workhorses, keeping the show going into autumn. Which plants have been supping the elixir of eternal youth, and which are a little worse for wear.
‘Benjamin Britten’ is an intriguing rose. Even David Austin himself says he finds the colour almost impossible to describe. I would call it a warm coral-red, which is quite bright and orangey on opening, but becomes a warm coral pink. I might call it ‘watermelon’. The outer petals then fade unevenly, like vintage silk, being…