Roses are red or purple or pink

There are few people in the world who don’t like roses and even if they don’t grow them can admire them for their beauty, the stunning colours or the heavenly scent.

As a child I became aware of roses from an early age. I noticed them of course in my mothers garden where she had roses planted climbing over a wooden pergola in the back garden and growing against a wall where she could see them from the kitchen sink. 

One of my mother’s climbing roses
A slip I took of one of my mother’s climbing roses

As a child I loved the velvety softness of the petals and would sit with my nose stuck in the rose bud trying to capture the scent. Once while staying with my Aunt and Uncle I caught sight of her glorious red blooms. Intoxicated by their beauty and scent I came up with a cunning plan to make my very own rose perfume. I got a cup and a wooden spoon and pulled as many petals as I could off the gorgeous red blooms. I put them in the cup with some water and was industriously bashing them as hard as I could when the window opened to reveal my aunt Mamie who was absolutely furious. I was only about 6 so I only remember her anger not the words. In fact I was quite indignant as I thought it was rather clever of me. Years later when she died one of the things I made sure to bring with me was that red rose. As luck would have it the root broke as I dug it up but I decided to plant it anyway remembering Margarets advice that “ everything want to live dear”

I didn’t give it any special treatment except a bit of compost and a good water. I did plant it in full sun so to my delight over time it started to bloom.

My aunt Mary’s ( Maimie ) red rose 50y years old

The scent is still glorious and with this years sun it has put on more flowers than ever before. I don’t even know what variety it is as its probably over 50 years old at this stage but its one of my favourites in the garden.


A perfect bloom on my aunt’s rose in my garden

Below are some of the other roses in the garden this year, many of which came from my Dad’s collection and others which I planted myself or took slips of. I find the dark pink carpet rose to be the best of all for colour and repeat blooming. The top photo is of a rose Constance Spry that never bloomed for me until I wound it around some semi circular supports and now although it only blooms once during the summer its so worth it for its fragrance and the abundance of blooms.


Most of the roses below are either ones I grew from slips or came from my Dad’s garden so I don’t have a lot of the names. I do love the second one with the fabulous name Jude the Obscure, highly scented and with numerous blooms its one of my newest additions and its already a favourite. The second last one is unusual with its crimson and white stripes and although its a one hit wonder I think its worth it. A Bourbon rose called Variegata di Bologna its been around since 1909 when it was introduced in Italy. The vibrant orange was a slip from one of my father’s roses. Although I don’t know the names of a lot of them I don’t really mind as they all hold memories for me and bring such joy during their blooming season.





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