Saturday, December 16, 2006

Some Very Fine English Roses

This year has seen the most peculiar weather. The long, cold winter that opened 2006 delayed spring by about three weeks; then followed the scorching long summer with its prolonged rain in August; then the most lovely Indian summer from October onwards. And today I have roses in flower in my garden. Here's the laundry list, with pictures from David Austin's site - why buy roses elsewhere?
Tess of The d'Urbervilles:
These large flowers of deepest crimson make me think of richly textured velvet skirts, set off by leaves of the most perfect green. That they are named after the heroine in my favourite Thomas Hardy novel only adds to their desirability. Thank you David Austin
Mme Isaac Pereire:
These roses sit under my study window, layered and tied to wires to extend their beauty. The warm yellow stone walls of my house hold the sun's heat to encourage these roses to release their Old Rose fragrance through out the day, and particularly during the evening when the sun sets at the other side of the house. Beautifully formed, multi-flowered sprays make these roses an important part of my summer bouquets for the house.
Scepter'd Isle:
This is a workhorse of a rose, flowering early in the summer, and producing masses of blooms that keep my house supplied with vasefuls of flowers throughout the summer. There is a powerful fragrance, which David Austin describes as, "An outstanding example of the English Rose fragrance, based on the myrrh note introduced with ‘Constance Spry’."

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