Saturday, 3 March 2007

A rose by any other name....

A local villager, who has lived here all of her 84 years and is a keen gardener, told us when we first came to live here that we would not be able to grow roses as it was too high at 225 metres above sea-level, and that the fierce winds sweeping over the landscape would burn the foliage black.

However, I have a strong association with roses as my mum’s name was Rose, and I treasure them for their beauty, mystery and fragrance. Though it was true that there were no gardens in the village with any roses in them, I decided I would like to try my luck.

The first ones we planted were of the climbing variety, against the south-facing wall of our house for protection. It is also where the back door of the house is and I wanted to be able to smell the roses at close quarters.

One is a floribunda called Iceberg with pink-tinged buds opening to flat white blooms which cover the plant profusely. It needs a lot of space to show how beautiful it can be. Another is the outstanding dark red velvet rose, called Crimson Glory, which has glossy foliage, large blooms and lots of fragrance too. These two climbers have been successful in surviving the ravages of Winter, and have rewarded us by flowering faithfully each of the past sixteen years.
The rose looks fair, but fairer it we deem
For that sweet odour that doth in it live.

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