|Albertine Rambling Rose|
I expect it was something to do with that 'war-time spirit' we hear of and I'm not sure it would happen today, but apparently, on my arrival, the builders picked a posy of flowers from the garden for my mother. It consisted of blue love-in-a-mist, white border carnations and pink roses. For many years, while I was away at boarding school, my mother would send me - by Royal Mail! - a bunch of those same flowers on my birthday, the stems wrapped in damp cotton wool (before the days of kitchen roll!) and a new invention, aluminium foil, all contained in another new invention - a plastic bag. Miraculously, they arrived in pretty good condition!
So nowadays I always hope to be able to pick those flowers from my garden for my birthday.
I have never managed to identify the pink rose and the nearest I've found is the Albertine that I love! With the bright, almost orange-pink colour of its buds and its unique and beautiful scent, it has to be my absolute favourite!
This year I had almost accepted that my Albertine would not be out on my birthday. For one thing, a friend cut it back very severely in May, in readiness for my cavity wall insulation in July. But apart from that, this has been the coldest spring for fifty years and everything in my garden has been late flowering.
But, right on cue, a bud I'd been keeping an eye on, opened out on Sunday! It was so high up that my very tall son had to use a pair of even taller steps to reach it, but that didn't matter. The one little Albertine rose was there in time for my birthday!
Here it is, in watercolour, on a Commemorative Wedding Mug:
And, in combination with Lavender and Mock Orange Blossom from my garden, in a repeating pattern on a Kindle Cover:
I'm sure those won't be the only patterns I design around my Albertine rose! So watch this space . . .