Thursday, 5 June 2014

Roses, the June Birth Month Flower, Love them or Leave them?

This photo is a few years old now and the Alchemist, on the left, has spread quite a lot further - now the Alchemist reaches almost up to the bedroom window!

When I moved into my house in Abergavenny, the back garden didn’t inspire me one bit. 

It was just a very neat, square patch of grass, some fruit trees up against the neighbour’s wall, a few miserable shrubs and some bush roses. Decidedly dreary!

One of the first things I did was move the shrubs and roses to the front garden, one each day so as not to strain my dodgy back. 

I must admit, I’m not a great fan of bush roses. 

Maybe it’s because they’re not very sociable, they don’t much like to be planted in beds with other flowers. And if they do tolerate sharing a bed with other plants, I always think they look about out of place.

Not the case with climbing and rambling roses – my favourites!

My favourite, Albertine, last summer - the best view from my bedroom window!

My garden is small with high walls on all sides, the garage at the far end, the house at the near end and walls, topped with trellis on the other two sides.

Roses round the door!

Although I love the privacy and shelter it gives me, it also means that sunlight on the flower beds is limited so the plants grow up towards the light – perfect for climbers and ramblers.

I could almost pick these Albertine Roses from the bedroom window!

As a painter and pattern-maker it is important to me to have a variety of flowers close at hand as ‘models’ for my art and design work. 

So, as well as borders full of various flowering plants, I have other climbers too – Honeysuckle, Clematis and climbing Sweet Pea for example.

Once the roses start to bloom, I know I shall have flowers to photograph and paint for months to come. My Alchemist began to bloom in mid-April this year and the Dreaming Spires wasn’t far behind it. 

Here's one of my 'Albertine' June Birthday Cards:

for hundreds more
Greeting Cards and Gifts

This year, for the first time, my Dreaming Spires has climbed all over the Albertine which is ready to flower once the Dreaming Spires has finished – for now! (It often flowers again later in the summer if I dead-head it regularly.)

The only way I can see this view of my Dreaming Spires is from my bedroom window. It looks even more magnificent from my neighbour's kitchen!

The Alchemist is a fascinating rose! 

Its buds are cream, tinged with red, opening to pink that transforms into deep yellow, then finally back again to creamy white.

Both this Oil Pastel Painting and the Photograph just below it are Alchemist Roses at different stages of their blooming!

I think we all know that roses are associated with love and romance. But did you know that it’s not quite that straightforward? The number of roses is significant, as is the colour. 

Most of my roses were bargains from a local DIY store.
This Metanoia 
is another one that keeps changing colour
and it didn't cost much more than £2!

You can read about the meanings of roses HERE – though I’ve read elsewhere that yellow roses can signify jealousy or infidelity. So beware!
... . ...

As well as the gorgeous colours, the Albertine
 has a very distinctive (and wonderful!) fragrance.

"I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds 'round my neck" - Emma Goldman

I agree - how about you?


Christie Cottage said...

Your rose bushes are beautiful and the Alchemist... I want!

I love roses.

Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden!


Judy Adamson said...

Hi Christie - glad you like my roses! The Alchemist was the only one of my roses that was bought from a proper garden centre (as opposed to the hardware store!) - a lovely birthday gift from friends. :)

Country Mouse Studio said...

The Albertine is beautiful and to have a fragrance too ... you couldn't ask for anything more but that Alchemist is fascinating. I love roses that change color like that.

Judy Adamson said...

Yes, the Alchemist is fascinating, and quite highly perfumed too. But as I expect you've guessed, the Albertine is my all-time favourite! :)