old roses

The roses in the neighbour’s garden are bright despite the weather, which has not been kind to them this summer. There’s been far too much rain and wind after the recent short but intense heatwave.

Today it’s actually been so windy that the rain seemed to dry almost before it reached the ground. Yes, there has also been some sunshine, but it comes and goes and can’t be depended on.
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a rose is a rose is a rose

Wednesday was the 21st of June – the solstice and the start of summer. Which means today is the 24th – Midsummer’s Day and as good a time as any to post more photos of roses.

tumbling pink roses Continue reading “a rose is a rose is a rose”

fair weather flowers

I don’t know when I first heard the saying “God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December”**, but it made sense to me as I was brought up in Britain and grew up thinking of the rose as the perfect symbol of English summer.

Later, I realised that I was wrong to think of the flower as typically English: I’ve seen the Rose Parade in Pasadena and elsewhere on the blog I’ve pondered the character of Spanish roses. But I still tend to associate roses with better weather.

That said, I took the above photo earlier this week.

True, the blooms are a little the worse for wear – if I was remembering a rose, I think I’d picture one in rather better condition. Frankly, though, I don’t think they should have been there at all.

** The quote is attributed to J M Barrie, though when he used it in a rectorial address in 1922 he seems to have expected his audience to be familiar with it.

a rose for summer

Apparently the summer solstice and the full moon coincide tonight, so here’s a white rose – a rose for summer and white for the moon.

white rose

White roses always make me think of this line in Laurie Lee’s Home From Abroad:

The hedges choke with roses fat as cream.

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love stories

With today being Valentine’s Day, it was easy to decide what type of poetry to take to the open mike last night. But so much of my poetry comes under the broad scope of love poetry, and it’s a genre that comes in so many shapes, styles and sizes that it was less easy to decide exactly which pieces to read. In the end, I chose a short set, which I hoped told some kind of story.

coral red japonica flowers
For the blog, I’ve made a slightly different selection, grouping together a number of pieces I’ve posted before, a couple that have been published in magazines, and a couple that have never really aspired to do more than just lurk in my files.
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I came across this gorgeous rosebud recently: a vivid splash of colour on an essentially monochrome day.

single flame-coloured rose bud
The weather had been erratic and I was sure there would be a storm within a few hours that would destroy the flower’s perfection; I wondered fleetingly whether the house owners would miss it if I “removed” it before that could happen. Instead, I settled for taking pictures.
Continue reading “temptation”

grammatically modified gardening

pink rose bud
I was awake earlier than usual today so decided to get straight on with some gardening then send some emails before getting washed and dressed.

Still bleary-eyed when I sat down at the computer, I misplaced my modifiers.

I fear, therefore, that at least one poor soul has been greeted this morning with a message telling them that “I’ve been dead-heading the roses in my pyjamas.”

I’m not going to post a photo of me in my pyjamas, but I hope these pictures help to clarify that the roses are in the garden, not in my nightwear.
Continue reading “grammatically modified gardening”