Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What a glorious day!

This is the sort of day where you just feel like sitting outside in the fresh air and sunshine and drinking champagne! Cheers to delightful spring weather! And cheers to roses blooming in the garden!

Earlier this year (28 February), my gorgeous daughter married her longtime partner in a little church amongst the vineyards of the Hunter Valley. She wore around her neck a string of crystals given to my 83 year old mother when she was 3 and which she wore to her wedding in 1948. And my daughter carried a bouquet of beautiful old fashioned roses as perfectly cupped as you would ever see! Which got us wondering if we could find roses to grow that would look the same and remind us of the wonderful day we had at the happiest wedding ever!

Of course, David Austin roses have been favourites of mine for quite a few years. And I have quite a few in the garden. So when my daughter sent me a message telling me that a flower shop in the city had a bunch of roses for sale that reminded her of her wedding bouquet, I thought I would take the camera out and see what was blooming in the garden.

So here is this morning's tour!

This is Jean Galbraith. Not exactly a David Austin, but nearly. It is a sport of Abraham Darby, developed I think by John Nieuwesteeg in Victoria. It is glorious, with apricot to yellow blooms. This particular flower had two bees inside who were laden with pollen and in a frenzy of ecstasy.

This is David Austin Lucetta. I planted this early in 2008 at the front of the house in an area that was originally gravel driveway. The earth was completely compacted and as hard as concrete to dig and this rose and Jean Galbraith above were planted into the desperately sad clay soil. Last year, Jean Galbraith very bravely put on quite a show, but Lucetta really struggled. This year, she is covered in these huge, blousey pink blooms. Such a delight, at the moment nearly my favourite rose in the whole garden. She has been quite beaten around by the wind lately but flowers on.

Here's Leander on the verandah!

I take back what I've said previously about him being stingy with blooms! However, they still do fade disappointingly after only a few days.

Another gorgeous bloom on Peace!

The yellow banksia rose has gone! Last Monday, we had such a windstorm late in the day and when I walked out the front door, I was greeted with the sight of the archway leaning at a very dangerous angle. It had been blown over by the wind, lifting the concrete footings right out of the ground. I have cut back the banksia to a stump and my job today will be to dig new footing holes. Peace was not badly affected on its side of the arch and flowers on. In fact, it is probably enjoying the extra sunlight, now that the rampant banksia is not there. Will I let the banksia grow back again? Hmm . . . haven't decided yet, but maybe not.

Now getting back to the wedding bouquet! This is a rose that I planted this year in late July. It is a David Austin called Charlotte and I bought it for its cupped creamy blooms, very like my daughter carried. It was a bare-rooted stick when I planted it and is still not even up to my knees, but it's flowering! And I can absolutely forgive it for its smallish blooms, being its first ones but I'm delighted with the colour and they are certainly cupped!! Look at this - hmm . . . maybe more balled than cupped!!

Next on my garden tour came one of my favourites! It's my namesake, Sweet Juliet. David Austin must know me! Such lovely cupped blooms, but a little more apricot than the pinks my daughter carried. I have recently planted Abraham Darby close by Sweet Juliet so I'm anticipating an apricot extravaganza in the garden soon. I just love these flowers!

Here's another of my newest David Austins, Comte de Champagne. Once again, I can forgive smallish, not terrifically petalled blooms on a plant that is hardly bigger than a seedling. And drowning in gaura about to come into flower. What a thug, nice for the bees and butterflies but it comes up everywhere!

Here's David Austin Brother Cadfael. Huge flowers with the most delicious perfume. This is growing in perhaps the most exposed corner of the garden when it comes to the winds we've had lately. And it is flowering its head off! We're getting close to the colour of the wedding bouquet roses, but these are much, much bigger!

And lastly, my Graham Thomas. Also very exposed to the wind, in fact its lattice support has all but fallen down, but it flowers and flowers and flowers.

And on a glorious day like today, looking out towards the Blue Mountains, who could blame it!

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