Friday, August 1, 2008


Eiffel Tower en masse

Almost 21 years ago I was blessed with my first grandchild.
My daughter, a young woman with intuitive foresight, named
her Rose. We call her Rosie. From that moment on my fate
was sealed, the slate of my conscience wiped clean and I had
the perfect excuse to dive head first into my passion, for
roses. I bought rose books with gay abandon, not to mention
roses! Every nook and cranny is crammed full with roses. My
long suffering husband (and 50 years is a reasonable space of
time) is attacked by their thorns as he mows the grass - with
our lack of water one can not bestow the accolade of lawn upon
it. He avoids the very back gate because the rose arch is narrow
and apt to securely lock one in its thorny embrace. He has
grown wary of my rose related wiles and hardly trusts to brave
it even when assure that it has just been trimmed.

the sleeping beauty gate.

My roses are chiefly selected for their scent and some
scentimentality. How could an old Louis Armstrong fan possibly
pass up a rose glorying in the name "Blueberry Hill" or the
romantic associations of "Lilac Time". There are a few noteable
exceptions however as over the years some have entered my
terrain definitely under false pretences. When at a nursery I
spied a bare rooted rose labled "Just Joey" and could tell it was
anything but, I bought it to save someone the disappointment of
finding an interloper in their garden. That sounds very noble,
and it would have been had I not recognized it for what it was!
It was "Peace" which my farm garden still lacked. A win -win
situation. I have four others that came in sheep's clothing: one at
least is lightly scented, another , just for balance, is so thorny you
shy away at pruning time even with solid leather gloves. The other
two are neither here nor there but I still couldn't commit murder.

'Peace' graces the eastern fence.

I do my utmost to be rational about my roses. I only have 150 here
on the farm and about 60 in our 3 acre mountain garden overlooking
Adelaide. Maybe I could convince my scientist left brain but rather
intuitive withall husband that one rose per acre of farm is, after all
is said and done, quite a reasonable ratio. Hmm, sounds like a logical
enough argument doesn't it? Now where could I plant the missing
350? My garden is so crowded that even now I squeeze the vegies
in between the roses. All the members of the onion family are most
welcome among them they after all, like the brave knights of
old , fight the good fight if not against the infidel, at least against
the aphids. The triple entante of onions, Silvereyes ( a tiny native
bird that you can set your watch by, at 2.30pm during the growing
season a flock swoops to graze among the roses),and Ladybugs
make up the alliance. The tomatos are a bit of a problem. They need
more air circulation and sunlight and, let's face it, it's no great
pleasure to pick them while being held fast on both sides. Extending
the garden means digging into solid rock.....

Maybe I'll give it a miss for a while.

My all time favourite: 'the Çrocus Rose'

More about my old roses may follow at a later date.


  1. Hi Arija!! I am so enthralled by your amazing rose gardens..

    The rose arbor you picture is stunning... I would want to be in gazing view of it all day long...

    I absolutely Adore roses.... They grow here so easily with no complaints... their little prickles just remind us to give them respect... that they are not just a pretty face!! ha.....

    your photographs are stunning as well.. Ghosts.. wow... and I love your guard dog.. fun!!

    I would love to add you to my blog list!!

    take care, Gwen, on the Bay of Fundy in Canada

  2. I love roses too. I thought I had a lot of roses, 16 of them. But now I see that's it's only a small handfull compared to you!
    Crocus Rose is your favorite? I've always admired that one in David Austin's catalogue, maybe I'll get that in my next purchase. I think my favorite is Blithe Spirit.
    I too have received a rose I ordered that was actually the wrong one, but it was so cute and tiny and pink, I decided to keep it anyway, it will go nicely in my future pixie garden.
    I'd love to see more photos of your roses, it must be wonderful walking through your garden during their blooming.. especially the scent.


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