Sarah Coles



Pink Perpetue

Pink Perpetue

It’s like returning to a discarded lover who stayed faithful through all those years.  I was just bored with you.  IMG_3359You were so damn flowery.  Decades ago, I was told to spray you with chemicals to stop the mildew, blackspot, you name it, ‘to keep them clean’.  I never did.  But now I see you once more and find that in fact you have such variety you are never boring.  The east wall is papered with Pink Perpetue whose petals neatly fall, and Zephirine Drouhine, garish girly pink but scented, and another red.  They were here when we came.  They get black spot, like beautiful girls succumbing to acne.

Then there are two self sown climbers up the cotoneaster trees, one pink and single, the other like Rambling IMG_3396Rector and musk scented.  I saw them meandering on  the ground, and so I lifted their stems to the trees.

And there’s English Garden, both yellow and pink, and Francesca, gold and weak IMG_3397necked, IMG_3401among the flower beds, doing well IMG_3418despite the lack of full sun.  Along the fence, there’s the white climber Mrs Herbert Stevens (Granny was Mrs Horace Stephens), hard to see and best viewed from upstairs.  Too much rain and the fat creamy buds turn to slush.

IMG_3463Chevy Chase is up the holly, at the end of the garden, bright red – red is great for bouncing back at the end of a garden.  And Canary Bird who after flowering has reverted to its stock, and shoots a long stream of pale single flowers show up the other side of the holly – better really than actual Canary Bird, too short to be seen behind the shrubs.

IMG_3398And then a bright red rose at the back of the border, scentless, neglected, Nina I think, but boy she does flower, and show.  She just adds brightness.  Thank you Nina!

And no spraying ever ever.  For any of you.  Just some mulching in the winter.

Also two roses I detest, from Delbard, ordered and planted because of the swoon making descriptions of their scents in the catalogue.  Despite being given the best position and treatment, they are like unpleasant people upgraded to first class – they spend their time whining and sulking.  They hate it here.  If they haven’t died as I write, they soon will, and the carefully nurtured soil their roots lie in will be given with some Rootgrow with micorrhizal fungi to some one more appreciative.

IMG_3450Then I left my roses, and got a bus to Bentley, and walked from Bentley to Farnham.  Cottages awash with heavy scented roses.  Shrubs and hedgerows garlanded with dog roses, which spilled white and pink hearts on the path.  All, this moment, glorious profusion.


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