I like roses. It's not very green of me, but I can't help it. It must be something in my European blood that says, 'here is a rose, you will like it.' (I like to say 'European', because it sounds better to me than 'English.' Four hundred years ago some of my family was French, I'll take it!) The love of roses is a bit like the way I like cats even though they are so environmentally devastating. My most favourite roses are David Austins, and of those I love the pale pinks, the yellows, the 'latte' colours. I chose all these colours when D and I married, and even after six years I still sigh over our cake and bouquet photos. Those are some of the colours I would like in our front garden.
Today, MIL and I went for a drive out to a rose nursery in the nearby countryside. To say we were impressed is an understatement. There were thousands of plants. Thousands and thousands of them. Even though most of them had a very 'end of season' unkempt and shabby air, there were still enough flowers to get an idea. In summer that place must be amazing. I loved all the names, the romantic 'Careless Love', the fun 'Cherry Vanilla' and the slightly silly 'Daily Mail Scented'. I wondered who 'Mme Kriloff', and 'Lillie Marlene' were, and in what way was was Jude Obscure? My favourite ground cover roses were 'The Grouse' and 'The Partridge'. And how about the species roses 'Fruhlingsduft' and 'F.J. Grootendorst'; now there's some names with oomph! But, I'm sorry, I think 'Crepuscule' is a terrible name for a rose. I cannot look at it without mentally changing to 'Crap-pustule,' which conjures up all sorts of images.
Anyway, we picked up a copy of their catalogue - it's 60 pages long, and there are no pictures - and I've been browsing through it and making my rose wish list. I'm going to have to rein in my list at some point, try to get it under 30 varieties for a start, but it's fun to dream for now. Top of the list, and unlikely to fall off because they have been favourites for a long time, are:
[all following photos are from http://www.davidaustinroses.com/australian/]
Graham Thomas (David Austin rose)
Jude the Obscure (David Austin rose)
William Morris (David Austin rose)
St Cecelia (David Austin rose)
Strawberry Hill (David Austin rose)
and lastly, Julia's Rose (Hybrid Tea rose) (photo from: justourpictures.com, this, by the way, is a beautiful site to look at rose photos)