My rose garden is glorious right now—and I’m reveling in it. In my part of Down Under it’s autumn, and this is the second flush to follow the first burst of blooms in spring—though I’ve had roses in the garden all through summer.
|There's something special about a perfect, pink rose!|
For several years, I was the editor of a gardening magazine. I sent photographers and writers to beautiful gardens all over Australia. Sadly, I rarely got to leave my desk to see them for myself. When the images came in, I’d “ooh” and “ah” along with the rest of the office. My favorites were always the large country gardens with lots of roses—and boy did I envy the owners!
|At last! My very own country rose garden...|
I still can’t believe my luck in now having a country rose garden of my own. We bought our little farm to keep horses (my daughter’s passion) but the bonus was that it came with a beautiful garden planted with lots and lots of roses.
|Miss Cindy thinks she's way more beautiful than any rose!|
There are other beautiful plants, too, in fact we have flowers all year round thanks to the foresight of the lovely lady who sold us the house.
|We planted Double Delight for its heady scent|
Although we “inherited” most of the roses, we’ve also planted new plants of our own choice. We didn’t just choose for looks, we also considered perfume. In full bloom, the scent wafting inside from the roses is intoxicating!
|I don't know the name of this David Austin English rose but isn't it beautiful?|
On the gardening magazine, we interviewed rose experts from all over the world. Some roses were recommended over and over again: Lamarque, a white climber that has been delighting gardeners since 1830; Gold Bunny (who couldn’t love a rose named after the Lindt chocolate Easter bunny!); Zephirine Drouhin, a shocking pink climber with a sensational scent; Pierre de Ronsard, an exquisite pink cabbage-rose; New Dawn, a vigorous climber.
|Zepherine Drouhin really is that color|
I’m pleased to say they’re all in my garden—along with a wonderful collection of David Austin English roses which I am gradually identifying.
|New Dawn clambers over the arch|
|A selection from my garden picked a few weeks ago|
Of course abundant roses don’t come without some work. Pruning all those roses is a big job, but thankfully my husband has become interested and tackles most of it.
|They look beautiful inside as well as in the garden|
Fertilizing is important—roses are described as “gross feeders” which really does sound gross, doesn’t it? Our horses and miniature Dexter steers help out there—sometimes by direct deposit into the garden bed when my husband lets them into the garden to enjoy long grass!
|Thanks Toby for help with fertilizer!|
With all this interest in roses, I guess it was inevitable I would call a heroine “Rose”. In my latest release Reinventing Rose, the heroine’s gardening-crazy father names her Rose and her sister Daisy. (If he'd had a son, he would have called him Bud.)
Of course Rose tires of references asking does she see the world through rose-colored glasses, is she blooming, etcetera, etcetera. But she is perhaps guilty of viewing her parents’ marriage through rose-colored glasses and has to come to terms with some surprising truths in the book before she can get her complicated love life on track and get her happy-ever-after ending.
What about you? Do you like roses—or do you think they’re over-rated? Is another flower your favorite? Has anyone ever surprised you with flowers for a special occasion? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment for a chance to win a free download of Reinventing Rose.
Don’t forget to include your email address if you want to be in the draw.
Kandy Shepherd writes fun, feel-good fiction.
Her new contemporary womens fiction e-book, Reinventing Rose, is available for $2.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Smashwords, and other e-book retailers.
Kandy’s romances include the Amazon bestseller The Castaway Bride, Something About Joe, and the award-winners Love is a Four-Legged Word and Home Is Where the Bark Is.
Visit Kandy at her website