My husband found this book for me several years ago on the bargain table at the bookstore, and I treasure it for the beautiful photographs, as well as the information it contains.
I pored through the pages, promising myself that one day, I would have one of these rose bushes (or something very similar) growing in our yard. But roses have always intimidated me. I see them as the temperamental, high-maintenance queen of the botanical world. Then one day we were strolling through our local garden shop looking for a Mother's Day gift for one of our Moms, and we discovered that they were having a sell on their rosebushes. We picked out a lovely Old Garden Rose variety for my MIL, which she has really enjoyed. But while we were still looking around, I spotted a David Austin label on one of the plants, and I stopped to have a look. The flowers had already been pruned back after their first bloom, so we just had to trust the picture on the label, and the word of the garden shop's rose expert that the roses would be a lovely pink, and have an irresistible fragrance when they bloomed again. We have not been disappointed.
The nursery did not stock the rose I was originally looking for, called the "Cottage Rose". Our rose is called the "Gertrude Jekyll" rose, and it too is in my little rose book. The book's description says, "A magnificent rose and a fitting tribute to Britain's greatest woman gardener, Gertrude Jekyll has large, rich pink flowers and a well-balanced, Old Rose perfume, described as the quintessential rose fragrance". The great thing about Old Garden Roses is that their old-fashioned look is reminiscent of grandmother's garden and they have gorgeous, fragrant blooms. The other important thing is that they are quite hardy, mostly disease resistant, and have few problems with pests (unless your local deer discover them).
I love this rosebush, and I thought I would share some pictures with you today. I used these flowers on our dining room table in my Mother's Day tablescape HERE, and they really are pretty in vases scattered throughout the house, where you can enjoy their sweet perfume. Below are some pictures my husband took last year. Pretend you don't notice how our shrubbery needs pruning in the first picture ;)
Can you spot the little bug at the top of the rose in the picture below? He managed to sneak into several of the photos. I think he's also been munching on some of the foliage.
These blooms shatter easily after they've been in a vase for two or three days. So I collect the fallen petals...
... and after the remaining flowers have wilted and dried, I make potpourri. Then I can still get a mild whiff of that wonderful scent until next Spring when our trellis is again covered with these marvelous rose blossoms.
This week I'm linking to Pink Saturdays hosted by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound and Seasonal Sundays hosted by The Tablescaper. Thanks so much to The Tablescaper and Beverly for hosting these great weekly blog parties! I hope you'll take time to visit these sites and hope you have a wonderful weekend!