Sunday, July 28, 2013

Summer Roses

One of the true joys of summer is when garden roses come into flower.

You can't easily find garden roses in Manhattan, where I live during the week.  The roses available in the city are mostly mass-produced and imported from far away, and are bred for uniformity and longevity.  While beautiful, they are somewhat soul-less, I think.  They are too perfect.  And they often don't have a scent to them.

Garden roses, on the other hand, are blowzy and luscious, and all the more beautiful because they are not uniform.  That's their allure to me.  Another pleasure is they fill the house with their heady scent.  I love them.

We are fortunate to have garden roses available at the Farmers' Market near us in the country, from the good ladies of Cedar Farm.  Their stand at the market is always filled with gorgeous and unusual flowers, and is a must-stop destination for us every Saturday morning that we are at Darlington.  Boy has arranged a selection of garden roses that we picked up from them yesterday, and has arranged them in an early nineteenth century Anglo-Irish sweetmeat dish in our drawing room.

They will soon start dropping their petals, slowly surrendering them to the inevitable passage of time.

Ephemeral beauty.

Photograph by Boy Fenwick


  1. Reggie, I highly recommend planting a classic rose bush or two. They are quite easy, and so worth it for the fragrance that will waft in through the windows.....

  2. Yes, "old" garden roses fill the corners of my house with the scent of love. Beautiful.

  3. David Austin roses are quite nice and make a wonderful potpourri. I love the beautiful Irish crystal vase! Jane Keller

  4. Wishing for a Scratch'n Sniff laptop.

  5. Dear Reggie,
    Boy displayed these beautiful roses perfectly
    I love the scent and as you say, the blowsy lush look of them!

    2013 Designer Series

  6. Michele from BostonJuly 29, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    So lovely (speaking from someone who had two dozen spectacularly colored terra cotta roses sitting on the table for my birthday with no scent whatsoever, but the color made up for the lack of soul!)
    Darlington House must feel so empty without little Pompey. Dog people always think about other dog people during times of loss. I know it's difficult for you both, but I hope you've got a tray of those wonderful pictures of him at which to smile and remember.

  7. Luscious roses and the perfect cut glass vase = perfection! Reggie, you are spot on when it comes to recognizing the best roses. Forget those mass-produced artificial looking things, and get back to the old-fashioned scented ones. Several years ago, I was given a David Austin rose named Abraham Darby that I adore for both its looks (old-fashioned), and its scent (fruity, rather like a grapefruit). I look forward to blooming time each summer just so that I can bring a few of the luscious blooms into my home. You are so very lucky to have a selection available to you from the farmers market.

  8. Beautiful. Makes me wish I had time to stop and smell them. Glad you are enjoying your summer. David.

  9. I just saw some roses and summer flowers for sale at a roadside stand near my home yesterday. Your post inspired me to get back out there this afternoon and get some garden roses for my porch and dining room. I love the summer scent they bring into the house! Wonderful!

  10. That is a beautiful arrangement! I can almost smell the roses.

  11. That's how I feel about Davif Austin Roses. Ephemeral beauty indeed.

  12. your blog posts are like the roses- an ephemeral beauty- I stop to enjoy them- savour the pictures, read the small glimpses into your life - then go on with my day - but still the fragrance of your writing, some small perfect detail in a picture, the memory of some shared beauty stays with me -


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