Archive for the ‘my house’ category

Better late…

May 10, 2010

 In past years I have tried to chronicle the blooming of the Canary Bird Rose as a sign that spring is on the way (it’s generally one of the first to flower).  But this year it was very late indeed…

Unfortunately the one outside my front door has been pruned back so hard that there is no chance of it flowering at all this year;  but the big one in the middle of the Green was suddenly profusely in bloom when I got back from a long weekend away last Tuesday, 4 May.

This is about three weeks later than in 2008!

Meanwhile I have just walked through the Rose Garden in Greenwich Park (very chilly! — swathed in scarf and gloves);  not a bloom in sight, except for a pretty ‘wild’ rose and a bush of what I would have sworn was Canary Bird but they call Rosa Hibernica

Roses, roses, all the way

June 13, 2008

The idea was that I would feature each of my roses on here as they came into bloom.  However, I notice that everyone else’s are out, but in my sad shaded garden mine have been lagging behind!  Still, here are some choice offerings.

Frau Dagmar Hastrupp

This is Frau Dagmar Hastrupp, a large but delicate and fragrant Rosa Rugosa on a tall spiny bush with dark foliage.  She was bred in Germany (or Denmark, depending on which rose dictionary you read) in 1914.  There are various versions of her name – she may have been the wife of a Danish rose-breeder.  She produces only a few flowers in my garden, but battles on from year to year.  The few flowers produce spectacular large red hips.

Cornelia (or Celestial?)

I don’t know the name of this little beauty (the photo does not do her justice), as the ticket fell to bits some years ago and I dutifully copied her name onto a plastic plant label in ‘indelible’ ink which has vanished.  I think she might be Cornelia (or possibly Celestial), although she’s better looking than the pictures in my books.  She straggles bravely in a pot, as I have nowhere to plant her out.

Madame Hardy

And here is Madame Hardy, who dates from 1832 (France), a beautiful damask rose which does very well in my little bed, growing bigger every year and producing dozens of these aristocratic white flowers with a green eye, with several layers of petals (the confusing technical term is ‘fully double’).  She smells wonderful too.

Chapeau de Napoleon

This is my greatest pride and the first rose I planted, Chapeau de Napoléon, a ‘moss rose’ imported from France in 1826 but supposedly found growing wild in Switzerland in 1820.  It’s named from the tricorne-hat-shaped buds which are covered in prickles like a horse chestnut (and, strangely, smell of apple).  Every year, I think it’s had it, as it clings forlornly to the fence, then late in the day it produces just a few of these incredibly luxurious cabbagey blooms, which have a scent that is out of this world.

Juliet's mighty invader!

Finally, to put things in perspective, this is my next door neighbour’s climbing rose, probably a ‘Kiftsgate’, which she put in only a few years ago and now must have climbed twenty feet up her tree.  I regularly have to lop off eight- or ten-foot shoots as they invade my space!  In fact she says she has to come round to my garden to see it, as it grows more on my side of the fence than hers.

One day I will move to somewhere that has lots of space and lots of sunshine, and then I will be able to justice to my love of old-fashioned roses.  Meanwhile I do what I can…

Carpet (at last)!

January 4, 2008

As you may well recall, one day in July 2007, it rained.  And rained.  In my house, the rain came through the roof, through the ceiling of the upstairs loo, through the floor, and through the ceiling underneath it, which fell down.  This is the sight that greeted me when I came home late that night.


Finally, thanks to the insurance company (I love loss adjusters! – he had taken time out from wading up to his waist in water in flooded houses in Yorkshire, to trouble himself with my minor catastrophe), I now have a redecorated ceiling, repainted walls in sitting-room and kitchen, and a nice new Berber carpet from John Lewis – long overdue (the old carpet had been disgusting ever since I moved into the house in 1992 and couldn’t afford to replace it then after I had done the rewiring, re-plumbing, central heating, redecorating and all that.  The previous owners had four cats and four dogs… you can imagine what the carpet was like).