- Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
To-morrow will be dying. (Robert Herrick ‘To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time‘)
We have just been away for the weekend, returning on Sunday evening, so a variation was required in my usual vase routine this week; accordingly, I followed Robert Herrick’s 17th century advice to ‘seize the day’ and picked all the buds from one of my new roses, The Mayflower. This was one of a batch of container grown roses bought from David Austin at the end of August and apart from a few blooms on arrival these new buds were my only 2018 crop; however, now that we are in December I fully expected these buds to be shrivelling or ‘balling’ at any moment in the cold or rain, so had no qualms in stripping them all for the sake of a few photos while they were still smiling .
- You can imagine how much I was smiling when we got home and instead of limp stems and tight but desiccated buds I found that four of them had opened and were smiling back at me, displaying the pretty and multi-petalled powder-pink blooms that encouraged me to choose the variety in the first place, sharing a bed alongside darker pink England’s Rose. Quickly taken and of course in artificial light, a photo of the smiling vase benefits not only from the enhanced blooms but from the shadows thrown up by the ad hoc lighting conditions. The delicate nature of the original buds paired nicely with stray stems of the similarly delicate self-seeded annual grass Briza maxima but the depth of pink of the open blooms worked equally well with the soft green of the seedheads, cocking a snook at Old Time and his flying tricks.
- I hope lots of you will be cocking a snook at Old Time today too and finding something – anything – in your gardens that you could pop in a vase or otherwise display for your own pleasure – and our pleasure too, if you share it with us by leaving the usual links to and from this post.