Thursday, 5 July 2012

The Scented Garden - Roses

My Sweet Rose
by
John Wm. Waterhouse

The fragrance of the sweetest rose is beyond any other flower scent, it is irresistable, enthralling; you cannot leave it.  I have never doubted the rose has some compelling quality not shared by other flowers.  I do not know whether it comes from some inherent witchery of the plant, but it certainly exists. (Alice Morse Earl)


Rose - Zephyrine Drouhine

A single flow'r he sent me,
since we met,
All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet -
One perfect rose.
(Dorothy Parker)

Gather Ye Rosebuds while ye may
Old time is still a-flying
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying
by
John Wm. Waterhouse
Elusive, mysterious, the fragrance of roses and the romance surrounding it, is legendary.  Cleopatra supposedly entertained Mark Anthony in a room filled with 18 inches of rose petals, and the sails of her ship were soaked with rose water so that 'the very winds were lovesick'.

Rose - Albertine
Which is loveliest in a rose?
Its coy beauty when it is budding,
or its splendour when it blows?
(George Barlow)

In general, the most highly scented roses are the ones that are either darker in colour, have more petals to the flower, or have thick velvety petals.  Rose fragrance will be strongest on warm, sunny days when the soil is moist, because that is when the production of the scent ingredients increases.  Often a rose that was fragrant in the morning is no longer so by the afternoon.


Rose - name unknown
The rose looks fair,
but fairer we it deem for that
sweet odour
which doth in it live
(William Shakespeare - Sonnet 54)

As you can see from the pictures, all the scented roses in my garden are pink, and very similar in colour.  They are all highly fragrant and this is why I chose them.   What cottage garden would be complete without scented roses. 

Rose - Gertrude Jekyll
Though youth gave love and roses,
Age still leaves us friends and wine.
(Thomas More)



28 comments:

  1. I share your passion for roses. I know they are no longer fashionable - but I do so love them. I share you love of the Pre Raph painters too. Think Millias is my favourite.

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    1. I suppose roses are a little old-fashioned but you can't beat them for scent. You're right I do love the Pre-Raphs but have only just discovered Waterhouse who was a little later than the others. I intend doing a post on him and his pictures some time in the future on my Life in the Slow Lane blog - watch this space.

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  2. I am a rose lover we a lovely scented climber over our bungalow front door. I wondered if we took the scent of flowers and bottled it, would it be the same... no not in my opinion

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    1. Ah - the archetypal rose-covered cottage (or in your case, bungalow). I couldn't even begin to describe the scent of a rose, let alone bottle it.

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  3. There's nothing to beat them is there? I've been to Sissinghurst and Mottisfont at rose time they were wonderful. xx

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    1. I wouldn't want a garden full of them but the right rose in the right place is a thing to behold. I'm off to Hidcote next week hoping to see and smell lots there.

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  4. I can't imagine a garden without scented roses - I have a sort of obsession with them! And a rose without scent is only 1/2 a rose really isn't it!

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    1. I inherited a few roses with the garden, alas no scent, but still pretty - but as you say only half a rose. I would never buy one without scent, burying your face in a rose and taking a deep sniff is what it's all about.

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  5. Very pretty, Elaine and such a lovely thumb (1st photo). And who cares whether or not they are fashionable, eh? I've given up on Zephirine Drouhin twice now. Both times I found it just too prone to rust and blackspot. A shame as it's such a smashing rose otherwise - and, of course, thornless. Ho hum. D

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    1. I had to hold the roses up as they were all bowing their heads with the weight of all the rain. My ZD is practically leafless - when it has finished flowering I am going to cut it down to the ground as it was growing through a hedge - and part of the hedge died leaving it stranded and looking pretty stupid.

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  6. Hi Elaine. Your roses are so beautiful. I cannot imagine my garden without them and their fragrance either. I have had Zephyrine Drouhine on my list but after reading David's comment about having disease problems I may change my mind.Until I read this I had heard only good reports from the rose. Do you have problems with yours besides having to cut it back?

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    1. Sadly it does suffer from blackspot Lona that's why I grew it through a hedge so that it wouldn't be as noticeable. It does have a wonderful fragrance which sort of makes up for it.

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  7. Lovely roses, hope they are coping with all this rain.

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    1. Not really Crystal - as soon as the flowers open the petals are just falling straight off - bloomin rain

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  8. I like roses and have a couple on the plot. Sadly I have a poor sense of smell so their fragrance is usually lost on me.
    Flighty xx

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    1. Oh that's a shame - so you've got no idea what I'm talking about then.

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  9. Your roses look beautiful. Mine are suffering from rain and black spot.

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    1. Mine are suffering too Kelli - I just managed to photograph them on a good day.

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  10. Oh I do wish I could grow Roses...but we are too high up and our soil is too wet. Lovely post!

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    1. I can sympathise with you Bridget - the rain this year has ruined most of the rose flowers

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  11. There's nothing quite like a sweet smelling rose, is there. Especially when there is such a range of scents -- wish I could properly describe the differences. Your Zeph looks very pretty. Tried growing her here but she didn't like it. Oddly enough, my two strongest scented roses are Double Delight and Jude the Obscure - both pretty light coloured roses.

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    1. I was first introduced to the Zeph many years ago when a gardener gentleman friend brought me a single rose into my office for me - I never forgot the name or the perfume and was determined to have my own one day - now it is free of the hedge that it was scrambling through it may have a chance of showing herself off properly.

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  12. I love the time-lapse video. Isn't nature amazing!

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    1. I agree - it's good to see the mechanics of flowers opening - I mean - how long would you have to stand there to actually see it happening.

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  13. All that's missing from this post is the scent. Beautiful illustrations - I have the first one in the shape of a bookmark :)

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    1. Wouldn't that be something - to be able to click on 'scent' when you were doing a post about fragrant flowers. I think I'll write to Microsoft and suggest it! Ha.

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  14. sure wish there was a smell button on these computers..beautiul post..
    devon
    www.devonstitching.blogspot.com

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    1. Exactly how I feel - I can't see a rose without having a good sniff at it.

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