It's a special privilege to harvest roses from one's own garden any day of the year. On May 16, for the Celebration of Old Roses, I knew it was going to be slim pickings though, since my roses were almost spent. Several shrubs only had one rose to offer, but in the end, the bouquet I made for our flowernotes display table managed to include seventeen exquisite members of genus rosa.
I'm kind of sentimental about these bouquets, because the offering always has so much history whether it's from a gardener's point of view or from rose history itself.
I fell in love with Madame Hardy in an ancient church yard, on an overcast day in England.
I first saw The Swamp Rose, R. palustris, in Marilyn Wellan's Louisiana garden. I thought it was a spirea with thin elegant leaves, as it hadn't bloomed yet. This sweet thing is my latest favorite– just look at those elegant buds.
The wonderful Perle d'Or, a must for every rose garden, in my humble opinion. It took me a long time to figure out how to get this to grow. I found it's best not to deadhead it, since it gets fresh growth along the panicles.
This little honey is a seedling that appeared at the foot of Kathleen in my garden. I think it would be fun to call her Carolyn Parker!
I'll tell you the names of the ten other roses in the bouquet, because they are all fabulous, and you might want to look them up on Help Me Find and even purchase them for your garden. Albertine, Shoener's Nutkana, Jeanne La Joie, Kathleen, Escapade, R. roxburghii, Pink Gruss an Achen, Apothecary's Rose, Shailer's Provence, Common Moss. I'm sorry to say, there are three I don't have names for.
As you can see, I never tire of taking pictures of such bouquets.
And here is one last shot, after I finished putting it together in the cold windy morning–always a solitary and happy time.