Late May gift

A funny capricious day — first it rained (so we made a fire in the woodstove, prepared to be indoors all day), then the sun, then rain again. Clear now, and warm enough to tie up poppies, plant out the last of the squash seedlings into their box in the vegetable area where I have old windows over them for a few days yet.

But then this, on the upper deck:

It’s “Abraham Darby”, one of David Austin’s English roses, growing in a big pot. A little black spot on the leaves — it’s been a very damp spring! — but the bush is loaded with buds and they are as lovely as any rose I’ve ever seen. But then I say that about almost every rose I grow. The old moss roses, ruffled and clear pink, smelling the way roses used to. The gallicas, particularly the velvety purple “Tuscany Superb”, another David Austin called “Winchester Cathedral”, white with a flush of pink at the heart, and which smells like Johnson’s Baby Lotion. Deep red “Dark Lady” (yet another David Austin cultivar), soft pink “Heritage” . . . There’s almost nothing as nice as a bowl of roses on the dining table, ruffled and full-blown, losing their petals gracefully.

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