June 11, 2010


The month of June is when my flower gardens are most beautiful; I try to have perennials blooming throughout the season, but nothing can compete with all these happening at once: the roses, peonies, and irises, the white flowering viburnums, the Miss Kim lilac, the blue flowers of baptisia and the frothy yellow blooms of lady's mantle. The roses are early this year, so I will get to enjoy them for a while before the insects start chewing. Some of the roses were here when I moved in, like the wild pink rose you see above, and the two below. You can see the canes of this single pink growing along roadsides, in fields, even in the woods. Here, it sends up very tall, arching canes from the stone wall alongside my house, looking very pert and pretty with its single pink flowers.

This is a very small double wild rose growing in the backyard. It was a lot of work to make what had been a mass of weeds and rose canes into a circular bed of tiny flowers sparkling in the center of the yard.

A truly wonderful double red rose is now a large shrub on the east side of my house, where it is protected from the harsh winter winds. I had found some rose branches growing in the lawn to the west of the house, where they are constantly being mowed down, so I transplanted a couple of pieces and have been rewarded with this old fashioned, deeply scented flower. It doesn't keep long in a vase, but is worth bringing in anyway because of its wonderful fragrance.

I planted these last two rugosas myself, from bare root stock, and they've done pretty well here. The white is growing along the stone wall at the rear of my backyard; I love its delicate papery blooms and the buds in very pale pink. Luckily I don't mind it spreading, because it's a very vigorous plant. It's a perfect height for the spot, growing only about 3 feet tall, while the pink below, growing along the west wall of the barn, is a tall rose, beautiful against dark wood. The stamens of these roses are a gorgeous, furry deep yellow, little feet waving about in the air, attracting busy pollinating insects, who have interests other than aesthetic in visiting the flowers.


  1. I'm just imagining the scent of that double red rose beauty Altoon!
    All that hard work...yet the reward is considerable I imagine....and the pleasure of seeing it come to life this time each year.
    When I lived years ago in a very old and crumbling (formerly quite grand) house in Melbourne the gardens were also grand but gone to rack and ruin...but over the 5 years I was there i coaxed life out of parts of it and delighted in the discoveries that were to be had. It remained a bit wild and hard to manage but there was a sense of having my own secret garden that I adored.
    The climate was right for roses and there were small white ones growing on a very large trailing bush.
    Cold winters can be taught but the gardens does seem to like it... and so many plants I had down south I would never even think of planting here in the sub-tropics!
    Beautiful shots of your blooms!

  2. Sophie, the experience with the overrun garden in Melbourne sounds as though it was very special, challenging in finding the gems amid the dross. It's funny to think of Melbourne as cool, but I suppose as compared to Brisbane it has a temperate climate. I remember seeing beautiful gardens when I was there many years ago.

  3. Love seeing your roses, Altoon...special images.

  4. how about some panoramic views of your garden?

  5. My only rose has come and gone already with this speeded up season. Nothing like the fragrance of these old roses; it is the reason for taking all the time and trouble to grow them! Mine is a small, white semi-double whose fragrance is so strong that it gives me a headache if I try to wear it as a boutonnier!