I’m amazed at the developing buds on this rose.
It doesn’t seem to be able to accept that this is the time of year to go to sleep.
It must be the most lastingly splendid rose that the bush has produced all year.
Normally, one of its attractive yellow blooms has only to unfold a little to become an instant target for rose beetles.
As far as I know, the rose beetles are grubs in the soil right now.
This small but perfectly-formed rose has hung on the bush through frosts and gales.
It has a secretive air about it, as if it contained some further inner beauty that it’s withholding.
There are little drops of water tucked among the petals.
I’ve just had a second bitterly cold session pruning the rose that arches over the steps and I still haven’t finished.
I’m hoping to achieve something like the glory in the photo.
None of the roses were pruned last year because I wasn’t there. This one in particular needs a lot of care and attention.
This rose and rosehips are the very epitome of the destruction wreaked by Winter, the bloom all in tatters and the hips blackened and dessicated.
It’s Out with the Old and In with the New as the rosebush makes way for bud-break and regeneration.
But what a contrast with the beginning of Winter, before the frosts have taken their toll, when the hips are turgid and shiny and the roses have a faded beauty all their own.
I can’t say this decay makes me sad because it doesn’t. My mind is already leaping forward to the promise of new growth – and the pruning that goes with it.
It’s rather like the darkest hour being before the dawn.
I’ve got used to there being roses well into the winter, but the rose bush that produced these specimens has surpassed itself.
Its leaves have mostly gone, so the twigs are holding out red hips and red blooms like a forest of head boppers.
I wish the holly tree next door to it would take a leaf out of its book. It has six berries, all on one small branch rather hidden from view. If the birds had noticed, it wouldn’t even have those.
I wish all my visitors a JOYFUL AND PEACEFUL CHRISTMAS.
Last Christmas, when Clive was in hospital in France and I was on my own in Italy, I bought a rose-scented candle to keep me company.
This Christmas, although we’re back together, I lit the candle again.
Every time I come into the room, the scent envelops me – not faint and delicate like the perfume of the roses which still persist in the garden, but rich, creamy and heady.
The flame, flickering in my peripheral vision, adds to the feeling of cosiness.
We have a big candle painted with Nativity scenes on the other side of the room, and a freesia-scented candle to take over when this one’s finished, but this is the romantic one.