First rose of summer

The Labour Weekend holiday (this weekend in New Zealand) is traditionally a time for getting out in the garden and planting all those vegetables that can go in only after the last frost. I find that an intriguing notion – we’ll know that we’ve had the last frost for the year only when the year is over – a metaphor for life itself!

This weekend, pelting rain created a bog of our usually free-draining garden. Roaring winds scattered the garden with delicate pink cherry blossom petals. We stayed inside.

Traditionally, we washed and stored winter clothes over Labour Weekend and brought out the light, bright fabrics of summer. Not this year. I am clinging tenaciously to my layers of merino.

But nature always sends a message of hope. The first rose of summer is one of those milestones. This year it was a tie!

Blue Moon produces a pink bud. The blossom is a warm mauve colour. I love the subtle streaking of the Blue Moon bud and the soft grey of the calyx. This rose plant is not a prolific producer of flowers and every year I threaten to take it out. Then it produces a precious gem like this one and earns its right to stay another year. Okay, Blue Moon – you probably need a bit more tender loving care than I have been giving you.

Friends brought a huge bract of Cecile Brunner from Christchurch to be used for my wedding bouquet in 1972. Mum took a cutting from this bract and planted it in her Auckland garden. When I moved to Hamilton, I took a cutting from Mum’s plant and got it going at my new home. Iggy and I bought a house together and along came another Cecile Brunner cutting from my first Hamilton home. This rose was much loved by my adored grandmother. There she is each year in my garden, bringing back happy little girl memories. There she is, reminding me of myself as a very young bride. There she is, a symbol of a flourishing new life with Iggy.





6 thoughts on “First rose of summer

  1. VJ says:

    Yay for spring! (Sort of – you’d never know summer was on its way up here…) Love the blue moon bud.

  2. Blue Moon is almost like two different plants – the pink bud and the bluish flower. Glad you like it!

  3. Ana says:

    How beautiful! Roses grow really well here (it’s why we’re “the Rose City”) but I’m not sure if I would be able to manage to keep them alive. I think we might just settle for visiting the Rose Garden in the city where there are hundreds of varieties in the one place.

  4. You might surprise yourself! Blue Moon seems to be a bit fussy – and that’s why its a bit meagre in the production department, perhaps. Iceberg, a wonderful white rose starts flowering in spring (it was only a few hours behind Blue Moon and Cecile Brunner in offering its first bud yesterday) and keeps giving me massive bunches of flowers right through spring.

  5. Iggy says:

    Aw, shucks!

  6. Blue Moon told me it has been expecting a visit from you for some time – rather hoping to be sprayed and fed. Pretty please.

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