When the World Wearies
And Society ceases to Please
There is always
The Garden.
Merry Christmas 08:26

A Merry Christmas to all my blogger friends. I have been absent for 6 months - it felt like my last post about spending an eternal June with my mother said it all and I had nothing left to say. So apologies, especially to Suzanne who I have only seen today had been concerned about myself and Kate
It hasnt been a good year, early on finding out a dear beloved cousin had terminal cancer which made me feel completely helpless and hopeless. Thank God (or whatever being I actually pray to, probably Mother Earth) she is still here, hopefully celebrating a wonderful Christmas today with her family thanks to a drug trial. Then in October my dear friend and neighbour Gill was taken seriously ill and again thank goodness is slowly recovering. On the good side my daughter Kate has found a wonderful new love in Luke and they have been together for 7 months or so and although Kate now uses a walking stick always she is very happy which makes me very happy. We had changed solicitors (regarding her accident 7 years ago when a car ploughed into the bus shelter where she was sitting on her way to school) which was a very hard thing to do as the old solicitor had just put the case to court, but our new solicitor is very lovely who deals in brain injury and hopefully will get Kate better care for her future
Well I had better start on Christmas food preparations. Cooking is the one thing that has bought me some joy this year. During the first snow and not being able to buy any bread around where I live, I decided to buy a breadmaker and it is now a wonderful constant in my life! Freshly baked bread every morning is heavenly and unfortunately the focaccia I have been baking everyday is too yummy for words (Kate and I will have to reform ourselves in the New Year as too much focaccia definitely expands the waistline!) Below was my first attempt with sun dried tomatoes on top and it didnt last very long after this photo was taken!

Well I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and may 2011 bring all the good people what they wish for.
I again bought myself a signed Andy Murray shirt for myself for Christmas, it was for a good cause  Daniels Dream and Promise 

Can you see a theme.... this is what I bought myself last Christmas.....http://countryrosecorner.blogspot.com/2009/12/merry-christmas.html
and I also bought a used (but nicely washed by his mum Judy) t-shirt in the summer. Yes, I have a dedicated Andy Murray shirt drawer! Well he didnt win his Grand Slam, almost but not quite in the Australian Open, so hopefully in a couple of weeks he can start the New Year afresh and win what he desires. A warm thank you to Andy and his mum for the shirt (poor Judy posting 200 in snowy Dunblane a couple of weeks ago)
Below pic of Kate in the garden (I really should have removed the washing line!)
Merry Christmas Friends and until my garden defrosts I will be cooking...........

"I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June." - L. M. Montgomery 23:58

 I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June - a quote from Lucy Maud Montgomery who wrote Anne of Green Gables, and I think my heaven would be eternal June, smelling the roses with my mum.

Sunny corner where my summerhouse sits
It has been extremely hot here in my little corner of Kent, a bit too hot and humid, but next week is going to be a little cooler in the early 20 degrees with a little rain towards the end. June means roses, and old roses which are my love.

Rose of the week in my garden must be Souvenir du Docteur Jamain a climbing hybrid perpetual bred by Lacharme in 1865, parentage Charles Lefebvre x unknown. The roses are a delicious velvety plummy claret(best colour rose for a West Ham fan!), much darker than the photos suggest, and the scent is gorgeous. I moved it last year to an open position over an arch in full sun which should not be the best position for a dark red rose, but it is doing beautifully and climbing upwards with speed. You can just see it climbing up the arch in front of my summerhouse in the first photo.
This photo on the left shows the colour better, it really is a dark rose.

Another lovely rose, although not open yet, is Common Pink Moss with her amazing mossy buds growing fatter by the day.  
Old Pink Moss is a sport of Centifolia and has been around for at least 300 years. The moss is quite brown in colour and when rubbed smells of balsam. The scent of this moss rose is the same as the orignal rosa Centifolia. Daughter Kate took some amazing close ups of the garden this week for me.
Royal Wedding Oriental Poppy and in bud 

 close up of Constance Spry bud

 One of Max, our German Shepherds, tennis balls lying in the grass - which reminds me, Andy Murray is defending his Queens Title this week and is also playing doubles with his brother Jamie, so good luck boys!

Another lovely Oriental poppy in bloom this week is Pattys Plum, a shade which is difficult to describe, a sort of washed out grey/plum, the blooms look like wrinkled tissue paper. It has grown rather tall this year and I may have to move it back slightly for next year. I have grown a lot of Patty seedlings from last year and it will be interesting to see what colour flowers the seedlings turn out to be.

Another lovely poppy in bloom this week is Coral Reef below. I do love my Oriental Poppies, especially as the snails dont! They have been devastating my favourite annual poppy Swansdown, and other forms of annual poppies-they obviously dont like the hairy leaves of the orientals

In bloom this week in my garden, Roses Constance Spry, Mme Gregoire Stachelin,Reine des Violettes, Masquerade, Goldfinch,Iceberg,Excelsior,Fantin Latour, Rose de Rescht,Souvenir du Docteur Jamain,Zephrine Drouhin,The New Dawn,Queen Elizabeth,Gertrude Jekyll,Arthur Bell,Desprez au Fleur Jaune,Pink Perpete,Rosa Rugosa White.Blue moon,
Other flowers, various oriental poppies, hesperis matronalis, jacobs ladder, various geraniums including my favourite Ann folkard, love in a most,osteospermums,aqueligas,calendular,wisteria,clematis,oxalis,helanthiums,convolvulus,alliums,bleeding heart,peonies,foxgloves,feverfew,rosemary,french lavender,californian poppies.
June  also means Wimbledon, good luck again to both the Murray boys. Hmmm, eternal June, yes my heaven! 

Beautiful June 08:12

Well today is the 2nd of June and it is a beautiful day here in southern England. Yesterday wasnt so good, rain the whole day long, but the garden needed it(but not the slugs and snails it bought out!)Snails have left alone my lettuce and devastated instead my lovely poppy somniferum Swansdown which I loved so much in the garden last year. The snow and cold earlier in the year killed off the self sown seedlings which would have been blooming now,and snails have just adored their succulent leaves and have eaten the one patch that I wanted to be blooming soon behind my roses Madame Hardy,Heritage and Fantin Latour. But obviously the snails know this and so have eaten them all, and their replacements I put in pots covered with gravel....Amazingly 15 feet away they have left all the sowings, so I have potted on some of these, put in the greenhouse and will plant out when large enough not to be eaten! I dont use chemicals in my garden, and water in the morning rather than at night, and the snails seem worse this year than ever before. I am going to try a few remedies I have found on the internet - human hair and dry porridge oats and as snails dont like copper, I thought about putting all my spare pennies and 2p around the poppies and see if this will work!
The garden is beginning to come alive and blooming the week beginning 1st of June 2010 are:-
Roses Constance Spry,Desprez a Fleur Jaune,several Iceberg,The New Dawn,Pink Perpete,Zephrine Drouhin,Reine des Violettes,Gertrude Jekyll,Madame Gregoire Stachelin, with lots more roses about to burst into bloom.
lychnis alpina, iberis
various aquilegias,white,mauve and yellow flag iris
euphorbia,honesty,geranium phaeum,pink geranium macrorrhizum,geranium Johnsons blue, geranium wargrave pink, centaura montana, bleeding hearts, calendular,bluebells,lily of the valley,various clematis, veronica gentianodes, french lavender,feverfew,cerastium tomentosum(snow in summer),polemonium caeruleum(jacobs ladder) Hesperis matronalis (sweet rocket)
pink and white oxalis rosemary,black viola,violets, various allium, foxgloves,love in a mist,
shrubs and climbers various clematis, wisteria ,kerria,viburnum tinus, and fremontedendrom 

the lovely Desprez a Fleur Jaune en masse
details of  this lovely climbing tea noisette here

and close up

the glorious Constance Spry bred by David Austin in 1961, and although only once flowering,the blooms last a long time and spread over several weeks, which I grow as a climber behind a Jack and Jill bench, where the scent is just heavenly.

The beautifully old rose scent of another David Austin rose bred in 1986 Gertrude Jekyll, which is growing over an arch leading from the path onto the lawn, the arch is at an alarming angle under the weight of  Gertrude at the moment, and I just hate cutting her back!
A wooden arch will definitely have to be built before next summer (arch is to the right of Max my German Shepherd) Here he is trying to catch bees on the Phlomis Fruticos, Jerusalem Sage. The Phlomis Italica I bought a couple of weeks ago from Steve Law of Brighton Plants has flower buds appearing and I just cant wait to see the lovely pink blooms (a plant which I have wanted for ages and ages!)

Zephrine Drouhin, a Bourbon climber bred in 1868 by Bizot climbs over another arch.It is a thornless rose and I have moved her so many times over the years, at last she has found a place she loves and is doing very well this year.
the very beautiful Madame Gregoire Stachelin blooms are still dripping from the Potager Pergola along with the last of the wisteria for this year. It was purely accidental I placed these together and they are a lovely sight at this time of the year, and the scent as I walk through the pergola on the way to the greenhouse is heavenly! Although she also only blooms once, each individual rose lasts a long time and there are still lots of buds to come.
Daughter Kates lovely boyfriend Luke took some lovely photos of the garden and pets last week = he has made Max look very noble. All photos below and the header one of Max are Lukes work. Thank you Luke!

Roses roses everywhere 14:29

Well the first roses have started to open, and Madame Gregoire Stachelin also known as Spanish Beauty was the first to bloom.

What isn't obvious with the photos is that each bloom is around 5 or 6 inches across. I am not sure who the original Madame Gregoire Stachelin was, but she is an English Beauty in my garden.
This rose was bred in 1927 by Pedro Dot. and is a cross between Frau Karl Druschki, a strong growing white popular in the early part of the 20th century and the weak growing but well scented Chateau de Clos Vougeot with deep red flowers on  nodding stems. You can see how the large blooms of the Madame nod downwards on the pergola in my potager. Pedro Dots other claim to fame is the lovely cream flowered Nevada.

Flowering at the same time is a lovely delicate rose Desprez a fleur Jaune, whose flowers are not really yellow at all but a really delicate cream and with a beautiful scent. It is a  Climbing Tea Noisette and was bred in 1830 by Desprez/Sisley and is a hybrid of Blush Noisette and Parks Yellow Tea Scented China.. The blooms are abaout 3 inches or so across but there are loads and loads of buds ready to open and will cover this climber.

One of the buds looks rather pinkish in the middle and I had to check that it wasnt Iceberg which is growing nearby with Pink Perpete growing in between the two.
It has a really lovely scent and Max my German Shepherd was climbing up with me to have a smell. He is a funny dog and loves to smell flowers, he is like a big baby really and likes to do what his mummy is doing.

Iceberg is the next one flowering below, and looks rather similar to Desprez at the moment, but give it a couple of days and it will be smothered and dripping with gorgeous ivory tinted pink blooms.
Iceberg is also known as Fee des Neiges and Korbin, and is a repeat floribunda bred in 1958 by Kordes in Germany and is a cross between Robin Hood a Pemberton bred hybrid musk 1927 and Virgo a large flowered hybrid tea 1947. In 1983 it won the Worlds Favourite Rose Award, and it was the very first rose I bought. We always had Icebergs in our family home and I have always loved it, so when I moved here around 29 years ago and had my very own garden I bought not one but several, bush and climbing varieties. They always look a spectacular sight in my garden and always bloom up to Christmas for me. David Austin used Iceberg for some of his most lovely roses the Heritage strain I think.

The rose that took me by surprise while walking up one of the paths this morning was Gertrude Jekyll, a David Austin rose that I have had for several years and along with Iceberg must be my favourite. There are about 200 buds already on Gertrude and she climbs up an arch along with another Iceberg but I hadnt noticed one of the blooms open until I was taking some photos of the garden this morning. David Austin introduced this beautiful rose in 1986 and it has the most wonderful old rose fragrance and along with the Rugosas must have the most beautiful scent in the world of Roses.David Austins website states it is a short climber - he wants to come and see mine,there is nothing short about it! This photo doesnt do her justice, if only it was smellyvision blog! After the sad day of yesterday (mums 3rd anniversay of her death) my heart is lifted today by my roses and the anticipation of everyday to come, with about 70 odd different varieties of roses to bloom.

My mum and me 23:05

In memory of my mum, photos of me and her through the ages, from 1954, me the premature twin (who looks rather fat at 3 months old!)

,A year later, 1955 pointing at grandads chickens

1957 or 8

Mums 30th birthday  1959, with me and my younger brother Bill 

early 90s

about 1996, I dont think I have any later ones as either one or the other of us was always behind the camera.  Betsy Cooper Golding 1929-2007

Mountains and Rainbows 21:35

My lovely friend and neighbour Gill sent this to me tonight which was lovely of her, thanks Gill, a lovely thoughtful friend  xxx
If I could catch a rainbow
I would do it just for you
And share with you its beauty
On the days you're feeling blue.

If I could build a mountain
You could call your very own;
A place to find serenity,
A place to be alone.

If I could take your troubles
I would toss them in the sea,
But all these things I'm finding
Are impossible for me.

I cannot build a mountain
Or catch a rainbow fair,
But let me be what I know best,
A friend who's always there. 

Missing Mum 17:40

Today is the third anniversary of my dear mother Betsy Cooper Golding passing away. People say it gets easier but I think it gets harder. Been in the garden all day where mum loved to be, and where I feel her near me.
Love you and miss you mum xxx