When the World Wearies
And Society ceases to Please
There is always
The Garden.
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

Gardening Bits and Bobs week beg 17th May 08:27

In the last couple of weeks I have bought a few gardening bits and bobs. I bid on a David Austin Catalogue on ebay from  seller  Matt  who is a really nice helpful seller   (he also has an Amazon shop) I never realised David Austin had such early catalogues (this one is 1980/81 season) and has lovely hand written notes by the previous owner.

I have wanted a Phlomis Italica

 for a long time, but have only been able to find them in a couple of places on the web, and very expensive with £10 postage.... Happily I found a blogger who runs a nursery, Steve  who had the plant in his inventory less than half price than the other places I found, and only charged minimal postage. If you are looking for some unusual plants, go to Steve, a lovely chap with some nice plants.
I have bought some more unusual veg seeds (for me that is) from another ebay seller  Premier Seeds Direct                who again has turned out be very nice and helpful and their seeds are all DEFRA registered.  I usually only grow runner and broad beans, but their selection of italian beans and tomatoes looked very scrumptious indeed! I bought Marvel of Venice, a beautiful bright yellow bean which will look very decorative in my potager ( I dont know whether they boil up yellow, I know most coloured beans usually turn to the normal green when cooked) Edit, have just received this from Kerrie and Bob - For Info yellow beans retain their colour fully when cooking, the purple and red varieties tend to bleach back towards green unless you steam them.Thanks Kerrie! 

Here are the beans ready to be planted along with my saved runner beans(the largest and darkest beans) from last year for size comparison. The material they are on is the lovely Parchment Flowers, a beautiful linen from Arthur Sanderson, which I use as a throw over my two seater swing. 
Borlotti beans were the next I bought, a lovely mottled bean
 and a dwarf French Bean Berggold

        The tomatoes were Gartenperle a tumbling heirloom,    .

  and Red Pear a cherry bell,
 which I have just potted on. I sowed rather too many seeds and fear I do not have enough friends or relatives to share with!
I also bought an Italian Beetroot  Chioggia
  which has red/white striped inner - I only tasted my own fresh beetroot last year, and was amazed how lovely freshly cooked beetroot tasted. I normally had the run of the mill beetroot in a glass jar with salads - I will never again buy, because fresh is best! Thanks to Kerrie and Bob of Premier Seeds for letting me use their images except the beetroot which I googled from BackyardGardener
Flowering this week beginning 17th May in my garden
minature narcissus, muscari (still flowering!)
arabis, alyssum saxatile. 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 (the white is my own creation, well with help from the bees.The original pink one is from old Georgian houses that were being knocked down making the small lovely old town where I was born on the Thames into a concrete monstrosity in the 1960s , and me and my dear mum 40 years ago took our spades and rescued the oxalis and peonies that were growing, which I still have now in my garden)
lilac,rosemary,black viola,violets, wisteria,all my soft fruits, vinca major and minor,kerria,viburnum tinus, and fremontedendrom which has now about 20 large waxy blooms on a 3ft stem!

The wisteria is looking beautiful and I am looking forward to my first roses blooming, I think Madame Gregoire Stachelin will be first growing up a pergola with the wisteria, although  Desprez a Fleur Jaune a beautiful climbing noisette,supposedly a little tender although not seemingly in my garden, which I bought a few years ago and moved in the autumn from under one of the cherry trees to the south wall, may just pip Madame to the post! 

9th May 2003 7.40 am 08:31

Well the dreaded day is here, 7th anniversary of my daughter Kates accident. For those who dont know (there cant be many, ive spoken about it now for 7 years, my therapy) Kate was sitting outside our close in the bus shelter on her way to school when a car hit our neighbours car who were coming out of their garage and went into the side of the bus shelter and took the bus shelter and Kate with him. Me and mum heard the crash as we always stood at the window to watch the bus pull away and know that Kate was on it ok, I ran out to find her in the road, rivers of blood already coming from her head.
7 years, left temporal lobe brain damage, frontal lobe brain damage, temporal lobe epilepsy and a knee thats crushed and mis shapen and Kate just gets on with it, bless her. Her memory is so bad she sometimes doesnt even remember she has just eaten, she cant remember all the important things that has happened in her life in the past and every day gets worse, but she has never once complained!
I am a very lucky person that I still have my daughter with me, albeit a different daughter to the one who walked out the door that day in May and I do sometimes mourn for the one I lost, the one who would have sailed through life like a breeze.. Most people probably wouldnt think there is a thing wrong with Kate and thats the way she likes it, she says it has made her a stronger person, unfortunately I cant say the same for me and her brother Damon, the last 7 years has made us snivelling wrecks, but how glad we are that we still have our Katie Blossom  with us as her grandad calls her. We are very lucky indeed.

Cherry Blossom Adrift 09:12

 Pink petals passing
Scents above so high
Painted porcelain perfection
Blossoms caress the sky

Swaying silent shroud
Suitors strolling by
Pink petals passing
Lover's gentle sigh

1999 Mary Fumento 

The garden is being littered with cherry blossom confetti at the moment. Last week the lawn was white and with the breeze it was reminiscent of the snow storms earlier in the year, and this week a beautiful pink.

The rest of the garden is a bluey/pinky/mauve with lots of honesty, geranium phaeum and lilacs blooming. I have pulled up literally hundreds of blooming honesty and geranium phaeum this week, as they grow like weeds and take the space of more gentle plants, so my council composting wheelie bin was absolutely full of them this week. I brought some honesty flowers  in, but the scent was too overpoweringly cloying and I had to throw them out. Same with the lilac, the scent indoors is too powerful, I do prefer my flowers in the garden. I always let the honesty and mourning widows geranium bloom before pulling them as sometimes a nice variation springs up. This year I have a very nice dark carmine red honesty which I will allow to seed and see if it comes true next time. The photo doesnt show its very deep dark red and looks rather washed out pink, but it is definitely nicer than the usual that seeds itself madly.

The original came from my childhood garden so it always reminds me of happier days. My self sown larkspurs are growing madly this year... I dare not pull a single one, as they are one of my favourites, also from our old family home. I have bought several named varieties over the years, but none touches my heart as the beautiful blue of my  old originals. Tomorrow is the 7th anniversary of the worse day of my life, Kates accident. I shouldnt ponder on it as she is happy and found a lovely new boyfriend albeit a long distance one again (Luke is from Hull, we are in Kent....) 
Flowering this week 2-9th May 2010 in my garden
minature narcissus, muscari
arabis, alyssum saxatile. lychnis alpina, iberis
various aquilegias,white,mauve and yellow flag iris
euphorbia,honesty,geranium phaeum,pink geranium macrorrhizum, centaura montana, bleeding hearts, calendular,bluebells,lily of the valley,various clematis, veronica gentianodes, french lavender
lilac,rosemary,black viola,violets, wisteria,all my soft fruits, vinca major and minor,kerria,viburnum tinus, and fremontedendrom about to burst its first yellow waxy buds of the year even though Ive moved it three times in the winter!
Happy gardening x