My eldest daughter, Diane, arrived with her middle daughter, Caitlin, and set to the clipping and weeding that Betsy couldn’t finish. Now the Peony Bed is weeded and clipped, the Cottage Bed is clipped and the front of the house is neat because my husband came home early to do a final mowing before the promised rain falls. I was forced to stand straight and supervise. I am very fortunate to have such good daughters – and granddaughter.
In the meantime the Shed Bed, next to the chicken house, has come into full bloom. ‘Leda’ is more luxuriant than ever. Because of the crimson trim on the white petals ‘Leda’ is known as a painted damask.
‘Mary Rose’ is one of David Austin’s early, hardy roses named after Henry VIII’s flag ship that was raised from the deep after 400 years – just when Austin needed a new rose name.
Mrs. Doreen Pike worked for David Austin in the office. She must have been a great employee because he named this ever dependable rose ‘Mrs. Doreen Pike’ in her honor.
There is a photo of ‘Belle Amour’ in Classic Roses by Peter Beales and for once my ‘Belle Amour’ looks just the the photo. Beales says that while she is probably related to the Albas, she is listed in his book as a Damask because she is so thorny and the foliage has a slightly grey cast.
While my husband finished the mowing, Caitlin put the finishing touches on the house, painting both doors with a new coat of French Blue. Blue doors are part of my French fantasy of being a housewife in Provence, cooking with fragrant herbs, gathering eggs warm from the hen, bottling up jams made with my own raspberries and feeling gratitude for the riches of the earth.