Wine and Roses

They are not long, the days of wine and roses
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.
~Ernest Dowson, from “Vitae Summa Brevis” (1896)


‘Rose de Rescht’

As I walk down the steps into the lower garden, the air is adrift with the scent of roses in the sun. The heady fragrance of the old fashioned ‘Rose de Rescht’ lining the deck garden perfumes the air around it. The lighter notes of English rose ‘Tamora’ greet me as I turn to the peach and blue area of the garden. ‘Winter Sunset’ displays its classic tea rose form but is a hardy soul, bred for Iowa winters by Griffith Buck. Lilies are beginning to bloom too and they add their scented song to the mix. A cascade of single white flowers covers the fence where hybrid musk rose ‘Darlow’s Enigma’ reigns beneath the shadow of a mulberry tree, intertwined with the purple and white blossoms of Clematis vit. ‘Venosa Violacea’, the perfect companion for roses. Tiny sweet clusters of plum purple flowers cover ‘Sweet Chariot’ rose, backed by the stars of Clematis ‘Margo Koster’ weaving through the arms of eastern ninebark ‘Diablo’ (Physocarpus opulifolius). The Carpet roses are putting on a show – Rainbow, Coral, Pink – and what they lack in scent, they make up for in extravagance of bloom.rosy_hillside

This is the most romantic time in the garden, some areas featuring a Valentine of pinks and reds and whites and in others, spouting a fruity concoction of “pink with attitude” – coral, peach, and apricot mixed with purples and blues. Roses scramble over fences and through arbors, intertwined with clematis and surrounded by lilies. The days of roses may not be long, but they are lovely to the eye and fragrant to the nose. Though fleeting, their presence in the garden is a treasure long remembered. Enjoy viewing some of the blooms of mid-June, click on any photo to see a full size image. (All photos ©2016 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved)

It is Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, sponsored by May Dreams Gardens.  Take a peek at some other gardens around the world to see what is blooming in June.

It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside. ~ Maud Hart Lovelace

A little music while you view? Peggy Lee sings “Days of Wine and Roses” 

22 thoughts on “Wine and Roses

    • Thanks, Jason. GC is remarkably hardy for a yellow, more of a butterscotch shade, and it blooms on and off all summer. I grew a lot of Austin English roses in my previous garden but moving here to a Zone 5 microclimate was a bit of a shock. It’s taken a while to find roses that will survive the winter.

    • Glad you enjoyed, Diversifolius! Actually, the song The Days of Wine and Roses began running through my mind as soon as the roses began blooming. However, I was surprised to find that the phrase was penned by an English poet in the 19th century, inspiring the name of the movie and the song. Yet his verse is so much more nuanced and reflective of how I envision my garden. Another of his poems inspired the book Gone With the Wind – who knew? My research has made me a fan of Dowson’s poetry – always looking for inspiration 🙂

      • I had no idea about the song or the poem! Of course, I went right away after reading your post to find more about Dowson 🙂

    • Garden337, thank you for visiting and I’m delighted to meet another musical gardener! Yes, I am indeed a composer, and a singer too. If you click on the Music link under Categories, you’ll see some of the posts that use or focus on my music. Or go to the “Music and Garden Videos” tab at the top of the page- the first 7 videos feature my compositions. Enjoy!

    • Thank you, Tootlepedal; the garden has just moved into a new flush of bloom. The post was inspired by the song, but until I did the research, I didn’t realize that the song (and the movie) were inspired by Dowson’s poem.

  1. Gorgeous! I love your garden design and composition gifts, as you know, Lynn, but your photography is also outstanding! I can smell these roses, and am happy to learn about Winter Sunset, too. I may have to give that one (or several of them) a try. Thank you for the beautiful tour and pause in my busy day. You’re right, everything in the garden flows by so swiftly…how lovely to be present to the beauty passing by you.:)

    • Kitty, the Griffith Buck roses are super hardy; he tested them without protection in the Iowa winters, so they should do well for you. Many have a hybrid tea form but one of my favorites is Prarie Sunrise, which looks like a peach colored Austin English rose but is very hardy. I grow all my roses on their own roots; if they get knocked back in winter, they regrow true to name.

      Glad you enjoyed the photos; this is one of my favorite moments in the garden season 🙂

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