It was raining as I entered Rogers Rose Garden in Hamilton Gardens, New Zealand. Not great for taking photographs as I was constantly wiping the lens, but the scent was perfect. This must be one of the largest rose gardens I have visited. It may seem a bit odd for an English person to seek out a rose garden abroad when we have so many gorgeous English roses, but I love roses and I was keen to see what the Kiwis did with them.
And I am glad that I did. The birds sang despite the rain. The flowers nodded their heads and the rain-drops dripped gently – this was a summer rain, soft and wet, not cold and heavy. It settled like dew upon the velvet petals. The garden was a kaleidoscope of colour.
I wandered through the beds of old fashioned roses featuring some of the roses that Empress Josephine grew at her estate, called Malmaison. There are Species Roses too – the source of the Modern Rose.
Persian Roses, Chinese Silk Roses, Roses of the New World and Roses of the Ancient World are grown at either side of the pathway leading to the open pergola beyond.
For the last fifty years ‘Peace’ has remained the world’s most popular rose. Bred by Francis Meilland (1912 – 1958) it has a long and romantic history. With its delicate shades of yellow and cream, flushed with pink and a light fragrance it is at its most beautiful when fully opened with the large globular blooms.
Some of the roses were showing signs of decay but the fading blooms still have a beauty of their own.
I hope you have enjoyed this step into summer-time in the southern hemisphere. I know that I was happy to bring back the colours and fragrances to keep me going until the roses once more bloom again in the north.