Bed Of Roses

My lovely son, the Professional Gardener, brought me home an armful of roses that he had taken from the last of the summer's display, and I've been enjoying them in a jug on the kitchen table for several days. You simply can't beat garden roses - nothing you get in a florist will ever approach the naturalness and sweet scent of garden roses. And they are all the more enjoyed now, being the last armfuls we are likely to get, - many roses continue with sporadic flowerings during the early winter, but this is the last month for really generous bunches.

As I was drinking my coffee this morning a clump of petals fell off onto the table with a soft thud, and it struck me how they are still lovely, even after they have fallen, and in fact it put me in mind of a line from Shelley "Rose leaves, when the rose is dead, Are heap'd for the beloved's bed".

Let's hope old Percy was thinking rose petals, not "leaves" in the sense that we know them, as the leathery and rather prickly leaves of the rose would make a considerably less attractive proposition as a bed. I expect it's poetic licence or something, what do I know. What I do know though, whilst we're on the romantic theme,  is that you can make your own wedding confetti from dried rose petals very easily. I did it for my own wedding quite successfully. Just gather the petals as they fall and put them in a single layer in a warm place to dry for a few days, if it's a shotgun wedding and you're in a hurry you can dry them on a paper towel in the microwave, but be careful not to overcook and brown them. And if you're not thinking of getting married, they make good pot pourri too.

The Shelley poem I mentioned is a well known favourite about the impermanence of physical things and yet how such things live on in the memory. Funnily enough I know it more as a song than a poem as I used to sing a setting of it in the school choir. Here's the full text

Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory,
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.

Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heap'd for the beloved's bed;
And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.

Percy Byshhe Shelley


  1. How thoughtful of your son, they are very pretty (including the petals on the table). Very good picture!

    Nah, wouldn't want to sleep on rose leaves either! :-)

  2. I guess we are lucky to have seasons but sometime you wish there were some that lasted longer than they do.

  3. Dear Kathy, What a very pretty Rose bouquet, and, as you say, beyond comparison with the shop-bought varieties. Too stiff, reluctant to open and rarely with scent, the shop Roses are a pale imitation of these most beautiful garden flowers. What a kind thought!

  4. I love garden roses, mine have such a wonderful perfume. Why is it the ones from florists look wonderful, but there is just no perfume which spoils them completely. Dciane

  5. Hello! Greetings from a small scale ethical flower grower in England. I just love that poem. Here's another for you.“
    A White Rose” by JB O’Reilly

    The red rose whispers of passion,
    And the white rose breathes of love;
    O, the red rose is a falcon,
    And the white rose is a dove.
    But I send you a cream-white rosebud
    With a flush on its petal tips;
    For the love that is purest and sweetest
    Has a kiss of desire on the lips.

    Hope you like it.

  6. thanks Sharon
    Indeed Rob, indeed
    Thanks Edith, I so agree,
    Yes indeed Diane, garden roses everytime for me too

    hello benjiboy, what a lovely poem, thanks so much for contributing that, not one that I know at all, but lovely

    Thanks John, you're so kind

  7. Pretty roses! I like it. I also have roses on my garden. Thanks for sharing.



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