Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Roses Are Red, My Love

Violets are blue..........

Well, not really because these are pink and white and lookee here, these are not blue either but lilac.
And here's another one that is not of the blue.

It's amazing what kind of nonsense people put into lyrics, isn't it? There's, as you probably know, a famous poem, or to be more accurate, song by the Scottish poet Robert Burns about love and roses:

Oh my luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June.

Lovely isn't it and oh so romantic, sigh. And it's complete and utter drivel, because at the time Robbie Burns lived, from 1759 - 1796, there were no red roses in the UK, only pink, white and magenta ones. The red (and yellow) roses came to Europe in the 19th century from China, courtesy of one Josephine Bonaparte who imported them for her rose garden at Malmaison.

So why did Robbie Burns write about red, red roses when there were none? Was he colourblind or perhaps not even on nodding acquaintance with the truth? Personally, I put it down to poetic license and cut the poor man some slack. I don't think his poem would have been as popular if he had written: oh my luve's is like a white, white rose or, even worse, like a magenta, magenta rose. Not that there's anything wrong with magenta roses, on the contrary, as clearly demonstrated here.
A lovely rose isn't it, and its scent is pure old fashioned rose scent with bells on. The name of this gorgeous magenta coloured rose? Well, Magenta! So very original, don't you think, whatever will they think of next?


If you're Scottish you can let those R's roll with gusto from your lips when you read Burns' poem out loud. Try that with pink, white or magenta rose. It just doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?

But enough of the red, red rose because here at Bliss we prefer other colours altogether like this
the drop dead gorgeous Madame Alfred Carriere, a lovely scented white with pink blush climbing rose. Or this
the breathtakingly beautiful and wonderfully scented Sombreuil, white with just a mere hint of apricot. And there's more of course, how about this one, the enchanting Moonlight. Isn't she just absolutely stunning? Such a lovely climber with sprays of tiny fragrant white flowers with beautiful golden hearts.
Here she is, basking in the sun, bless her little golden heart.

There is also a fairy tale about the rose: Sleeping Beauty. For some reason it sprang to mind when I took this picture of the roses in my front garden today. I wonder why. ;-)


And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies.
Christopher Marlowe, 1564-1593

27 comments:

Han said...

Come live with me and be my love, the Passionate Shepherd, a good old-fashioned loverboy?
One of my favourite poems!

A wildlife gardener said...

These are very beautiful, Yolanda, and in bloom so early too. Lovely photos of a fairytale house with roses round the door.

On the subject of red roses and Robery Burns...there is a species called the Scots Rose, which appeared in nursery catalogues before 1800. It came in shades of single white, single red and one with single marbled or striped flowers. Perhaps it was one of these red ones which Robert Burns wrote about.

Thalia said...

Dear Yolanda,

Those are really lovely flowers. And the write-up made me smile. :-)

Hillside Garden said...

Hi Yolanda, die weißen Rosen mag ich am Liebsten! Im letzten Jahr hatte ich die gleichen lila Stiefmütterchen, die du oben zeigst. In diesem Jahr habe ich keine Pflanzen gefunden, aber Hornveilchen habe ich getopft. Jetzt fallen sie schon um - was für ein Jahr - und werden einer Duftgeranie weichen.

Sigrun

Lis said...

Wunderbare Fotos! Ich freue mich schon auf die Rosenblüte und es wird auch gar nicht mehr lange dauern bis sie zu blühen beginnen.

Euer Häuschen sieht ja wirklich toll aus, Gratulation zur gelungenen Umgestaltung!
Lis

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Bliss,

Han: for a moment there I thought you were asking a rather impertinent question. :-)

WG: a fairytale house? I like it!
The Scots rose or rosa pimpinellifolia you mean? As far as I'm aware in 1793 there was a variety of this rose with flowers that were slightly tinged with red , but not the true red of the roses we have today. Burns was still alive at that time so it is possible that he referred to those Scots roses slightly tinged with red.

Thalia: glad I made you smile!

Sigrun: I too love the white roses best! This is a very funny year we are having. It looks like we just skipped April and May and went straight into June. Still no rain!

Lis: I'm looking forward to see your flowering roses soon!
The garden cottage is looking much better now, isn't it? I'm very happy with it.

Anita said...

Wonderful flowers Yolanda, thanks a lot for sharing those pretty blossoms! I especially ADORE the third picture with the pretty pansies!

BTW, guess what arrived yesterday morning from the NL! Oh, I am thrilled! Have a look at my blog, I finally got my forcer! And it looks sooo great! Thanks a lot for your "help" to get it!

Groetjes uit Duitsland!
Anita

Hannele said...

Very lovely Violets, I have no roses yet.

KC MO Garden Guy said...

What great pic's and comments about red roses in poetry. Don't think I am out there but the only other kind of rose that would have working in Robert Burns poem would be dead rose. My Love is like a dead, dead rose, that's surely died that cold day in December. But that changes the whole meaning and I don't think that is what the poet had in mind. I do know of a few ex's that I could send that too.

marl1 said...

MMM cryptisch die garden guy....

Ben helemaal wèg van je viooltjes en rozen.......eehhhh daar zal ik binnenkort eens een logje over maken ;-)

Bert said...

A rose is a rose, whatever coulor it has. It must give a nice scent, that's the most important character of a rose.
Yolanda, you have got very nice roses. And blooming so early.
Ciao!!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hello everybody, welcome and thanks for your comments!

Anita: those are my favorite violets, pretty in velvety purple and frilly!
I'm glad that your Rhubarb forcing pot has arrived safe and sound from the Netherlands to your garden. I hope you get lots of enjoyment out of it.

Hannele: your roses will flower for you soon enough I hope!

mr Garden Guy: you cracked me up, that was way too much information. ;-)

Marleen: goed idee, daar kijk ik alvast naar uit want dat wordt ongetwijfeld een tractatie. En wat betreft je andere opmerking, ga eens op zijn blogje kijken en all will be revealed. :-p Ik bedenk me ineens dat hij erg zal opkijken van die plotse enorme toename van Nederlandse bezoekers aan zijn blog. WTH? humor!

Ex-Shammickite said...

Lovely flower pictures, I wish my garden was so colourful, but it's early spring here in Canada, and the leaves are just starting to show on the trees.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Beautiful roses, Yolanda! In the last picture, are the purple plants in the foreground your barberry hedge? They set off the white climbing rose blooms very nicely.

By the way, in regards to the comment you left on my blog: You do not have carts or baskets at garden centers there? How do you manage to get all of your plant purchases to the car with you?

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi there and welcome to Bliss,

Ex-Shammickite: although it's officially very early May, everything here looks like it's the middle of June. We seem to have skipped most of Spring. You're just heading into Spring which, for me, is the best part of the year, so enjoy, the best is yet to come!

Kim: yes indeed, that's my barberry hedge. Makes a nice study in contrasts with the white roses, doesn't it? ;-)

LOL! No, we have no shopping carts or baskets at most _nurseries_. Here, nurseries are usually small and specialise in one or maybe a few plants.You just bung the plants you want to buy into an empty cardbox or something.

At garden centers we have ordinary shopping carts and also very big heavy duty ones for the big stuff you might like to buy. Sorry for the misunderstanding!

Dawn said...

Lovely rose photos. Very interesting information about the history of red roses, too. Thank you!

If Burns knew there were no real red roses perhaps his poem could have meant that true love was unattainable.

:-)
Dawn

Sanni said...

Thank you for this lovely post.I dont have roses in my garden...yet. I´m allso interested about history of garden plants , so your story was nice because of that too.

I love the pansies and your garden looks really really nice...

rusty in miami said...

I bet he found out about red roses on the Internet :-)

Kate said...

Yolanda Elizabet,

I am sitting and staring at your beautiful pansies, especially the second picture. The pot is my favourite colour. Absolutely gorgeous.

Hi Vita ... who is looking most appealing and very regal in appearance.

Mme. Carrière is breathtaking although so is Moonlight. Oh and Sombreuil too. How can one ever decide which is the most beautiful? They all are lovely in their own way.

Hi Surprise and Kadootje ... and I wonder if we might have another cat story soon!

OldRoses said...

I planted Sombreuil this spring. I didn't know it had peach in it. wonderful! Just what I need. Most of my roses are pink and red. I have one white one (Mme Plantier) and one yello (Harrison's Yellow). Peach is a wonderful addition to my collection. I look forward to the flowers.

Libbys Blog said...

It still amazes me every time I look at pics of your garden, how quickly it has come into flower! Stunning!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hello everybody and welcome to Bliss!

Bert: a rose without a lovely scent is only half the fun, I agree.

Dawn: glad you liked the little bit of rose history. True love is unattainable? Oh noooooooo! ;-)

Sanni: I hope that you will find space in your garden for a rose or two, they bring so much joy.

Rusti: LOL! You're funny!

Kate: lilac is a wonderful colour and to find a pot with matching violets that was, well, just bliss. ;-)

I agree about not being able to choose between such lovely roses so I took them all home. ;-) And there are some more roses about to bloom soon so stay tuned! ;-)

Oldroses: Sombreuil is a very beautiful rose. The shape of the flowers is magnificient and its scent is one of the very best. The buds are more peach coloured than the flower itself which is creamy white with a hint of peach near the center. I'm very happy with this rose and hope that you will be too with yours! Enjoy!

Libby: It amazes me too. Every time I am outside I think it's the middle of June, everything is so advanced.

ina said...

roses are my favorite flowers as well, de magenta colour is beautiful!,my klimming roses that flowerd this moment are the pink cloud and the bantry bay (poging om het in het engels te proberen ,erg moeilijk er zitten denk ik wel taalfouten in hopenlijk begrijp je het ,ik ben aan het oefenen om ook op andere engelse blogs te reageren ) gr ina

Heidi said...

It was a joy to see the beautiful photos of your garden. It looks so perfect. Aren't the violets pretty this year! We have many growing in planters and they are doing very well.

I also love what you are doing to the garden shed. It is looking so romantic.

Betty said...

Yolanda, what a pleasant stroll I had through your garden, meeting your feline family and seeing your garden shed emerge into a beautiful cottage house.....

What a green thumb you have, or rather a green hand, I would say...

Betty @ Country Charm

Hannele said...

"Little golden heart", nice ;)

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Ah... that explains it! I had wondered how you managed to get a flat of bedding plants, a couple of bags of compost, etc., all up to the counter and eventually out to your car! :) Thanks for clearing that up, YE.