Celebrating with beautiful roses


This weekend saw the first anniversary of some great friends, whose wedding took place in their beautiful garden in New Jersey. To celebrate their love, and love of all things English, then I sent them three beautiful roses from David Austin, after a wonderful afternoon at their nursery wandering round, looking and smelling.

I didn’t choose by theme that time, but for this post, I am choosing by food and drink connections, as I’ve never chosen a bad rose yet from their collections.


Champagne Moment from David Austin Roses


Champagne Moment – for any kind of celebration, this is described as starting as apricot and paling with age to creamy white. Like a good champagne, it develops and changes.


Chianti from David Austin Roses


Chianti – this apparently was David Austin’s first red rose, it’s really rich and deep in colour, like the wine. It also has a strong old rose fragrance, so a delicious choice for a fragranced garden.


Grouse 2000 from David Austin


Grouse 2000 – laughing slightly that this is a ground cover rose, I’m sure the grouse would like that. Pale pink flowers that turn almost white eventually, it also says it’s very disease resistant, which has to be a good thing.


Ice Cream from David Austin Roses


Ice Cream – I wish I had this one, as it is a pure white, and I’m a Yorkshire girl at heart. I love the description of the fragrance, which is spicy with a hint of a cinnamon. Not what you’d expect from a rose.


Lady of Shalott from David Austin Roses


Lady of Shalott – oh, ok, tenuous and a dreadful pun. But it’s a beautiful looking rose, a most unusual colour, very vibrant.


Tea Clipper from David Austin Roses


Tea Clipper – now, this one really has a good sounding fragrance, apparently of tea mixed with myrhh and fruit, although sometimes it’s apparently entirely citrus scented. Love a bit of a surprise!

What I love about David Austin roses is that you cannot go wrong, they are all beautiful, and you can find something appropriate for every kind of occasion. And it’s a gift that just keeps on going. I’ve always found them incredibly hardy and easy to grow. I’ve got A Shropshire Lad (keep up, it’s a rose) that blooms amazingly well each year, even though I don’t treat it particularly well. If I can grow them, anyone can!


Getting ready for Valentine’s Day


How to make Valentine's Day not suck. Or how to give a Valentine's Day gift to a food lover that they'll really love


Is there anyone, with the exception of card and lingerie manufacturers, who really loves Valentine’s Day? My particular pet hate is “special” menus for the evening, having being scarred by a Chinese restaurant experience in my earlier years. The pudding of perpetual delight was nothing close to its billing!

I would think most food lovers would skip eating out that night, even without a special menu, as restaurants are going to be packed with people who don’t eat out any other day of the year. In a similar vein, there’ll be a whole raft of gifts for alleged food lovers that most of us would not give cupboard space to, let alone let them cross our palates. So, I’m going to do my best to sort out the good from the bad and tasteless, depending on the kind of foodie you’re going to be buying for.

If you really can’t be bothered to put much effort into it, then I would just order some really good champagne in and retreat for the weekend. If you’re a bloke and want top brownie points, then do that and order roses from The Real Flower Company, they are the most beautiful arrangements ever. Do not, in my experience, order from Next or M&S to be delivered on the day. They’ll be dead before Tuesday and she’ll be ringing for a replacement.

More ideas to follow, to try and ensure a Valentine’s Day of great taste, not one that sucks!

Fabulous shot by Sister72 over on Flickr.