Mystery roses of Watson


Historically, I have felt about most forms of exercise how I would feel about eating vomit. As you can tell, I have extreme feelings about this, which I freely admit are probably neither accurate or useful. Nevertheless they exist.

Generally my associations with exercise induce memories of shame, discomfort and boredom. I was always the one who got chosen last for team sports in primary school, and ran last in every sports carnival. I tried ballet in primary too, which I mostly liked except for the exams and the fact that I can’t really keep time for nuts. Plus I have ‘bad’ feet and even then I was stupendously tall. I intuited very early on that a dance career would not be mine.

When I was about twelve or thirteen, I tried aerobics which had just started and promptly injured my knees. The ‘cure’ for that was endless swimming. My poor mother used to have wait for me three times a week while I ploughed up and down the pool. Consequently I am an excellent swimmer, but it too has negative overtones. Mostly of boredom and regimentation. I’ve had phases of swimming since then but I never stick to it. What, I hear you ask, does this litany of complaint have to do with roses? Only that they have provided me with a reason to make the now mandatory exercise more diverting.

It was not auspicious weather to decide to photograph old roses in my suburb. Saturday got to thirty six, as I’m writing it’s about thirty two. Normal temperatures in summer, but it’s not summer yet. It concerns me that we are having runs of days over thirty in spring. I am not sure if I really want to remain living in a place where that happens, but that’s an aside for now…

I decided that to make walking less boring, I would use the time to get to know the gardens in my suburb, and specifically see if I could find out some of the names of the old stayers. The idea came because of one rose in particular which consistently amazes me. My photos in no way do it justice.

Source: the author

Source: the author

Source: the author

Source: the author

This rose has been there for decades, judging by the thickness of its trunk and how tall it is. It is around seven feet high. I’d describe the colour as a lovely soft gold, with a tiny hint of salmon on the outer petals. It obviously has a courageous constitution, given the general neglect it survives. If only its perfume had been a little stronger.

At the opposite end of this street is an amazing rose hedge, also hitherto admired from my car.

Floribunda hedge in Watson (Source: the author)

Floribunda hedge in Watson (Source: the author)

When I see floribunda roses like this I full appreciate their form. This is what they excel at doing. Added bonus: it had a delicious scent.

Next I discovered an equivalently jawdropping weeping standard, which has also been there for decades. It’s planted as a specimen, amongst other specimens, in front of a house that remains faithful to its sixties origins.

Weeping standard rose in Watson (Source; the author)

Weeping standard rose in Watson (Source; the author)

Need I say anything more?

The last rose I’ve selected because I was impressed by the total health of foliage planted in total shade.

Thriving in full shade (Source: the author)

Thriving in full shade (Source: the author)

I’m so grateful to have discovered a way to make the chore of exercise seem more lovely. I’ll post more as I take more walks, and I hope you enjoy them too. Meanwhile, I am going to try and narrow down a name for the gold one.

Love, Kylie

PS: I would welcome any assistance with identification.

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