We've had a few days of really lovely weather up here in the north - after months of poor weather and rain nearly every day. Suddenly the garden has sprung to life and the roses - about a month late this year - are opening everywhere. The mill looks at its best. I have a passion for old roses - the ones with wonderful names like Cardinal Richelieu and Madame Alberic Barbier, Ghislaine de Felisonde, and the beautiful Queen of Denmark. Couldn't resist taking a few pics to share - the perfume is unbelievable. This is one thing I will miss when I go to Italy. At the foot of the steps to the garden I've got one of the David Austin roses and the colour and scent are wonderful. I love the chaotic patterns of the petals as they unfurl.
I'm also very keen on wild rose species and have two - a red one from China which the bees go wild for, and another white one called Rosa Alba.
The Apothecary's Rose has striped petals and is supposed to be very ancient.
In order to deter Saturday night revellers from climbing into my garden I've got some really prickly specimens on the fence. Stanwell Perpetual flowers all the time, but is lethal! And then I have a German rose called ParkDirektor Riggers - single, dark red and very precise.
I'm particularly fond of rambling roses - scrambling up trees and up onto the cliff behind the mill. This one is called The Rambling Rector.
And this is the crowning glory - four storey's high and a pillar of colour and perfume. Paul's Himalyan Musk.
Hard to leave England when it looks like this! But Neil rang me last night, spending his first night in our new home. He described the lights twinkling in the valley below, the sun setting in the distant sea, and it sounds utterly magical. Two more weeks!