When we bought our property in France we inherited a pink modern rose in the front garden. It had no perfume and managed to scratch me every time I needed to turn on the water hose.
I was all for getting rid of it. My husband, who likes roses more than me, pointed out that we had hardly any flowers in the garden – beggars can’t be choosers.
I excepted his logic but I told the rose that its days were numbered once we came over to live permanently.
We had the house and garden for four years before we moved and were properly able look after the garden. The rose survived remarkably well for an unloved, uncared for plant.
The rose starts to flower early in the season and goes on late into the year, flowering abundantly when there are few flowers around to cut to bring inside. It lasts very well when cut and looks excellent even as a single stem in a rose vase.
It never seems to suffer from the usual rose afflictions and now that it receives more care (from my husband) I have noticed that it does have a very light, delicate perfume. It looks both good in bud and when it is fully open.
To cut a long story short, I find I cannot do without it for table decorations but I do feel I have been somehow manipulated by it. Despite its lack of natural harmony – providing perfume and nectar and pollen- I do not want to do without it.
If it was only a modern rose and not other things that we find we cannot live without.
I was reading a blog yesterday http://adventuresinbeeland.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/the-lost-british-summer/ and there is concern that there may not be enough natural resources for the bees that are being kept in London U.K., that there are too many bees for the amount of forage in the city. Yet there are 3000 parks and open spaces in London. The five Royal Parks in Central London cover 498 hectares and counting the three Royal Parks in the suburbs it mounts up to 1478 hectares of Royal Parks alone.
Could more be done to provide forage for the bees? Are there choices that could be made in the choices of trees, bushes and plants to maximise their usefulness? Or is it tidier to have mown lawns surrounded by clipped Yew trees.