One of the true joys of summer is when garden roses come into flower.
You can't easily find garden roses in Manhattan, where I live during the week. The roses available in the city are mostly mass-produced and imported from far away, and are bred for uniformity and longevity. While beautiful, they are somewhat soul-less, I think. They are too perfect. And they often don't have a scent to them.
Garden roses, on the other hand, are blowzy and luscious, and all the more beautiful because they are not uniform. That's their allure to me. Another pleasure is they fill the house with their heady scent. I love them.
We are fortunate to have garden roses available at the Farmers' Market near us in the country, from the good ladies of Cedar Farm. Their stand at the market is always filled with gorgeous and unusual flowers, and is a must-stop destination for us every Saturday morning that we are at Darlington. Boy has arranged a selection of garden roses that we picked up from them yesterday, and has arranged them in an early nineteenth century Anglo-Irish sweetmeat dish in our drawing room.
They will soon start dropping their petals, slowly surrendering them to the inevitable passage of time.
Photograph by Boy Fenwick