It’s celebration time – a special wedding anniversary of Mr Word Loft’s and mine, and I’m pleased that our congratulatory roses have bloomed again to coincide with the occasion. Friends bought the shrub for a previous notable anniversary, and thankfully it’s been growing stronger every year. We aren’t particularly green-fingered, so receiving plants is always a bit of a worry.

It climbs up a trellis outside the lounge window and its perfume is exquisite, wafting around the garden and through the open window. The aroma is sweet, woody, and reminds me of eating Turkish Delight – the pink jelly sort covered in icing sugar.

Before the 16th century, there were fewer varieties in the West. These days there are many, and it’s always fascinating looking at the name tags in garden centres, some quirky, some obvious, others of historical characters, and what an honour for people of today, who have a rose called after them.

Bouquets are given of them for all kinds of romantic situations as they symbolize love. Different colours have meanings too; red for love, yellow signifies friendship, dark pink – gratitude, the list goes on. 

Depicted in art and textiles – numerous embroiderers have portrayed their beauty. Memories always return of satin-stitched wild roses with French knots speckling the middles that I sewed long ago whenever I see real ones growing in hedgerows. I love to embroider, but sadly, no one seems to desire delicately adorned items nowadays, including myself. Here’s hoping, though, they come back into vogue one day.

I’ve started to hum ‘Paper Roses’. The lyrics are sad and not apt for an anniversary, but it makes me think of all the songs written about the flower, and I was amazed just how many when I googled them.

Our pearly white roses have certainly set me off on a bout of nostalgia, and I think I’ll look into buying some rose-inspired prose and poetry for a forthcoming holiday.

Until next time,
Sue. X