Thursday, 15 October 2015

Stephen Fry, Sexy Words and a Bundle of Autumn Roses

Some words are more fun to say than others. I have yet to meet the person who can say that flirty kiss of a word “plinth” without sounding sexy (which makes buying a kitchen more fun than it should be). Miranda Hart apparently savours a “slash” and Stephen Fry allegedly relishes a “bundle”. I, on the other hand, enjoy raising my eyebrows, outstretching my arms, bowing my head, and indulging myself in that glorious musical tongue-roller of a word with the cheeky staccato ending: "remontant" (it's even better when you curtsy as if you've just enjoyed a jolly good Gavotte).


It’s not just great fun to say. This word describes one of the more alluring characteristics of plants: their ability to flower more than once in a season. It is used particularly in conjunction with roses; and at this time of year, remontancy (not such a fun word to say) is more obvious than ever. 



'Souvenir de Saint Anne’s' is a very highly scented bourbon rose which is attractive to bees. I actually think that it looks better now than it did in summer.


Rosa 'Souvenir de Saint Anne's'
Rosa MacMillan Nurse has flowered all summer long and is showing no sign of stopping. It is scented, very disease resistant and tolerates some shade, which is as well, since it doesn't get any sun in my garden until lunch. This modern shrub rose is said to attract bees and other wildlife. I haven’t seen many bees visiting the flowers; they look quite hard work for a bee and in any case, the bees are probably sidetracked by the rose's underplanting of Nepeta racemosa 'Walker's Low'. If you live outside the UK, you might not have heard of our wonderful MacMillan Nurses. These specialist palliative care nurses who support those affected by cancer are funded by the charity, MacMillan Cancer Support.

Rosa MacMillan Nurse = 'Beamac'
Another scented modern shrub rose is 'Rose Ball'. Clusters of powder pink blooms have been adorning one of our sunnier borders all summer long. It is attractive to bees and is still flowering beautifully.

Rosa 'Rose Ball'
Rosa x odorata is a very old China rose. It is highly fragrant, tolerates some shade and is attractive to bees. 


Rosa x odorata
Elsewhere in the garden, rich autumnal hues reign, but in the borders where roses mingle with gentle blues, there is the sense of an English garden preserved in summer. I love these roses for helping to make October look like June. I also love them because they are giving me plenty of opportunity to indulge in saying my favourite word. Go on… you know you want to. Arms stretched, curtsy and... "remontant". 

I am linking to Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, which is hosted by May Dreams Gardens. It's well worth a visit to see what is flowering around the globe at the moment http://www.maydreamsgardens.com/

For more info on MacMillan Cancer Support: http://www.macmillan.org.uk/


57 comments:

  1. Ooh beautiful roses! It's spring in NZ and I'm waiting impatiently for mine to start blooming.. shouldn't be too long now. I hope mine are half as beautiful as yours and equally remontant!

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    1. Oh to be in spring with the whole summer to look forward to! Long may your roses bloom!

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  2. Gorgeous, especially the MacMillan nurse rose. I have a Madame Alfred Carriere that's flowering again, and down at the allotment I have an enormous pink rose that just goes on and on and on. CJ xx

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    1. Remontant roses are fab. I visited a garden last week where Mme Alfred Carriere was looking magnificent. It needs so much space though, then again, if space is not a problem, it's a wonderful rose to grow.

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  3. Your roses look beautiful!

    Greetings, Sofie #26
    http://sofies-succulent-beads.blogspot.be

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  4. Love those roses! Happy Bloom Day.

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  5. Beautiful roses . I see not many roses in my garden anymore. Lucky you! Groetjes, Hetty

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    1. That's a shame, Hetty. We can get them through to Christmas on a good year. Fingers crossed all the soothsayers are wrong and we're not in for a terrible winter!

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  6. I giggled through your story – I have never thought of the word ‘plinth’ as sexy, I am currently trying to get Social Services to organise getting my toilet raised on a plinth so I don’t need to use a temporary extension anymore, but after having been in my new house for 5 months I realise this is going to take time. I just want to have my toilet on a plinth like I had it in my old house – there, I used the word three times, still not sure if it is sexy….fighting Social Services is certainly not sexy :-(

    Anyway…I had to look up your word as I had not heard it before, my Office spell checker didn’t like it, asked if I meant remnant or resonant…but Google knew…so now I know too! A remontant plant, I guess it means the same as repeat flowering, but I agree with you, some words just sound better.

    I have ‘MacMillan Nurse’ on my wish-list for next year, once all my plants from my previous garden are in the ground I can start to see what I can squeeze in - I am sure I can manage to get a few more roses in here!

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    1. Of course you can fit in a few roses - especially, if like my MacMillan Nurses, they are standards. It's a shame about your problems with Social Services, next time you say the word "plinth" look in the mirror and see what your mouth does. It will change the way you deal with Social Services on this issue forever. Good luck - I hope you get it sorted very soon.

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  7. So nice to have still roses flowering in autumn. I also have rather a few 'remontant' roses in my garden. I like the French word, which we normally use here. It sounds much better than 'repeat flowering' or even worse in Dutch 'herhaaldelijk bloeiend', not sexy at all, but 'remontant' is romantic like the roses.

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    1. Haha! I am sure that I am pronouncing those Dutch words wrong, but even so, there is nothing romantic about them!

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  8. Gorgeous selection of roses. As for favorite words, I like to use "counterintuitive" wherever possible, and sometimes where it is not. Also "anthropomorphize". If I can combine these two in the same sentence I buy myself a little treat.

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    1. Oh I am impressed. The very notion of fitting the pair into the same sentence is brilliant! I struggle to pronounce anthropomorphise whenever I need to use it (which is surprisingly often) - so the idea of adding another fave word into the sentence is well beyond my capability. Well done you, Jason! You deserve that treat.

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  9. I have learnt a new word today, I shall have to be careful what I say when I am working down among the roses!
    I will have to see if I can make room for the Macmillan rose, beautiful. I presume a percentage from the sale goes to the charity.

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    1. I looked when I purchased the rose, but I couldn't find any reference to a percentage going to the charity. Then again, I would guess that if it is purchased through MacMillan's website, that some money would go to them. It is a beautiful rose though - and well worth growing.

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  10. Thank you for giving me a giggle and introducing me to a new word. i won' thank you for making me wonder about growing roses again, I know we just don't get on with one another. I shall just carry on enjoying yours...

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    1. Strangely enough, I am not naturally inclined towards growing roses. I planted them because one of my children asked me why I didn't grow them, and I was so delighted that she had noticed the absence of roses in our garden, that I planted them for her (just in case the enquiry was made because she liked them).
      Designwise I find them challenging, which is why I selected mainly remontant roses and underplanted them all with long-flowering perennials.

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  11. Those are very beautiful roses with a cool color. I love it!

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  12. Wowee. We have too much wind for most plants to survive. I'll have to content myself with yours. My favourite word, I suppose would be Splendiferous.

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  13. Hi Sarah, I loved seeing and reading about your roses. Some of them are unknown to me and I am always very excited to get to discover a new rose. I think the MacMillan Nurse is especially pretty. I agree with you that roses underplanted with catmint keep the spirit of summer in the garden long into autumn. Saying the word remontant is certainly way more fun than using the word repeat ;-).
    Wishing you beautiful autumn days!
    Christina

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    1. Thank you Christina. I think one of the most desirable features of MacMillan Nurse is that it is so very floriferous. It has also proved itself to be remarkably undemanding and trouble-free so far. Fingers crossed it continues this way!

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  14. A word that has stuck with me is 'puffling' which came from Springwatch one year when they were talking about baby puffins.
    It maybe had more to do with how the presenter said it though.


    uffins

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    1. Don't know where that uffins came from. Sorry!

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    2. Oh! I thought it was your new nickname! I love the word "puffling" - I've never heard it before.

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  15. Oh my gosh you had me at the photos of flowers...but when you said bourbon I was swooning...lol.

    I need some Bourbon, and some more roses...not necessarily in that order.

    Jen

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    1. Your comment was made during happy hour, so I would be most insulted if you didn't help yourself to some Bourbon. Cheers!

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  16. Your roses are so lovely. I hope that they last a bit longer. My late father always has a big rose garden wherever we lived. I miss having that. xo Laura

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    1. It is wonderful to associate certain plants with the people we love. I hope that you get the opportunity to plant a rose for your late father.

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  17. Oh....what a beautiful selection of roses, and all in October too! McMillan nurse is gorgeous, I planted that this year but it died, obviously the wrong spot! Remontant with a bow eh? Yeah.....I go with that!!!xxx

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    1. It's a shame about your MacMillan Nurse rose.I'm pleased you're bowing to your remontant flowers though - they deserve it!

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  18. I just can't get that curtsy quite right! One of my favourite words is floriferous, but it would be more of a bow and a heel click!
    Love the roses for still thinking its June. One of the bits of summer still left in the garden. That and the cosmos, which would win any prize for sheer effort !!

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    1. Haha! Floriferous is exactly that! Heel clicking in gardening clogs is perilous though, so please take note of your footwear before launching into one. Too right about Cosmos - and lovely Nicotiana langsdorffii - they just keep on going!

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  19. Ha ha, plinth, sexy? You obviously haven't heard a girl with a Yorkshire accent say it. Roses are my new found love. I didn't care for them at all a few years ago and didn't have even one in my garden but I can't get enough of them now. MacMillan Nurse is far too fussy for me but I love Souvenir de Saint Anne's and it's such a pretty, delicate colour too. That's the beauty of roses, there's one to suit everyone's taste. What a generous offer you made on my blog, I would love to take you up on it please. I've looked for an email on your blog but can't find one so I'd appreciate it if you could email me.

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  20. Those roses look like they have a soft drifting scent . My Uncle grew lovely roses over there in his gardens to many years ago . Despite our cold weather we are having my Knock out rose bushes are flourishing and blooming like mad still . Lovely photos . Oh I like Steven Fry he is a hoot . Thanks for sharing , Have a good weekend !

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    1. They are scented. A rose without scent makes me sad. I think it's because of all the hours I spent raiding roses for petals to make perfume when I was a child. SO pleased your roses are still flowering. Long may they bloom!

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  21. Hello Sarah, we still have buds on the roses, a few of them are flowering. I actually managed to make a bouquet of roses - in October! I think one of my favourite funny/naughty words it, "Hookerianus", we do have one, it's a Blue Bamboo, though you need to be careful how you search for it on the internet.

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    1. That's a good idea - the rose bouquet -not Googling dodgy plant names! I'll keep an eye on the forecast and cut a few roses for a vase just before the weather turns.

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  22. Such beautiful roses! I do have a second flush of blooms on my Knockout roses, but somehow that's not quite the same as all your lovely English roses. Thanks for teaching me a new word; my favorite word is serendipity--hard to say that word without smiling a little:)

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    1. You're right about serendipity. It's a happy word with a happy definition. Some words are lovely to say, but the definition doesn't live up to the word. Take "guilty" - when she was 5 or 6, one of my children thought it was such a lovely word that she told me that when she grew up, she would name one of her children Guilty!

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  23. I hadn't heard of 'MacMillan Nurse' before, but it is a beauty! I do love plants that are remontant and give more blooms. The only roses I have in this garden so far are 'The Fairy', and they are, indeed, remontant and in bloom!

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    1. The Fairy is a pretty rose. Hurrah for The Fairy's remontancy!

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  24. I too have learned a new word today and am going to see if I can use it more than once this coming week.
    You have a nice selection and also like the Macmillan Nurse rose. It's very pretty.
    As for a favourite word - it just has to be shoogle.

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    1. That's the spirit! I like to challenge myself to use new words if I can. I shall be shoogling around a garden shortly - hope it doesn't scare the plants!

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  25. A lovely rosy post! I need to feed all the roses here, the garden has been neglected (but not in a brambles and weeds kind of way) and the roses are no doubt hungry.
    I do love the word calendula!

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    1. Oh yes! I hadn't thought of Calendula. It is lovely. Your roses will no doubt repay you for taking care of them - I shall be giving my roses a good feed and a mulch in spring.

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  26. It's been a funny old year. The roses did well in June and then shut up shop for the rest of the summer. They returned in late September and I still have a few blooms. Remontant, or 'remount ant' as the iPad spellchecker will have it, they must be. Or pissed off with the weather.

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    1. Haha! Spellcheckers drive me crazy. They have no respect for Latin plant names!

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  27. Plinth does sound a bit sexy, now that you mention it. I can just imagine a tall, broad chested man holding a rather large tool and talking about his plinth... Gorgeous roses but back to that plinth...

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    1. Oh that's a lovely image for a wet Tuesday in the office!

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  28. You're right about "plinth"! Rosa x odorata is a beautiful rose which I had not heard of before. Will investigate it.

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    1. It is a lovely old rose. Well worth growing.

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