Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Abby's rose garden

I went out last Friday & bought the plants for my rose garden.  Even though I'd planned the rose garden before Abby died, I keep thinking of it as Abby's garden because that's where I'm going to scatter her ashes. There's a specialist rose nursery at Healesville, Magic Garden Roses, about 30 mins away from me, (there are some gorgeous photos of the nursery in summer on their website if you click on Gallery from the home page) & it was a gorgeous early winter day - cold, but sunny - so my friend, P, & I went for a drive. P is helping me with the preparation & planting. He's always grown roses & is full of advice - some of which I completely ignored!

I was armed with a list of about 25 David Austin varieties that I wanted. I've had a lovely time looking through books on old-fashioned roses from work. Choosing the roses was difficult. Should I choose the ones with literary or historical names like William Shakespeare, the Mayor of Casterbridge, Brother Cadfael or Sir Edward Elgar? I knew I wanted old-fashioned roses with heavenly scent in pinks & reds so I could eliminate the yellow, orange & white varieties straight away. In the end, I decided that the name wasn't as important as the colour, perfume & hardiness of the rose & also, more practically, what the nursery had in stock.

The garden bed is at the front of the house sheltered from wind but it gets lots of morning sun. I chose 5 standard roses for the back of the plot. Three Squires & two Pretty Jessicas. Then, I wanted some shrub roses in groups of three in front of the standards. So I chose three each of Noble Antony (there isn't a picture on the website but it's a lovely dark magenta pink), Sophy's Rose & Eglantyne. I also have another special rose. A dear friend at work bought me a Best Friend rose when Abby died. This is a rose sold by the RSPCA especially for someone who has lost a pet. I didn't know it existed & I was very touched to receive such a lovely gift. Best Friend will have a special spot on the corner of the garden.

I have lots of bulbs planted along the front border & I'll leave those because they're lovely & mostly white & cream jonquils & daffodils. This is Abby in front of her garden with Earlicheer daffs in the background.

I'll be posting photos as the garden progresses & hopefully in early summer, I'll be able to enjoy vases of lovely roses in the house & thriving rose bushes in Abby's garden.


  1. Lyn, I seem to have missed your post when you told us about Abby dying. I'm so sorry you don't have her with you any more, but you did the best thing for her and spared her further pain and distress. But you know that. It's never easy to lose an animal you love, as I know only too well.

    She was a beautiful girl and it's fitting that you should be planting beautiful roses for her garden.

  2. I'm glad Lyn. My previous cat was a lilac point siamese, he's sleeping in the backyard under a rose bush which produces lilac coloured roses.

  3. Oh Lyn! Such a beautiful tribute to Abby. And if you don't mind too much, I'm going to have a special fondness for your rose garden as well. My special boy who passed away four years ago was named, Squire. I had no idea there was a Squire rose! How lovely.

  4. Thank you, Penny. It wasn't a hard decision because she wasn't going to recover & I couldn't have watched her suffer any more but I'm surprised how much I miss her. The house seems very quiet without her, probably because I talked to her all the time. Talking to myself seems strange. Rose, a lilac rose for a lilac cat sounds perfect. I'm really glad I had the garden planned because now it means even more to me. Darlene, I had such a hard time choosing the roses. I had a very long list of possibilities. I'll make sure I post some photos of the Squire roses when they're in bloom just for you & your Squire. I wish I could send you the scent as well. All the roses I chose are supposed to have gorgeous scents.

  5. Your Abby looks so much like our dear Tiger, whom we lost so long ago to either coyotes or fishers. We then stopped letting our cats go outdoors. In all we lost four cats over the years, and said, no more. We have two indoor cats who are perfectly happy which makes me wish we had made the decision long ago. I am sorry for your loss. Our dogs and cats are so important in our lives. We all understand how you feel.

  6. Thank you Nan. I can't imagine how awful it must have been for you to lose four cats like that. It's always hard to lose a pet, they're a part of our family after all.