Can I just say quietly, at the outset, that I have relationship issues with roses ? In my head, I see these beautiful flowers as the preserve of ‘proper gardeners’, and I don’t fall into that category (being slightly more haphazard in my approach and infinitely less knowledgeable). And so I don’t have any in my garden. Add to that the frustration I feel when trying to photograph them and, well, it’s not got our relationship off to a good start…
So, on Sunday, when we took an impromptu visit to Lady Dixon Park in Belfast, famous for its rose displays, I considered whether it was even worthwhile bringing my camera. We wandered around the huge selection of roses on display, admiring the sheer intensity of colour and that distinctive floral scent. All lovely, of course, but it was the rambling roses in the Princess Diana Memorial Garden that truly caught my eye (and made me reach for my camera !).
At the entrance, a plaque informs visitors that ‘the garden has been laid out and planted with roses that give meaning to her life and the causes she supported’. Consisting of different varieties in shades of deep pink, red and white, the roses chosen are linked to her wedding day and to her official roles and express themes of continuity, tradition and love. You can walk through the display, taking in the romantic cascades of roses, such as this one called American Pillar.
The Tradition rose
White roses, though, were apparently Diana’s favourite flowers and the display features four varieties – Wedding Day, Princess Diana, Francis E Lester and, my personal favourite The Garland… a dreamy white rambling rose with a touch of delicate pink.
The Garland – associated with Diana’s own wedding day
My husband waited patiently for me, while I meandered around the roses, trying to capture a little of their beauty. And although it was a dull sort of day (as can happen here in July), I hope these pictures give you a flavour of what awaits you, if you are able to visit. I might still be there too, wandering …
Lady Dixon Park is located in south Belfast, not too far from the city centre and is open throughout the year. Admission is free and in the summer you can usually find an ice cream van parked along one of the main avenues, if you fancy a treat ! You can find more information here .
Do you have roses in your garden ? Or a favourite rose ? Feel free to share any tips too as I would really love to have a rambling rose in my garden. It might be the start of a wonderful new relationship 🙂
Have a lovely day x