Belfast is famous for many things, but perhaps what is less well known is that each July the city hosts the Rose Week Festival at Lady Dixon Park in the south side of the city. This year, due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic, the festival won’t be taking place but you can still visit the park for free to take in the spectacle of the 45,000 roses that are in bloom between July and September.
Having not visited for a few years, I took myself there for an hour last Sunday. It was dry and calm and slightly cloudy overhead – perfect conditions then for a wander round with my camera. And I have to say, it was a sight to behold. The rose gardens were overflowing with cascades of beautiful roses in exquisite colours, filling the air with their indefinable scent. Having arrived early, I felt like I had the place to myself for a while and it turned out to be one of the most relaxing hours I’ve spent by myself in quite some time, so much so I forgot to capture the names of the roses (but does it really matter?). As I made to leave, I met a woman walking two basset hounds (Huxley and Miss Autumn) so of course I ended up talking to her for ages about the joys of owning said breed. It was only then I noticed that the rose gardens had filled up with American and Japanese tourists. I always like to see tourists in the city (for a long time we didn’t have many.)
I’ll leave you with a few photographs from my visit. So, even if you can’t visit, I can hopefully bring a little of the rose garden to you,
Wishing you a lovely Sunday,
And stay safe in the heat,