July 23, 2011

Rose Dreams



An annually dreaded moment happened today:  the arrival of the new David Austin Rose Catalogue.  It’s not like I don’t have both his and Peter Beales’ sites favourited*, and it’s not like they’re not both places I go when I’m cross/tired/cranky/frustrated/procrastinating. **  But there’s something about a shiny new paper catalogue. . . .

Ooooh. Aaaaaugh.

 This particular rose, the lead-off for this year’s introductions, is called ‘William and Catherine’ (Catherine??).  Snork.  I may have to give it/her/them a go anyway.   Austin is claiming that it/her/them is ‘extremely healthy’ which would be a first in a repeating white rose.


 I grow St Swithun (on the left) and Tess of the d’Urbervilles (on the right).  I do not yet grow Teasing Georgia or Snow Goose (in the middle).  Yet.


 I grow Mortimer Sackler–that’s the flowering pink triffid on the right–in a pot by the front door of the cottage.  Apparently I will be in trouble soon.  I have noticed she’s a little more exuberant than I was entirely planning for.  Oh, I also grow Scepter’d Isle–middle on the left–and Wedgewood, bottom left.  And clearly I have to add Maid Marion–top left.  I missed her last year somehow.   One of the nice things about keeping a list–of, say, roses to be acquired–on your iPhone is that it keeps looking short even when it . . . isn’t. 

. . . . But this also brings me nicely to what I’ve been meaning to blog about for several days and things keep intervening.

            There are two high-ticket items in the auction.  One of them is the personally tailored masterwork by that hitherto little-known composer, Robin McKinley.***  The other one is the limited-edition ROSE DAUGHTER illustrated by Anne Bachelier.  


And before you freak out because you’re not high-end gallery-art collector types—with which I sympathise:  keeping oneself in reading books† tends to be quite enough—I wanted to flash a few of the illustrations at you.   I think those are all the plates on the CFM site, but I think they look a little bland lined up in rows like that, if you don’t know Bachelier’s work and don’t know that ‘bland’ is approximately the last word applicable.  They’re much more fabulous in situ in the book.  Bachelier is not to everyone’s taste—but then neither am I, and neither is anyone whose work is genuine and individual—but I adore this book.  As an explicit rendering of my ROSE DAUGHTER, no, it’s not, but if you’re asking me it’s not supposed to be.  What it is is a magnificent dreamscape of Beauty and the Beast with my ROSE as a jumping-off place—or a jumping on place, where she can bring her vision back and tie the red thread of story to it so all may follow. 

Roses. Well of course. It's a slightly shiny, jacquard-y fabric, like expensive bed linen.


Title and facing page. They're all already signed, but Your Name Is Added Here.


First page.


Random gorgeous picture from the middle somewhere.More random gorgeousness.


The glasshouse. (And yes, all the illustrations are tipped in.)


Oh, and yes--ahem!--I own one or two of the originals. (Don't strain your eyes. It's Purcell's Evening Hymn.)

* * *

* http://www.davidaustinroses.com/english/Advanced.asp?PageId=1988


** Now joined by Etsy http://www.etsy.com/ and Ravelry http://www.ravelry.com/ , both of which wave cheerfully and say, hi, hellgoddess!, when I go there.  Well, ‘Robin’ was already taken when I needed a username.  A username I could remember.    

*** But four of you are going to club together and commission me to write something for French horn, bodhran and two mezzo-sopranos, right?  Fine.  Just don’t make me learn to orchestrate. 

† And yarn.^ 

^ A friend has just been yanking my chain about my knitting needle collection.  Feh.  I’ll do a knitting-needle post some night and you’ll all just crumble away with admiration.+ 

+ You non-knitters . . . I don’t know . . . you’ll have to go bowling that night or something.

Okay, I knew I was pushing it.  WordPress has eaten one of the photos and added its caption to the previous photo.  ‘More random gorgeousness’ was another photo.  But it’s late and I’m tired and I’m not going to try to re-insert the missing photo, and WordFrellingPress won’t let me cut the superfluous text.  At least the formatting is back (I hope):  it disappeared the first time I hit the ‘publish’ button.



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