Monday, June 21, 2010

A Visit with the Queen

This past weekend we stopped for a visit to the Queen on our way to Paris.

Now, that I have shamelessly hooked you in, let me explain, that we did not glamorously wing our way to Europe for the weekend. The Paris we visited was Paris, Ontario and we didn't "fly" in anything more exciting than a red Toyota. (More on our Paris trip in a later post.)

The Queen we paid a visit was at the Royal Botanical Gardens-after all isn't  the rose, in all its many petalled splendor, known as the queen of all summer flowers?

The day called for rain, so we packed the rain gear and a portable feast for lunch.

Rain clouds failed to materialize however and we arrived to find the rose gardens basking in the June sunshine.

The rose gardens at the Royal Botanical gardens featured two long ponds, with smooth mirror-like surfaces flanked on either side by square beds of roses. I have to say that this rather old fashioned arrangement of roses is not something I would care to repeat in my own garden. While the flowers are lovely, I prefer to camouflage those rather stiff, thorny branches with other perennial partners rather than repeat the flaw in a mass planting. 

Here are just a few of my favorite roses.

Above: The "Tabris" Floribunda rose

The red Floribunda rose "Yvonne Alexander".

Cream dissolves into a blush of the sofest pink in the Hybrid tea"Gemini".

The formal rose beds were encircled by wooden arbors covered in wisteria and climbing roses.

The many petaled shrub rose the "Alchymist".

Even past its glory, the Alchymist was a still a beauty.

Among the visitors to the garden, was group of watercolor artists and their instructor.

The buttery yellow Elina rose had one of the largest flowers measuring at least 4 inches in diameter.

By mid-afternoon, the sun had become so hot it was time for a break.

At the tea house, we sat under the leafy umbrella of a linden tree. My husband Harold had an ice cold beer, while I sipped a lemonade. The dogs discovered the shade under our table and promptly fell asleep.

The Hybrid Musk Rose Belinda

And speaking of shade, we found this pretty rose growing in the dappled shade of an overhanging tree. I think I just might have a spot perfect for it in my own garden.

The rain the weatherman predicted never did materialize. As we dove home in early evening however, heavy grey clouds began roll in over the farm fields. The late day sun streaking through the breaks in the cloud cover provided a spectacular light show. 

Tired by the long day, we decided to treat ourselves to dinner out. Harold had a big steak covered in shrimp and I had delicious balsamic chicken. It was the perfect ending to a pretty perfect day.


  1. What a lovely trip that must have been! I completely agree about traditional rose plantings. I've never really liked roses that much simply because the base of the plant is so ugly. The only way I like to see them now is when they're covered up and mixed in with other perennials.

  2. Every time I see pictures of the RBG I ask myself, Why have I never been? It is certainly close enough. Now I am toying with the idea of a shrub rose garden, and it would certainly be worth a visit for some research into the varities. I counted at least five that I would like from this post alone.


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