Clockwise from top left: New Life, Tall Story, Mountbatten, Princess Nobuko, Belfast Belle, Julie Y and, in the middle, Schwarze Madonna.
Saint Swithun's day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
Saint Swithun's day if thou be fair
For forty days 'twill rain no more
So goes the old rhyme. Saint Swithun died in 862, he'd been Bishop of Winchester for a decade. The weather prediction is reasonably accurate since if by the middle of July the jet stream lies north of the British Isles then the weather is likely to remain settled for a month or more. If it lies to the south then our weather is influenced by the Arctic air streams and is more likely to be showery and unsettled.
The storms of yesterday made a bit of a mess of the roses.
Both Mountbatten (above) and Fellowship (below) are looking pretty ragged round the edges.
Some of the climbing roses took the brunt of the storms and their heads were hanging in a sad downward gaze. Perhaps when they lose the heavy load of water they'll perk up a bit.
La Sevillana was definitely looking a wee bit sorry for itself!
However, new buds are opening and mostly unmarked, although the groundsman that I was talking to at seven o'clock this morning fears the damp misty weather which will ruin those buds.
The rain is still lying on Mountbatten (above) and Fellowship (below) as the fresh blooms prepare for the day. Judging did happen yesterday although the awards have not yet been posted in the grounds - that means I'll just have to go back for a walk tomorrow again!
The day had not quite begun to warm up so we kept moving fairly quickly around the park.
Eliot had a great time. There were few other dogs around and, well away from the roses, he had a good run among the trees and in the meadows.
The rabbits were in no danger at all as he bounded after them - indeed, I think I heard them laughing at his inability to keep up with their hopping.
One of the hardest to photograph was Schwarze Madonna. The deep red buds are almost black when they first appear.
"Fabulous" by name as well as by nature - this fantastic pink rose has little perfume but wonderful drama.
Princess Nobuko was hosting a fly that I'd not noticed until looking at the pictures at home! Every photograph of this rose has an insect of some kind on it so I'm assuming that it has a particular scent to attract them. I didn't notice this on any of the other roses.
This litany of roses could go on and on ... "New Life" has to be one of the prettiest of all. The flowers are small and it appears to have suffered little damage from the weather. Each perfect bud opens into a beautiful pink-peach-cream head.
I suspect there'll be another day (or two) of roses to come - hopefully different ones each time even if I am tempted to go back to the favourites.
I had to return home via the paper shop as there's a full page interview in the South Belfast News! That was fun and the girl at the till raised an eyebrow just a little when she asked, "three copies?"!! The journalist sent me a copy of the photograph!
So now ... blog done I can return to enjoying a day off and Eliot might just get another wee walk shortly!
Grant us, O merciful God,
the will to seek you, whom we desire above all,
there we may find you and be found in you;
may your love and wisdom
guide words spoken in your name;
may we find faith and hope
in the still small voice
which tells us of your presence;
may we be one with you
in Jesus our Redeemer. Amen.
Celebrating Common Prayer
Prayers and Praises.