"Bantry Bay" climbs up the pillars of the pergola where Eliot and I were taking shelter from a torrential downpour in the rose gardens this morning. I'd been up early and after almost three hours solid work needed a break. Since it wasn't actually raining the usual walk felt like a good idea. You'd have thought that I could read the clouds a little better!
Bantry Bay at least gave some photographic opportunities while the downpour lasted.
The non fragrant clusters of bright pink flowers certainly brightened up a very dark few minutes. It was far too wet to risk pointing the camera up at the highest blooms.
If the rain stops, there are plenty more buds just ready to open - Bantry Bay looks like a good strong plant and, although battered and blown about, most of the blooms were undamaged. Going round the roses gives a very good impression of those that can withstand weather and disease. This year a number of the beds have been cleared already and in some of them just one struggling plant remains. I don't remember a year when the rose gardens have suffered quite so much as they have done this year.
While we sheltered from the worst of the storm. Eliot simply sat patiently in the certain hope that our walk would continue.
Lurching from cover to cover we had a good wander, even if we both came home soaking wet. There are a number of covered pergolas and band stands so we were never far from shelter when it was needed - and it was certainly needed!
Opportunities to take pictures were fewer. That's partly because the camera was in a plastic bag most of the time! In one of the less rainy times "Simply Heaven" caught my eye. The fly was totally unphased by my presence and remained in situ for a number of shots. Simply Heaven is another of the clustered roses and seeing them in a whole bed might look a bit like a heavenly golden cloud!
However, the wet week has done nothing to help the overall appearance and most of the older flowers looked very sorry for themselves.
It must be Saint Swithun's fault.
The rose named after the "weather saint" is an interesting design.
The buds look fairly 'normal' but the flowers have that almost double centre appearance. If Saint Swithun had managed to give us a dry day on Wednesday then we'd not be having this stormy wet weather now! Or so the saying goes.
So that's the Rose Trials for 2010 almost over. Usually on the Saturday you couldn't get a picture without people in it. Today it would have been more difficult to get one with anybody. Even the car park was almost empty at 11.00 am!
O gracious and holy Father,
give us wisdom to perceive you,
diligence to seek you,
patience to wait for you,
eyes to behold you,
a heart to meditate upon you
and a life to proclaim you;
through the power of the Spirit
of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Celebrating Common Prayer