It has been a wonderful festive season with the return of my daughter from Berlin for three weeks and long-awaited visits from old friends to relaxing lunches and beach trips on the warmer days, as well as plentiful rain, resulting in a blowsy overgrown garden, full of colour! While the roses are taking a break, except for the wonderfully generous Archiduc Joseph, the sunflower patch has been prolific and the honeysuckle has scaled the side fence.The self-seeded pumpkin, tree dahlia and tree salvia are also heading to the heavens, the latter never missing a beat after its transplantation from the Moon Bed, and a remnant kiwi fruit vine hitching a ride on the tree dahlia!Here is a sample of the plants in bloom this Summer:
Left to Right and Top to Bottom:
Heritage, Archiduc Joseph (2 photos), Ice Girl, William Morris and The Children’s Rose:
White: Gardenias; Hydrangeas; and Madonna Lilies:
Purples and Pinks: Buddleias, Poppies, Hydrangeas, Geraniums, Bergamot and Dahlias;
Golds and Reds: Dahlias and Calendulas; Meadow Lea Dahlia and Gladioli; Ladybird Poppies and Alstroemeria; Red Dahlia and Pomegranate; and Sunflowers.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Hopefully, the flowers of the pomegranate will develop into fruit! We have had a wonderful fruit season with raspberries for breakfast every morning and now strawberries and plums.We have also been harvesting the chamomile flowers daily to dry for a relaxing tea. We only just caught the wild plums (photo above) in time after a mini-raid by a party of hungry Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos and are now watching the ripening of the purple plums with eagle eyes, in case they suffer the same fate! We are similarly vigilant with the apples (third photo), though the cockatoos have not yet discovered our Golden Hornet crab apples (first and second photos). The Elder tree (Sambucus) is also growing fast and has blossomed for the first time. I look forward to using the flowers in future years to make elderflower cordial!Here are some photos of the local inhabitants of the garden:
A blue-tongued lizard sunbaking; a butterfly resting and another butterfly feasting on a buddleia flower; and a happy snail exploring after rain :And the birds: Huge flocks of very noisy Little Corellas (photos 1 and 2), who wake us up every morning at 5 am (!); and a pair of Crimson Rosellas, grazing in the Soho Bed:With all the wonderful colour in the garden, I have been spoilt for choice and have revelled in making beautiful bouquets for the house! Here is a bucket of freshly-cut blooms, ready for arranging!From simple blue agapanthus to a single rose bloom (Lucetta):
Soft Pinks and Purples:And bright golds, oranges, reds and purples: To the vibrant colours of the Christmas table:Other creative pursuits included home-made Christmas gifts: a spectacle case for my Mum: and a table runner for my friend Heather to compliment the set of Russian vintage wooden folk art spoons, which I found for her! We have also been loving the musical sessions with both my daughters, who are keen musicians and composers. Here is a photo of my youngest Caro playing at Bodalla Dairy.I will finish with a photo of our beautiful Christmas Tree! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and enjoy your New Year!
Finally, a look at specific genres of poetry: Australian Poetry and Nonsense Verse.
We have two books of Australian poetry: a general tome and one devoted entirely to the poems of Banjo Paterson. As in Parts One and Two, remember that many of the poems mentioned can be accessed online through sites like:
The Illustrated Treasury of Australian Verse, chosen by Beatrice Davis 1984/ 1986
We are very lucky here in Australia to have had some wonderful poets from the anonymous songs of convict times to Dorothea Mackellar, Mary Gilmore, Henry Lawson, Henry Kendall, AB Paterson (Banjo Paterson), PJ Hartigan and CJ Dennis, as well as the more modern offerings of Kenneth Slessor, Ian Mudie, Douglas Stewart, Judith Wright, James McAuley and Max Harris, Randolph Stow and Les Murray. Here are some of my favourites:
Anonymous verses: The Wild Colonial Boy; The Dying Stockman; and Click Go the Shears, Boys;
Henry Kendall (1839-1892): Bellbirds;
Thomas E Spencer (1845-1910): How McDougal Topped the Score, a wonderful poem about our national game, cricket;
AB Paterson (1864-1941), who wrote so many famous poems. See below for more details.
Mary Gilmore (1865-1962): Old Botany Bay;
Henry Lawson (1867-1922): Ballad of the Drover; and Andy’s Gone with Cattle;
CJ Dennis (1876-1938): The Intro (‘Er name’s Doreen) and The Play (‘Wot’s in a name) from The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke; and Country Fellows;
PJ Hartigan (1879-1952): Said Hanrahan: A wonderful poem about the pessimistic attitude of some farmers towards the Australian weather with all it’s extremes, ‘We’ll all be rooned’, said Hanrahan..! My brother-in-law knew it by heart and recited it spontaneously off the top of his head at our wedding reception in 1983, which had been moved indoors onto the verandah of our old homestead at the last minute after unseasonal rain and flooding! It made the day!;
Dorothea Mackellar (1885-1968): My Country, known by every schoolchild across the country and generations for its famous line: ‘I love a sunburnt country’ at the start of the second stanza. In fact, most Australians would be able to recite just that particular stanza:
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel sea,
Her beauty and her terror-
The wide brown land for me!
So evocative of our wide brown landscape with all its vagaries of weather and so so Australian!;
Kenneth Slessor (1901-1971): Five Bells; and his mesmerizing poem, Sleep (Do you give yourself to me utterly, Body and no-body, flesh and no-flesh, Not as a fugitive, blindly or bitterly, But as a child might, with no other wish? Yes, utterly);
Douglas Stewart (1913-1985): Brindabella; and Lady Feeding the Cats. He also wrote a verse play called The Fire on the Snow about the doomed Terra Nova expedition to Antarctica by Robert Falcon Scott 1941;
Judith Wright (1913-2000): Magpies; and Woman’s Song;
John Manifold (1915-1985): The BunyipAndThe Whistling Kettle;
James MacAuley (1917-1976): Pastoral; Magpie; Spider on the Snow; and Canticle. James MacAuley was one of the two young poets (the other being Harold Stewart), who were the names behind the Ern Malley hoax, played by AD Hope on Max Harris (1921-1995), the founder of the modernist literary journal, the Angry Penguins. Max was also a poet himself, writing The Tantanoola Tiger, which is also in this treasury;
Randolph Stow (1935-2010): The Ghost at Anlaby. I have only just read this poem and its images and word inventions, reminiscent of Dylan Thomas, like ‘antwaisted, hamsleeved, bellskirted ladies’ and ‘Rosella-plumed sun’ greatly appeal. I studied his novel, The Merry-go-round In the Sea 1965 at school and absolutely loved it. It revolves around a young boy’s coming-of-age in Geraldton, Western Australia. I love reading books about places I know well (though having not visited Geraldton or WA before 2008, it’s more about Australia in this case!) and I particularly loved his descriptions of the beach, the local town and Mrs Maplestead’s old homestead and garden, where Rick’s widowed grandmother and maiden Aunt Kay lived, reminding me so much of old country properties and families, like that of my husband – the Stephens of Cedar Glen; and
Les Murray (1938-): Les has published over 30 volumes of poetry and has been rated by the National Trust of Australia as ‘one of the 100 Australian Living Treasures’! This book includes: The Broad Bean Sermon; Rainwater Tank; and The Future, all areas to which the ordinary Australian can relate!
Complementing the poems are some beautiful artworks and black-and-white photographs and illustrations throughout the treasury, reason enough to buy the book, and at the back are biographies of the poets featured.
AB ‘Banjo’ Paterson’s Collected Verse: With the Original Illustrations of Norman Lindsay, Hal Gye and Lionel Lindsay 1921/ 1984
Immortalising so much of bush life in Australia in his lengthy poems, it is worth owning a separate copy of all the prolific outpourings of this amazing poet! Andrew Barton Paterson (1864-1941) was an Australian bush poet, journalist and author, who wrote numerous ballads and poems about Australian life, especially rural areas and the outback. Some of my favourite classics are:
The Man From Snowy River, whose first half I have learnt and can quote with the odd mistake!
Clancy of the Overflow, another famous poem, which I have learnt by heart and which typifies the yearning for the bush, when trapped in a ‘dingy little office, where a stingy ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall, And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city, Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all’; A terrific poem! His poems are so humorous and celebrate the ocker from:
The Geebung Polo Club; The Man From Ironbark; Johnson’s Antidote; A Bush Christening; and
Mulga Bill’s Bicycle; and, then there is, of course, Australia’s unofficial and much-loved bush anthem:
Waltzing Matilda (1895):
While many people struggle beyond the first verse of our official Australian anthem, Advance Australia Fair , written by Peter Dodds McCormick in 1878 and replacing ‘God Save the Queen‘ in 1984, most do know and can even possibly recite this wonderful iconic poem!
Based on the story of Samuel Hoffmeister, a shearer, who was part of a strike at Dagworth Station in 1894, three years after the Great Shearers’ Strike in Queensland, which almost brought the colony to civil war and was only resolved when the army stepped in. After the situation turned violent with the burning of a woolshed, killing a large number of sheep in the process, the owner of Dagworth Station and three policemen gave chase to Hoffmeister, who, rather than be captured, shot and killed himself at Combo Waterhole, near Winton.
Banjo Paterson stayed at Dagworth Station in January 1895, when he penned the words, the poem being set to music, played on a zither by Christina Macpherson, one of the family members at the station. It was based on her remembered rendition of the Craigielea March 1890, which itself is based on a Scottish Celtic folk tune, Thou Bonny Wood of Craigielea 1806.
Another specific genre of poetry and a particular love of mine with its humorous play on words and its imagination and creativity and just plain fun! Defined as: ‘humorous or whimsical verse that differs from other comic verse in its resistance to any rational or allegorical interpretation’ by the Encyclopaedia Brittanica, it often uses coined, meaningless words and strong prosodic elements like rhythm and rhyme. Often written for children, it is an ideal way to finish off this post and come full circle!
: Edward Lear’s Nonsense Songs 1953: Includes The Owl and The Pussy-Cat, one of my favourite children’s poems; The Jumblies (They went to sea in a sieve, they did, In a sieve they went to sea.); The Dong With a Luminous Nose; The Pobble Who Has No Toes; and the delightfully-titled and quirky poem, The Quangle Wangle’s Hat. I love Edward Lear’s original simple illustrations, accompanying his verse.
Other nonsense poems, which I love, but do not own are:
Lewis Carroll 1832-1898:
Jabberwocky , whose brilliant first verse typifies this genre with its nonsensical words
: ‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe’ and
The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits 1876, described as the longest and best sustained nonsense poem in the English language. It also cleverly contained an acrostic on the name of his then-favourite child friend, Gertrude Chataway, whose name is also found in the first words of each stanza of the poem: Girt, Rude, Chat, Away.
Lewis Carroll’s verse can be appreciated in his famous children’s novel, Alice in Wonderland. I have two copies: A fragile small hardback from 1899 (first photo); and my childhood copy from 1965 (second photo). It is interesting comparing the illustrations at the front.
Another difference is the poem at the very front of the 1899 book, which is absent in the later copy.
Here are some of his classic verses throughout the book, which will be very familiar to past readers and display Lewis Carroll’s complete mastery of nonsense verse.
Even though this is a modern book, Christopher Matthews only being born in 1939, because his book is a send-up of AA Milne (1882-1926), I am including it here:
Now We Are Sixty by Christopher Matthew 1999 A gift for my husband’s 60th birthday in 2007, this amusing book, written in rhyme, sends up AA Milne’s Now We Are Six for an audience reared on this famous book! There are some very funny poems with titles like: Let’s All Go Mad (after Buckingham Palace), the first line being ‘They’re changing sex at Buckingham Palace’. Definitely NOT a children’s book! Or Cutting Edge, based on Happiness:
Tom had a
Internet; Tom had
I also loved Insomnia, modelled on In the Dark: ‘I’ve been to dinner, And over-eaten, And drunk a brandy or three; I’ve taken a couple of Alka-Seltzer, And had a jolly good pee’. Like the children’s version, it’s content is perfect for its target audience. There are just so many witty poems that it really is worth purchasing a copy for any nearest and dearest approaching that magic age! And no, I don’t think you can find them online just yet!
TS Eliot (1888-1965)
Nonsense verse can also includes light verse like Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by TS Eliot, a collection of whimsical poems about feline psychology and sociology, and which was later adapted to the musical Cats, composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber. It contains classics like The Rum Tum Tugger; The Song of the Jellicles; Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer; Old Deuteronomy; (The Magical)Mr Mistoffelees; Macavity: The Mystery Cat; and Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat.
Ogden Nash (1902-1971) had some wonderful nonsense verse. For example,
A Word to Husbands
To keep your marriage brimming With love in the loving cup, Whenever you’re wrong, admit it; Whenever you’re right, shut up. And
A Flea and a Fly in a Flue
A flea and a fly in a flue Were imprisoned, so what could they do? Said the fly, “let us flee!” “Let us fly!” said the flea. So they flew through a flaw in the flue.
Dr Seuss (1904-1991)
We were all raised on the books of Dr Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel), in turn raising our own kids on them. He is still popular today. Here is our well-thumbed battered copy of one of his famous books:
Who does not love: Horton Hear a Who 1954; the topical How the Grinch Stole Christmas 1957; The Cat in the Hat 1957 and The Cat in the Hat Comes Back 1958; Green Eggs and Ham 1960; One Fish Tow Fish Red Fish Blue Fish 1960; Fox in Socks 1965; The Lorax 1971; and Oh, The Places You Will Go 1990, a gift from friends on our departure from the family property and the start of our big adventure called Life. I love the introductory lines:
‘Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!’
It even spawned a delightful book, written in a very similar style by Marion Holland (1908-1989), called A Big Ball of String 1958, one of my son’s favourite childhood books.
Spike Milligan (1918-2002)
: Silly Verse for Kids 1959. It includes the delightfully-titled On the Ning Nang Nong: ‘On the Ning Nang Nong, Where the cows go Bong, And the monkeys all say Boo! There’s a Nong-Nang-Ning, Where the trees go Ping! And the teapots jibber jabber joo‘. It definitely has a ring to it and was one of the most popular songs on Play School. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SUU1f3Mgpc. To see Spike Milligan reading his poem, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Wom1OzwzLw.
Another verse in this book is the delightful Lady B’s Fleas:
Lady Barnaby takes her ease Knitting over coats for fleas By this kindness fleas are smitten that’s why she’s very rarely bitten.
There is a very fine line between nonsense verse and children’s books, and while the next two books from my childrens’ childhoods could have fit easily into Tuesday’s post on Children’s Poetry, I have included them here, as they represent both Australian Verse AND Nonsense Verse! Plus, I used to love reading both of them out loud to the kids. As with children’s film, especially animated films, if a book can entertain both children and their parents alike, then in my book, it is a very successful production!
My Grandma Lived in Gooligulch by Graeme Base 1983
Illustrated and written by Graeme Base (1958-), this lovely chidren’s story is totally written in rhyme and introduces young readers to the Australian bush and life outback, as well as some of our wonderful Australian place-names, animals and birds.
Wombat Stew by Marcia K Vaughan 1984
I adored this book. It has such a terrific rollicking verse, especially the chorus, which goes: ‘Wombat Stew, Wombat stew, Gooey, brewy, Yummy, chewy, Wombat stew!’ There is lots of repetition and the illustrations by Pamela Lofts are terrific! There is even a musical score for the chorus at the end.
Roald Dahl (1916-1990)
Roald Dahl was a favourite with my children and not only wrote brilliant books, but while researching this post, I discovered that he was also was a gifted comic poet, writing 27 poems. Try this send up for example:
Mary, Mary, quite contrary
Mary, Mary, quite contrary How does your garden grow? “I live with my brat in a high-rise flat, So how in the world would I know.”
I also enjoyed his versions of The Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf. See: https://www.roalddahlfans.com/dahls-work/poems/. I would love to read his poem, Where Art Thou, Mother Christmas?, which was published as a charity Christmas card to benefit the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in England. In it, he wonders why we never hear of Mother Christmas, who probably buys and wraps all the gifts , while Father Christmas takes all the credit: ‘Down with Father Christmas, that unmitigated jerk!’
And now, because it IS Christmas, I will finish with the old favourite traditional Christmas poem:
‘Twas The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below, When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN! On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONDER and BLITZEN! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky, So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my hand, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!
Wishing you all a Very Safe and Happy Christmas and a Wonderful New Year! Much Love, Jane xxx
Yesterday, we began the exciting discovery and journey into the world of Children’s Poetry, the forerunner of a continued love of poetry into the world of adult verse.
This next section looks at some of our favourite general poetry books, of which I only possess two, and specific poets including Wordsworth and fellow Romantic Poets, as well as John Masefield, Rupert Brookes, WB Yeates, Robert Frost and Dylan Thomas.
General Poetry Books for Adults
I don’t have many general poetry books, but here are two of my favourites from either end of the scale time-wise! Remember that, as in Part One, many of the poems mentioned can be accessed online through sites like:
The Open Road: A Little Book for Wayfarers 1899/ 1948 (45th edition), compiled by EV Lucas
I treasure my little thin copy of this delightful anthology, as well as its premise:The Table of Contents is divided into:
Farewell to Winter and the Town;
Spring and the Beauty of the Earth;
The Lover Sings;
Sun and Cloud, and the Windy Hills;
Birds, Blossoms and Trees;
Summer Sports and Pastimes;
Refreshment and the Inn;
Garden and Orchard;
Music Beneath a Branch;
The Sea and the River;
The Reddening Leaf;
Night and the Stars;
A Little Company of Good Country People;
A Handful of Philosophy; and The Return.
As you can see, all the good important things of life!
I particularly loved:
In City Streets by Ada Smith;
The Early Morning by Hilaire Belloc;
The Joys of the Road by Bliss Carman;
A number of poems simple titled ‘Song’:
Song (also known as Pippa’s Song) and Home Thoughts From Abroad by Robert Browning;
Song (from Arcadia poem) by Sir Philip Sidney; and
Song by James Thomson;
The Lady of the Lambs by Alice Meynell;
She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron;
Beauty by John Masefield, a particular favourite!;
The Cloud by Percy Bysshe Shelley;
Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats;
Ruth by Thomas Hood;
Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whose epic poem, The Ancient Mariner, we had to learn by heart at school;
The Brook by Alfred, Lord Tennyson;
Night by William Blake; and finally,
Henry VI’s Pastoral Wish by William Shakespeare, the famous bard himself!
All the poems mentioned can be accessed online. I have generally not included old favourites, which appear in other books in this post eg The Lake Isle of Innisfree by WB Yeats or The Vagabond by RL Stevenson. I could not find JW Mackail’s translation of Laus Veneris by Ascepiades, so am reproducing it here:
‘Sweet is the snow in summer for the thirsty to drink, and sweet for sailors after winter to see the garland of spring; but most sweet when one cloak shelters two lovers, and the tale of love is told by both’.
The passage below was another favourite, which exemplified the feeling of joy, freedom and exhilaration felt by my seven year-old son on his conquest of the high sand-dunes at Cloudy Bay at the southern end of Bruny Island, Tasmania on World Environment Day 1992, when we went searching for the extremely rare forty-spotted pardalotes!I also enjoyed the little introductory spiels, including quotes, at the start of each section; the super-thin paper pages and the beautiful green front and back papers of the book, showing the daytime (sun) at the start and the nighttime (moon) at the end.For more ‘modern’ poetry, we have this small paperback, though it is now over fifty years old!:
The Penguin Book of Contemporary Verse 1918-1960 Edited by Kenneth Allott 1950/1974
This collection contains 175 poems by 86 poets and divides the poems chronologically by their creators. They include , and please note that I have only mentioned particularly favourites, and more specifically, only those favourites, where I could provide an example of their poems.
: WB Yeats (1865-1939) eg A Prayer for my Daughter, which reminds me of Laurie Lee’s beautiful short story, The Firstborn, in his book, I Can’t Stay Long, in which he expresses his hopes and fears for his newborn daughter. Incidentally, Laurie Lee (1914-1997) is also included in this anthology, with his poem, April Rise;
: War Poets: Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967) eg The Child at the Window; and
Edmund Blunden (1896-1974) eg The Pike;
WH Auden (1907-1973) eg Chorus from The Dog Beneath the Skin (Happy the hare at morning, for she cannot read); though I would have also included his poem, Two Songs for Hedli Anderson, immortalized in the film, Four Weddings and a Funeral.
Stephen Spender (1909-1995) eg The Landscape near an Aerodrome;
Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) eg Poem in October– more later! and
Philip Larkin (1922-1985) eg Church Going;
Kenneth has a very interesting discussion about the poetry of this time period in the introduction, as well as biographical notes at the start of each grouping of poems. General poetry books are very useful, in that they point you in the right direction for finding your favourite poets.
In chronological order!
Wordsworth: Selected Poems Edited by HM Margoliouth 1959/ 1980
William Wordworth (1770-1850) An English romantic poet and Britain’s Poet Laureate from 1843-1850, whose house we visited at Dove Cottage, Grasmere, in the Lake District on our 1983 trip. I love his romantic uplifting nature-inspired poetry, including:
Lines: Written at a small distance from my house and sent by my little boy to the person to whom they are addressed (It is the first mild day of March);
To Sleep (A flock of sheep that leisurely pass by, One after one; the sound of rain, and bees Murmuring; the fall of rivers, winds and seas, Smooth fields, white sheets of water, and pure sky; I’ve thought of all by turns; and still I lie Sleepless…), a perfect poem for my husband at 3am, the witching hour of the Whale of Doom!
The Solitary Reaper (Behold her, single in the field, Yon solitary Highland Lass),
And, of course, the poem, for which he is most famous: Daffodils (I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud).
As with most of these books devoted to one poet, the next one being the exception, there are extensive biographical notes and critiques of their works. But before I progress to WB Yeates, a nod to a few other poets, whose works I do not possess.
Other English Romantic poets:
John Keats (1795-1821), whose poetry I also love, but alas do not have any books! I didn’t realize that he died of tuberculosis when he was only 25 years old, nor that he was a licensed, but non-practising apothecary for that matter! Luckily, I can access his beautiful poems on: http://keats-poems.com/. Among my favourites are: Ode to a Nightingale 1819 and To Autumn 1820.
I should also have a copy of John Masefield poetry, as I love so many of his poems, including: Sea Fever; Cargoes; A Wanderer’s Song; The West Wind; Trade Winds; Roadways and Beauty, one of my favourites:
I HAVE seen dawn and sunset on moors and windy hills
Coming in solemn beauty like slow old tunes of Spain:
I have seen the lady April bringing the daffodils,
Bringing the springing grass and the soft warm April rain.
I have heard the song of the blossoms and the old chant of the sea,
And seen strange lands from under the arched white sails of ships;
But the loveliest thing of beauty God ever has shown to me,
Are her voice, and her hair, and eyes, and the dear red curve of her lips.
WB Yeats: Selected Poems 1992 Selected by Ian Hamilton for Bloomsbury Poetry Classics
I love my little hardback Bloomsbury Poetry Classic edition, which I bought at the delightful café-bookshop, The Islandman, Dingle, Kerry, back in 1994!
Irish-born WB Yeats (1865-1939) is one of my favourite poets and I love a number of his poems, including:
When You Are Old, the poem I read at my Dad’s funeral (Dad’s choice), though I would have also loved to have read his famous poem, The Lake Isle of Innisfree, as it reminds me so much of Dad, his self-sufficiency ideals, his beekeeping and his love of nature, books, silence and a peaceful life! Funnily enough, both poems are from The Rose 1893 and appear next to each other in my little book:
An Irish Seaman Foresees his Death (From The Wild Swans at Coole 1919) (I know that I shall meet my fate Somewhere among the clouds above);
And Sailing to Byzantium (From The Tower 1928) (That is no country for old men…), though I would have loved to have seen A Coat and He Wishes For the Cloths if Heaven included:
A Coat by WB Yeates
I made my song a coat
Covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
From heel to throat;
But the fools caught it,
Wore it in the world’s eyes
As though they’d wrought it.
Song, let them take it
For there’s more enterprise
In walking naked.
He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven (From The Wind among the Reeds, 1899)
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
Robert Frost: Selected Poems Edited by Ian Hamilton (yes, the same editor as the previous book!) 1969/1973
Robert Frost (1874-1963) was one of America’s best-known poets and a favourite poet of my generation, as many of us studied his poems at school. Here are some of my favourites:
From North of Boston 1914:
Mending Wall (Something there is that doesn’t love a wall);
After Apple-Picking (My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree Toward heaven still);
From Mountain Interval 1916:
The Road Not Taken (Two roads diverged in a yellow wood..). Possibly THE most famous Robert Frost poem, it is a tricky poem to learn by heart, but we did it! The problem is that you really need to recite it often to retain the correct order of the words, but it is a beautiful poem and so succinct about the choices we make, that influence and determine the direction of our lives and how really, no choice is necessarily the right one, only different.
From New Hampshire 1923:
Fire and Ice (Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice), an even more succinct little poem of only nine lines!
Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening (Whose woods these are I think I know) Another poem with tricky word order, it is so easy to start: Whose woods are these I think I know! I love the last verse and its repetition:
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
From West-Running Brook 1928
The Rose Family, very pertinent to a rose lover like myself and a lovely little dig at scientific classification:
The Rose Family
The rose is a rose,
And was always a rose.
But the theory now goes
That the apple’s a rose,
And the pear is, and so’s
The plum, I suppose.
The dear only knows
What will next prove a rose.
You, of course, are a rose-
But were always a rose.
And finally, from A Witness Tree 1942:
The Gift Outright (The land was ours before we were the land’s).
His poems are just so lovely and have such a great sound when read out loud.
The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas: The New Centenary Edition Edited by John Goodby 2014
Born in Wales, the intense and passionate Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) burned with a fierce light and he died far too young at the age of 39 years old, but he left us some wonderful poems.
For years, I survived with my battered old Everyman’s Library 1978 paperback copy from schooldays, Dylan Thomas: Collected Poems 1932-1952, but it has now been supplanted with a beautiful birthday hardback book (photo at bottom of post). Here is my original copy:
I love Dylan Thomas’s poetry, as so many of my generation do. I love his imagery, his phraseology and his use of invented words, and his stringing together of normally-unrelated words to create perfect visual images eg:
‘In the mustardseed sun, By full tilt river and switchback sea’ and ‘palavers of birds’, ‘the congered waves’ and ‘the thistledown fall’ in Poem on His Birthday; and
‘the mussel pooled and the heron priested shore’ and ‘the sea wet church the size of a snail With its horns through mist’, both from Poem in October.
I love his repetition, used to such devastating effect in And Death Shall Have No Dominion and Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night; his rhythm in Lament and The Hand That Signed The Paper; and his use of tempo to create the required effect.
Fern Hill literally sings and trips like a burbling brook or a child on the run from dawn till dusk, ‘before the children green and golden Follow him (time) out of grace’, when the tempo slows.
I also love his use of allusion, often quite elusive and well hidden by context. Here is an obvious one! ‘Incarnate devil in a talking snake’ in Incarnate Devil.
Obscure at times, and often quite bleak, these poems are so richly layered and sensuous, that if you haven’t had the fortune of encountering Dylan Thomas, definitely make the effort! All poems are online.
The appendices in the Centenary edition, contain extracts from letters and interviews and some very helpful notes for a full understanding of his poems, especially the more obscure ones!
My favourites are, in order of publication:
From 18 Poems 1934: Especially When the October Wind (1932) ;
From Twenty-Five Poems 1936: And Death Shall Have No Dominion (1933); and The Hand That Signed The Paper (1935);
From Deaths and Entrances 1946: Poem in October (1944) and Fern Hill (1945); and
From In Country Sleep 1952: Poem on His Birthday (1949); Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night (1951); and Lament (1951).
Tomorrow, I will be looking at two specific genres of poetry, which are favourites of mine: Australian Poetry and Nonsense Verse.
My final book post for the year covers my favourite poetry books, as well as my favourite poets! Poetry is such a personal preference. I’m afraid that I have to admit to being unashamedly conventional in my tastes! A true romantic at heart, though others may say ostrich-like, I love both art and poetry, which promotes positivity and beauty in images, words and thoughts and which makes you feel good! Nothing too deep or heavy or angst-ridden, where you immediately want to go and slit your wrists (or throat for that matter!), though there are exceptions like Dylan Thomas, who strings his words together so beautifully that he is still one of my favourite poets!
Poetry is for reading out aloud! I love the sound of the words and the rhyme, cadence and rhythm of the verse. I enjoy a wide eclectic range of forms from rhyming sonnets to some prose; Japanese haikus and funny limericks, and even terrible doggerel, some of which I have been known to write myself!!!
A love of poetry begins in childhood. Children respond so well to rhyme and rhythm and many of my favourite poetry stems from that time, so I have started with some favourite poetry books for children (today), progressing into some general poetry books for adults, and then, some specific poets, no doubt generational favourites (Wednesday), as well different genres, including some of our wonderful Australian poems and humorous nonsense rhymes (Thursday). Please note that many of the poems mentioned can be accessed online through sites like:
Nursery rhymes are the very start of preparing children for the wonderful world of poetry and rhyme!
In the Old Gum Tree: Nursery Thymes and Verse for Little Kids Illustrated by Cathy Wilcox 1989/1990
This thin paperback contains old traditional favourites like Baa Baa Black Sheep and Ladybird, Ladybird, as well as colloquial Australian verse like Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree and other short rhymes and poems, written specifically for Australian children.
AA Milne (1882-1926)
When We Were Very Young, 1924
AA Milne was not only responsible for that wonderful children’s classic, Winnie the Pooh, with all its iconic characters, so loved by generations of children, but also for engendering a love of poetry in children. There are so many wonderful poems in this book, including (with first lines):
Buckingham Palace (They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace-Christopher Robin went down with Alice);
Happiness (John had Great Big Waterproof Boots On);
Puppy and I (I met a man as I went walking; We got talking, Man and I);
The Four Friends (Ernest was an elephant, a great big fellow, Leonard was a lion with a six-foot tail, George was a goat, and his beard was yellow, And James was a very small snail!), a personal favourite;
Lines and Squares (Whenever I walk in a London street, I’m ever so careful to watch my feet). Remember doing this?!;
Market Square (I had a penny, A bright new penny. I took my penny to the market square);
Disobedience (James James Morrison Morrison Weatherby George Dupree Took great Care of his Mother, Though he was only three), such a wonderful rhyme!;
The Three Foxes (Once upon a time there were three little foxes, Who didn’t wear stockings, and they didn’t wear soxes);
Rice Pudding (What is the matter with Mary Jane?);
Missing (Has anybody seen my mouse?);
The King’s Breakfast ( The King asked The Queen, and The Queen asked The Dairymaid: ‘Could we have some butter for The Royal slice of bread?’);
Hoppity (Christopher Robin goes Hoppity, hoppity, Hoppity, hoppity, hop!);
The Dormouse and the Doctor (There once was a Dormouse who lived in a bed Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red)); and
Halfway Down (Halfway down the stairs Is a stair Where I sit).
We also grew up with AA Milne’s other poetry book: Now We are Six by AA Milne 1927/ 1956, with classics like:
King John’s Christmas (King John was not a good man!);
Busy (I think I am a muffin man…But round about and round about and roundabout I go!);
Sneezles (Christopher Robin had sneezles and wheezles));
Binker (Binker – what I call him – is a secret of my own);
Cherry Stones (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor);
Buttercup Days (Where is Anne?), my poor sister’s bête noir;
Us Two (Wherever I am, there’s always Pooh, There’s always Pooh and me!);
Forgiven (I found a little beetle, so that Beetle was his name, And I called him Alexander and he answered just the same….And Nanny let my beetle out!);
The Little Black Hen (Berryman and Baxter, Prettiboy and Penn And old Farmer Middleton Are five big men);
The Good Little Girl (It’s funny how often they say to me, ‘Jane? Have you been a good girl?), my pet hate, but still memorable!; and
In the Dark (I’ve had my supper, And had my supper, and HAD my supper and all!)
I love AA Milne’s repetition, his rhyme, his subject matter so pertinent to children’s lives, even today, although it is a very different time period, and his great sense of fun! It is hard to imagine that anyone would not know his poems, at least in the English-speaking world, but for those of you who don’t, see: https://www.poemhunter.com/alan-alexander-milne/poems/.
I think AA Milne is about to enjoy renewed popularity, with the current release of the film about him and the story behind the creation of Winnie-the-Pooh, Goodbye Christopher Robin. See: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1653665/ for a description and the trailer.
Another lovely poetry book for children aged between six and twelve years of age is :
I Will Build You a House: Poems for Cushla, chosen by Dorothy Butler 1984.
While Dorothy specifies in the introduction that she tries to avoid dividing her poetry into topics or themes, preferring to surprise her audience, many of the poems chosen are about animals and nature. They include some classic old poems, including:
Hurt No Living Thing by Christine Rossetti;
Four Ducks on a Pond by William Allingham; and
Envoy; Windy Nights; and Requiem by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894).
When my children were young, we had a book of Robert Louis Stevenson’s poetry titled: A Child’s Garden of Verses 1885, which can be read online as part of the Gutenberg Project. See: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/25609/25609-h/25609-h.htm. Like AA Milne, his poems are short, have rollicking rhyme (eg Windy Nights and My Shadow) and are so rich in imagery (eg Travel and Block City), so wonderful for developing the imagination and a lifelong love of poetry!
Envoy is one of my favourite poems by Robert Louis Stevenson:
Go, little book, and wish to all
Flowers in the Garden, meat in the hall,
A bin of wine, a spice of wit,
A house with lawns enclosing it,
A living river by the door,
A nightingale in the sycamore!
Another poetry book I read to my children was: A New Treasury of Poetry, Compiled by Neil Philip 1990.
This book does divide its poems into subject matter with the following chapters:
A Child Went Forth;
Days are Where We Live;
Birds and Beasts;
Sing a Song of Seasons;
Children If You Dare Think;
Once Upon a Time;
The Land of Whipperginny; and
Goodnight; with an Index of Poets and an Index of Titles and First Lines in the back of the book.
I loved Neil Philip’s comparison of poetry as ‘most akin to magic’ in his introduction (page 14).
The poetry includes:
Traditional rhymes like ‘Lavender’s Blue’ ;‘I Know Where I’m Going, ‘This is the Key ’; ‘Lord Randal’; ‘How many Miles to Babylon’ ; ‘I Had a Little Nut-Tree’ and ‘Frankie and Johnny’;
and some famous, old, lyrical poems, including:
The Tyger by William Blake 1794 (Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright In the Forests of the night!);
The Cataract of Lodore by Robert Southey 1823;
I Remember, I Remember by Thomas Hood 1826;
The Owl and the Pussy-Cat by Edward Lear 1871 (The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea In a beautiful pea-green boat), a delightful nonsense poem; and the particularly rousing poem:
The Highway Man by Alfred Noyes 1906 (The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees. The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas. The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor, And the highwayman came riding-Riding-riding-The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door);
As well as more modern (as opposed to ancient!) poems like :
The Rum Tum Tugger by TS Eliot (The Rum Tum Tugger is a Curious Cat) 1939
Days by Philip Larkin (What are days for? Days are where we live) 1953;
The Magpies by Denis Glover, one of my favourite poems with the chorus line: Quardle oodle ardlewardle doodle, so evocative of their beautiful song) 1964 ; and
The History of the Flood by John Heath-Stubbs (Bang Bang Bang Said the nails in the Ark) 1971;
Some of the poems are common to adult anthologies like :
The Daffodils by William Wordsworth 1807;
A Thing of Beauty 1818 (A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness…) and To Autumn 1819 (Seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness!), both by John Keats;
The Lake Isle of Innesfree by WB Yeats 1888;
Sea Fever by John Masefield 1902 (I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky)
Leisure by WH Davies 1911 (What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare);
After Apple-Picking 1914 and Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening 1922, both by Robert Frost 1914; and
Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas 1945;
The Macquarie Bedtime Story Book 1987, compiled by Rosalind Price and Walter McVitty also contains some wonderful poetry for children. Particularly memorable poems include:
A Rhyme to Jump into Bed With (Bounda-bounda-bounda bump!), a very bouncy fun poem; and Highrise (Do you know what I would build If all the blocks were mine? I’d pile them up And pile them up As high as I could climb), both by Sally Farrell Odgers.
When the King Rides By (Oh, what a fuss when the king rides by And the drum plays rat-a-tat-plan!); and Promises (If I had a needle, a needle, I’d sew you a wonderful cake!), both by Margaret Mahy;
When I Went to Byaduck (When I went to Byaduck, to Byaduck, to Byaduck, My Grandma said to me…!); and Waddle Duck (Ducks in the farmyard, ducks in the dawnlight, Waking up brightly as the day comes back, Waddle-duck, waddle-duck, Quack, quack, quack); both by Colin Thiele;
Stomping Horace by Doug MacLeod (Horace was a stomper In the second grade!); The Ant Explorer by CJ Dennis (Once a little sugar ant made up his mind to roam – To fare away far away, far away from home);
Ten Little Rabbits by Anonymous (Ten little rabbits playing round a mine. One slipped down a shaft, then there were nine);
Three Fleas by Bill Scott (Here are three fleas with powerful knees who can leap as high as the tallest trees – boing – boing – boing!);
M.’s Songs by JS Manifold (Coots eat waterbeetles, Rats eat cheese, Goats eat anything they Darned well please!), one of my all-time favourites;
Miss Strawberry’s Purse by Eric C Rolls (Miss Strawberry has a long fat purse To keep her money in); and
Mulga Bill’s Bicycle by AB Paterson (‘Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze!)
All of them have wonderful rhyme and a great sense of fun and humour and many of them are written by Australian poets.
My final poetry book for children, Come Listen: A Book of Poetry for Secondary Schools: First and Second Forms 1966 by Marjorie Pizer and Joan Reed was a textbook we studied in Grade Six of primary school, despite its title, and I loved the poems in it! They are divided into sections and I have given a small sample of examples in each grouping:
Story Poems and Ballads eg The Man From Snowy River by AB Paterson; The Minstrel Boy by Thomas Moore; The Listeners by Walter de la Mare; and The Wild Colonial Boy (Anon);
Fun and Nonsense eg The Triantiwontigongalope by CJ Dennis; Johnson’s Antidote by AB Paterson; The Bunyip and the Whistling Kettle by John Manifold; Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll; and Sad Story of a Motor Fan by HA Field;
Animals and Other Creatures eg Macavity: The Mystery Cat by TS Eliot; The Eagle by Alfred, Lord Tennyson; and Snake by Ian Mudie;
Old Favourites eg The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson; Abou Ben Adhem by Leigh Hunt; and If by Rudyard Kipling;
People eg Hiawatha by HW Longfellow; and Clancy of the Overflow by AB Paterson;
Background to Today eg The Teams by Henry Lawson; Colonial Fleets by EJ Brady; They’ll Tell You About Me by Ian Mudie, such an iconic Aussie poem; and Old Botany Bay by Mary Gilmore.
Country and City eg A Song of Rain by CJ Dennis; Pippa’s Song by Robert Browning; Cargoes by John Masefield; and From a Railway Carriage by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Thoughts and Feelings eg The Vagabond, again by Robert Louis Stevenson; Tarantella by Hilaire Belloc; Break, Break, Break by Alfred, Lord Tennyson; When You are Old by WB Yeats; and The Great Lover by Rupert Brooke.
This book gave me an excellent grounding in poetry, as well as in Australian verse (more later)!
I hope this post has brought back very many happy memories, as well as given a few suggestions for poetry for today’s children. For more children’s poetry, see my post on Thursday on Nonsense Rhymes. Tomorrow, we enter the world of adult poetry!
Having already discussed Pemberton’s Hybrid Musks and David Austin’s English Roses, my final post on rose types is featuring ten Modern Shrub Roses (Nevada 1927; Frühlingsgold 1937; Cerise Bouquet 1937; Fritz Nobis 1940;Frühlingsmorgen 1942; Frühlingsanfang 1950 ; Roundelay 1953; Sally Holmes 1976; Bonica ’82 1981; and Jacqueline du Pré 1988, and ten Modern Climbers (Mme Grégoire Staechlin 1927; New Dawn 1930; Aloha 1949; Blossomtime 1951; Leverkusen 1954; Alchymist 1956; Golden Showers 1956; Altissimo 1966; White Cockade 1969; and Pierre de Ronsard 1987), all of them very well-known and many the recipients of rose awards.
Most of the Modern Shrub Roses featured are tough, hardy, disease-resistant, large (taller than 1.2 metres), prolific repeat-flowerers, which provide massed colour over a long period, though some of the roses I have featured are only once-flowering. Many are equally good as climbers on walls, fences and as pillar roses. All but a few Modern Shrub Roses have Large-Flowered Roses and Cluster-Flowered Roses in their makeup, and thus can be seen as hybrids of Hybrid Teas and Floribundas. I have organised them according to their country of origin to give a brief overview of some of the prominent rose breeders of the 21st Century and within those geographical divisions, they are listed sequentially according to their date of release where possible.
While not prominent in the rose world, Spain did have one very well-known rose breeder, Pedro Dot, and I am starting this post with him, as both of his roses below are the earliest Modern Shrub Rose and Modern Climber featured in this post.
Pedro Dot (1885 to 1976) bred 178 new roses, of which Nevada (photo below) was his most successful rose, with Mme Grégoire Staechlin coming a close second. He did much of his early breeding with Hybrid Perpetual, Frau Karl Druschki, developing his own strain of brightly-coloured Pernetianas, or HybridTeas as we now know them, which he named after family members (eg Mari Dot 1927), aristocratic patrons (eg Cayetana Stuart), Catalan patriots (eg Angel Guimerà) and Republican towns and regions (eg Catalonia 1931and Girona 1936), as well as a number of Miniature Roses.
Unfortunately, his Hybrid Teas were not frost-resistant and so, only do well in warmer climates. The photo below shows Mme Grégoire Staechlin, festooning Walter Duncan’s old house at the Heritage Garden, Clare, in South Australia. Nevada, Pedro Dot, Spain 1927 A cross between Hybrid Tea, La Giralda, and R. moyesii, this large, dense shrub, 2.4 to 4 metres tall and 2 to 4 metres wide, with repeat-flowering, arching, almost thornless branches, covered their entire length with prolific clusters of large, creamy-white, fragrant, single to semi-double blooms, opening flat with golden stamens. See: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/nevada. I grew this rose against the fence of my old Armidale garden (photo below). It was awarded a Garden Merit Award. It has a pink sport, Marguerite Hilling 1959.Mme Grégoire Staechlin, Dot, Spain, 1927 Also known as Spanish Beauty, this large, sprawling, hardy, vigorous climber, 2.45 to 6 metres tall and 3 to 6 metres wide, is a cross between Hybrid Perpetual, Frau Karl Druschki, and early Hybrid Tea, Château de Clos Vougeot. Here is a closeup photo of Walter Duncan’s rose at the Heritage Garden:
Mme Grégoire Staechlin has dark green foliage and is a heavy bloomer, bearing highly fragrant, large, semi-double, light pink ruffled blooms, followed by large, orange-red, pear-shaped hips. It is highly disease resistant and drought-tolerant. It has been awarded a Garden Merit Award. I grew it along the verandah of our old house at Armidale.Germany
Kordes Roses (https://www.kordes-rosen.com/) is one of the world’s leading rose breeders and producers for cut roses and garden roses, selling more than two million rose plants at retail and wholesale each year worldwide. They have contributed more than any other rose breeders to the development of the Modern Shrub Rose in their quest to develop hardy roses for the Northern European climate.
Each year, more than 50,000 new crosses of garden roses and cut roses are tested, leading to four to six marketable varieties, after a trial period of eight to ten years. The main goals of their rose breeding program are winter hardiness, quick repeat blooms, fungal disease resistance, unique colors and forms of bloom, abundance of blooms, fragrance, self-cleaning, good height and fullness of plant and rain resistance.
They have ensured the health and hardiness of their chosen varieties by stopping the use of fungicides on their trial fields more than 20 years ago. They have also withdrawn over 100 older varieties, which are no longer competitive, from their collection to allow room for newer, improved and healthier varieties. Here is a sample catalogue: http://southamptonrose.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/pdf/Brochure_Kordes.pdf.
Kordes Roses was started in 1887 by a German horticulturalist, Wilhelm Kordes I (1865-1935), who created a garden in Elmshorn, specializing in garden roses. In 1918, he moved the firm to Klein Offenseth-Sparrieshoop in Scleswig-Holstein.
His sons, Wilhelm Kordes II (1891 – 1976) and Hermann Kordes (1893 – 1963), changed the name of the nursery to Wilhelm Kordes’ Söhne, building the company to the one of the largest rose breeders of the twentieth century and aiming to breed hardy and healthy varieties for the German climate. From 1920 on, Wilhelm Kordes II focused entirely on rose breeding and cultivation, while Hermann managed the business.
Wilhelm initially focused on native European species: Rosa canina, R. rubiginosa and R. spinosissima in his breeding program. Some of his famous roses include Crimson Glory 1935, the world’s most favourite crimson Hybrid Tea rose; Raubritter 1936; Fritz Nobis 1940 (photo below) and the early-flowering Frühlings series, including Frühlingsgold 1937; Frühlingsmorgen 1942; and Frühlingsanfang in 1950.During the Second World War, he crossed R. wichuraiana with R. rugosa to eventually produce a tough new species, R. kordesii, able to withstand the freezing cold German Winters. It in turn was used to breed Parkdirektor Riggers and Leverkusen. Wilhelm II was also heavily involved in ADR testing (the general testing of new German roses) in 1950. Here is another photo of Fritz Nobis:
From 1955, his son Reimer Kordes (1922-1997) ran the company until Reimer’s son, Wilhelm Kordes III, took over in 1977. Reimer was responsible for the breeding of Modern Climber, Alchymist 1956; Westerland 1969; Friesia 1973 and Floribunda , Iceberg (syn. Schneewittchen) in 1958, the latter voted the World’s Most Favourite Rose in 1983.
Fritz Nobis Wilhelm Kordes II, Germany 1940
Winner of a Garden Merit Award (RHS), Fritz Nobis is a cross between a Hybrid Tea,Joanna Hill, and an Eglanteria hybrid, Magnifica. This vigorous healthy shrub, 1.5 to 2.5 metres tall and 1 to 1.5 metres wide, has plentiful small grey-green foliage and is once-flowering in early Summer. It has large clusters of semi-double to double, light salmon-pink flowers, which are darker on the outside, up to 8 cm wide, and have a light clove scent. It sets plenty of small orange-red hips in Autumn. I am growing my plant, propagated from a seedling from a friend’s garden, beside the shed door. Here are two photos of the latter- a new bloom and a slightly older one:
The Frühlings Series (Frühling meaning Spring), known as Hybrid Spinosissimas, were also bred by Wilhelm Kordes II, they include the following three roses, of which the first two varieties I grew in my old Armidale garden:
Frühlingsgold Wilhelm Kordes II, Germany, 1937 (Spring Gold)
A cross between Hybrid Tea, Joanna Hill, and R. spinosissima ‘Hispida’, this dense, vigorous, once-flowering shrub, 1.5 to 2.4 metres tall and 1.5 metres wide, has medium-sized, toothed, matt, light-green leaves and arching, thorny branches, bearing large clusters of very fragrant, semi-double, large (up to 12 cm), pale creamy-yellow blooms in late Spring/ early Summer. It is spectacular in full bloom and looks good in a mixed border, shrub border, flowering hedge or as an accent plant. Because of its hardiness, reliability and ease of growth, even under difficult conditions, it is one of the most widely planted of all Shrub Roses, both in gardens and public places. It was awarded a Garden Merit Award (RHS).Frühlingsmorgen Wilhelm Kordes II, Germany, 1942 (Spring Morning)
Also given a Garden Merit Award (RHS), this Modern Shrub is the product of seed parent, (a cross between two Hybrid Teas, EG Hill x Cathrine Kordes) and pollen parent, R. spinosissima ‘Grandiflora’. It reaches 1.75 metres tall and 1.5 metres wide, but its disease resistance is not wonderful, though it does better in a warm climate. Once-flowering, it flowers freely in early Summer, with a few blooms later in the season. It has large, single, slightly cupped, rose-pink flowers with a primrose centre, a moderate scent and maroon stamens. See: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/fruhlingsmorgen.
Frühlingsanfang Wilhelm Kordes II, Germany, 1950
A cross between Joanna Hill and R. spinosissima ‘Altaica’, this large Modern Shrub, 3.7 metres tall and wide, has arching branches, bearing large, single, ivory-white, moderately scented blooms with golden anthers. Only flowering once in Spring/ Summer, it is hardy and vigorous and has large maroon hips in Autumn. See: https://www.helpmefind.com/rose/l.php?l=2.2873. Here is a photo of one of its parents, R. spinosissima ‘Altaica’:Leverkusen William Kordes II, Germany 1954)
A cross between R. kordesii and another Large-Flowered Climber, Golden Glow, Leverkusen makes a strong bushy climber, up to 4.5 metres high, or a huge shrub. It has dark green foliage and thorny stems. Highly floriferous, it flowers freely through Summer and Autumn with one excellent crop, followed by a few repeat- flowers later on. It has medium to large, double, lemon-yellow rosette blooms with a fruity fragrance and a slight frilled edge to the petals. See: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/leverkusen. It has a Garden Merit Award from the RHS. I grew it in my old Armidale garden.Alchymist Reimer Kordes, Germany 1956
A cross between a Large-Flowered Climber, Golden Glow, and R. eglanteria, this vigorous Large-Flowered Climber or shrub, up to 6 metres tall and 2.5 metres wide, has thorny stems, bronze-green foliage and excellent disease resistance. Only once-flowering in late Spring and early Summer, it bears clusters of large, very double and quartered yellow-orange rosette blooms with a strong fragrance. See: http://www.paulbardenroses.com/climbers/alchymist.html.
Tantau is the other big name in Germany, so I have included one of his Modern Shrub Roses, Cerise Bouquet. Mathias Tantau started a nursery specializing in forest trees in Northern Germany in 1906, but by 1918 had started breeding roses, with his first three Polyanthas introduced in 1919. He also bred the Floribunda, Floradora 1944, the parent of Grandiflora, Queen Elizabeth, and Cerise Bouquet, which he gave to Kordes as a gift. His son, also Mathias, continued the business after his father’s death in 1953, producing Hybrid Teas,Super Star 1960 (also called Tropicana), Blue Moon 1964, Whiskey Mac 1967 and Polar Star 1982. See: http://www.rosen-tantau.com/en/about-us.
Cerise Bouquet Tantau, Germany 1937 and introduced by Kordes, Germany 1958
A cross between R. multibracteata and Hybrid Tea, Crimson Glory, this large Summer-flowering Shrub Rose, 2.7 to 3.5 metres high and 1.8 metres wide, has small grey-green foliage and large open sprays of cerise-pink, semi-double, rosette blooms on robust, graceful, arching growth. See: https://www.helpmefind.com/rose/l.php?l=2.34784.0. It has a Garden Merit Award (RHS).
United States of America
New Dawn Introduced by Dreer, USA, 1930 A sport of Wichuraiana Hybrid, Dr W. Van Fleet 1899, itself a cross created by rose breeder, Dr W. Van Fleet, from the seed parent: a cross between R. wichuraiana x Tea Rose, Safrano, and pollen parent, Hybrid Tea, Souvenir de Président Carnot. The next three photos show the bloom as it ages. Dr W. Van Fleet worked in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Introduction Station at Maryland from 1905 to the 1920s, producing plants hardy enough for the American climate with its freezing Winters and hot wet Summers. He raised several other tough hybrids, including Silver Moon 1910 and Sarah Van Fleet 1926.New Dawn is one of the best and most vigorous Modern Climbers of all time, being voted one of the World’s Most Favourite Roses and inducted into the Rose Hall of Fame in 1997. It was the first rose ever to receive a patent. I grew it on the front of our verandah in Armidale (the two photos below) and now it is gracing the bottom side our main pergola in our current garden (the three photos above).A healthy 4.5 to 6 metre climber or large shrub, it has glossy, dark green foliage, thorny stems and repeat-flowering clusters of medium-sized, semi-double, silvery-blush pink blooms, which fade to white and have a fresh fruity fragrance.New Dawn has been crossed with many Hybrid Teas to create a number of repeat-flowering hardy Modern Climbers, including : Aloha, Bantry Bay, City of London, Coral Dawn, Don Juan, Lichterloh, Morning Dawn, Morning Stars, Parade, Pink Cloud, Pink Favourite, Shin-Setsu and White Cockade. It certainly is a beautiful and important rose!Jackson and Perkins is a big name in the American rose world: See: http://www.jacksonandperkins.com/. The company started in 1872, when Charles Perkins, with the financial backing of his father-in-law, A.E. Jackson, started farming strawberries and grapes, but the nursery became famous after marketing E. Alvin Miller’s rose, Dorothy Perkins, in 1901.
After that, Jackson and Perkins started focusing on roses as their main product and grew to become one of the world’s foremost producers and marketers of roses. They purchased Armstrong Nurseries in the late 1980s.
Some of their rose hybridizers include Eugene Boerner, famous for his contribution to the development of Floribundas, as well as Hybrid Teas like Diamond Jubilee 1947; and William Warriner, who bred 110 rose varieties and was a director of the company from 1966 to the late 1980s after the death of Eugene Boerner. Here is one of Boerner’s famous roses:
Aloha, bred by Boerner, USA 1949 and introduced by Jackson and Perkins, USA, 1949
Aloha is a vigorous Large-Flowered Climber, 2.5 to 4 metres high and 1.5 to 2.5 metres wide, bred from a cross between another Climbing HybridTea, Mercedes Gallart, and New Dawn. It has stiff thorny stems, dark leathery foliage and small clusters of large, fully double, cupped and quartered, Bourbon-like, apricot-pink flowers, with a deeper pink reverse and an apple scent over a long period in Summer and Autumn. See: https://www.gardenia.net/plant/rose-aloha.
Aloha is highly disease-resistant and tolerant of rain and shade and does well in warm climates. It can be grown as a shrub, pillar rose or on a trellis. It has a Garden Merit Award from the RHS, however its main claim to fame is its use in David Austin’s breeding programs to increase the vigour of his English Roses, especially the Leander Group (Charles Austin, Leander, Troilus, Abraham Darby, Golden Celebration, Jubilee Celebration, WilliamMorris, The Alnwick Rose and Summer Song). Below is a photo collage of members of the Leander Group of English Roses. From the top left corner, clockwise: Troilus, William Morris, Golden Celebration, and The Alnwick Rose.
Other important names in the American rose industry are Swim and Weeks (http://www.weeksroses.com), and breeders, Conrad C O’Nealand Dr Walter E. Lammerts.
Weeks Roses was established in 1938 by Ollie and Verona Weeks. Ollie formed a hybridizing partnership with Herb Swim in the 1950s, both having worked for Armstrong Nurseries in Ontario. During this time, they bred Hybrid Tea, Mr Lincoln 1964. Swim returned to Armstrong’s in the late 1960s, where he bred bicoloured Hybrid Tea, Double Delight 1977. The Weeks retired in 1985 and a new program was set up at Weeks Roses by Tom Carruth, who had previously worked with Jack Christensen at Armstrong’s and with Bill Warriner at Jackson and Perkins. Here is an interesting article about some of these men: http://www.rose.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/JackChristensen.pdf.
Roundelay Swim, USA, 1953
A cross between Hybrid Tea, Charlotte Armstrong, and Floribunda, Floradora, this upright, free-flowering shrub, 1.2 metres tall and 1 metre wide, has healthy, dark green foliage and large trusses of cardinal-red, fully double, fragrant blooms, which open flat. It received a Geneva Gold Medal in 1954. Here is a link: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/roundelay-shrub-rose.html.
Blossomtime O’Neal, USA, 1951
A cross between New Dawn and a seedling, this repeat-flowering Modern Climber, 1.2 to 4.5 metres high, has sharp, dark crimson thorns; dense, glossy, dark-green foliage with dark crimson tips; and small clusters of medium sized, very fragrant, double pink flowers, with a darker pink reverse in late Spring and early Summer. They last well as a cut flower. It is slightly susceptible to mildew. The next two photos are of Blossomtime.Dr Walter Lammerts was the first leader of Armstrong Nurseries’Rose Research and Development Unit (later to be succeeded by Herb Swim, Dr David Armstrong, Jack Christensen and Tom Carruth), and he produced 46 roses between 1940 and 1981, including many Hybrid Teas (like Charlotte Armstrong and Chrysler Imperial), Floribundas,Grandifloras, Modern Climbers and Polyanthas (like China Doll).Lammert’s roses were the ancestors of many famous roses:
First Generation offspring: eg Sutter’s Gold;
Second Generation offspring: Broadway, Circus, and Pascali;
Third Generation offspring: Double Delight; Joseph’s Coat and the McCartney Rose; and
Later Generations, like Blueberry Hill.
Golden ShowersLammerts USA, 1956
A cross between a Hybrid Tea, Charlotte Armstrong, and a Large-Flowered Climber,Captain Thomas, this short Modern Climber reaches 1.8 to 4 metres tall and 1.5 to 2.5 metres wide and has glossy, dark green leaves and almost thornless stems, bearing 10 cm large, semi-double, rather ragged, sweetly fragrant, golden yellow blooms, fading to light yellow as they age, with red filaments. See: http://www.rosesgalore.com/golden-showers-rose.html.
Very free flowering and continuously blooming from mid Summer to early Autumn, it is one of the best compact yellow roses, receiving many awards, including a Garden Merit Award from the RHS, the All-America Rose Selections (AARS)Award in 1956 and the Portland Gold Medal in 1957. It also makes a good free-standing shrub.
France has had a long history of rose breeding with many famous rose breeders like the Pernet-Ducher family, Lyons, who produced many Noisettes (Rêve d’Or 1869, Bouquet d’Or 1872), Teas (Marie Van Houtte 1871), Pernetianas (Rayon d’Or 1910) and Hybrid Teas (Mme Caroline Testout 1890), as well as that important yellow ancestor, Soleil d’Or 1900.
Georges Delbard and André Chabert started rose breeding in earnest in the early 1950s, the latter joining Delbard Roses in 1955, producing roses like Hybrid Tea, Vol de Nuit 1970, and Large-Flowered Climber, Ténor 1963, one of the parents of Altissimo.
A cross between another Large-Flowered Climber, Ténor, and a seedling, this Modern Climber reaches 3.5 metres high and 3 metres wide and is suitable for walls, fences, pergolas and pillars. It has good disease-resistance, dark green leathery foliage and is very free-flowering. It repeat flowers well with long-lasting, large, bright red, single blooms with gold stamens and a light fragrance. I grew this climber on the tennis court fence back in my old Armidale garden.
Guy Savoy, Delbard, France, 2001
Named after the celebrated French chef, this Modern Shrub rose has large, loose, highly fragrant, rich cardinal-red blooms (over 20 per cluster) with white and cerise slashes. It has a long flowering period and the blooms have a fruity fragrance, blending orange, peach and vanilla. The hardy shrub has excellent disease resistance and little or no thorns. It certainly is an eye-catcher!Meilland Richardier is another big name in the French rose world. It was founded by Antoine Meilland, who grew up in Lyon, was apprenticed to Francis Dubreuil, a tailor-turned-rose breeder, who bred Perle d’Or 1884. Meilland married Dubreuil’s daughter in 1909 and raised son Francis, born in 1912, who became famous with his Hybrid Tea, Peace 1945. The development of this iconic rose and the families involved is recounted in Antonia Ridge’s well-known book, For Love of a Rose.With the royalties from the dramatic sales of Peace in the United States in 1945, Francis Meilland was able to sell the main share of the growing business to Francisque Richardier and concentrate on rose breeding at the Cap d’Antibes. He died in 1954, at the age of 46, having built up a huge international business: https://meilland.com/en/. The next two photos are of Meilland rose, Pierre de Ronsard.His work is continued by his son Alain, daughter, Michèle Meilland Richardier, and Matthias Meilland (Alain’s son and 6th generation rose breeder) and chief hybridizer, Jacques Mouchotte. Today, nursery production covering 600 hectares or 1500 acres in France, Morocco, Spain, the Netherlands and California, selling more than 12 million rose bushes annually and owning more than 1,000 patents worldwide and 600 trademarks.Bonica ’82 Meilland, France, 1981 (also known as Bonica and MEIdomonac)
A cross between seed parent (R. sempervirens x Hybrid Wichuraiana, Madamoiselle Marthe Carron) and pollen parent, Floribunda, Picasso, this low to medium shrub rose, 1.5 metres tall and 1.85 metres wide, has a bushy growth habit; small, semi-glossy, coppery light green foliage; and strong arching stems, bearing large clusters of small to medium, slightly fragrant, bright rose-pink blooms, with lighter pink frilled edges. See: https://www.gardenia.net/plant/rose-bonica . If not deadheaded, it will produce a large crop of bright red hips, lasting well into the Winter.
Extremely floriferous and very disease resistant, it has been given a Garden Merit Award (RHS) and the All-America Rose Award and has been voted the World’s Most Favourite Rose in 1997. It is one of the most popular and widely planted of all modern roses.
Pierre de Ronsard Meilland, France, 1987 (also known as Eden Rose or Eden Rose ‘88)
A cross between a Large-Flowered Climber, Music Dancer and a Climbing Floribunda, PinkWonder, this moderate-sized vigorous climbing rose, up to 3 metres tall, has large, glossy bright green leaves; a few thorns; and heavy, globular, cabbage-rose-like creamy-white blooms, suffused with pink and carmine, and having a light Tea fragrance. See: https://www.gardenia.net/plant/rose-bonica .
It repeat-flowers from early Summer to late Autumn and is highly disease resistant. It was named after Pierre de Ronsard (1524 to 1585), the 16th century ‘Prince of Poets’, who was a favourite with Mary Queen of Scots. In 2006, this Modern Climber was voted the World’s Most Favourite Rose by the World Federation of Rose Societies. We grew it on our verandah on our Armidale home, seen in the photo below.United Kingdom
James Cocker and Sons (http://www.roses.uk.com/) is a specialist rose nursery, owned by the Cocker family, in Aberdeen, Scotland. It began in 1840 and has been responsible for the breeding of many famous Hybrid Teas like Silver Jubilee 1978, the world’s number one selling rose for many years, and Alec’s Red 1970, as well as the following shrub rose:
White Cockade Cocker, UK, 1969
This small repeat-flowering Modern Climber, 2.5 metres tall and 1.8 metres wide, is a cross between New Dawn and Floribunda, Circus. Upright, well-foliated, thorny stems bear clusters of beautiful, medium sized, fully double, pure white fragrant flowers, which open into rather triangular shapes (hence the name!) and last well as a cut flower. See: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/white-cockade-climbing-rose.html. An excellent pillar rose or shrub rose, it has moderate disease resistance and does better in warm climates.
Robert Holmes was a successful amateur rose breeder, who shot to fame with a rose named after his wife:
Sally Holmes Holmes, UK, 1976
A cross between Floribunda, Ivory Fashion, and Hybrid Musk, Ballerina, this strong, highly disease-resistant Modern ShrubRose, 1.5 metres tall and 1.25 metres wide, has glossy, dark green leaves and large clusters of apricot-pointed buds, opening to 9 cm wide, single to semi-double, lightly fragrant, creamy-white flowers with gold stamens. It is very floriferous, each branch bearing up to 50 flowers, and is nearly always in bloom, repeat-flowering from early Summer to Autumn.It has had a number of awards, including a Garden Merit Award from the RHS, a Gold Award from Baden Baden in 1980, a Gold Medal from Portland in 1993 and an Award for Best Fragrance at Glasgow, also in 1993.It was inducted into the World Rose Hall of Fame in 2012, being the first rose bred by an amateur breeder to do so. I love this photo of Sally Holmes next to this sweet statue, which we saw at Alan and Fleur Carthew’s garden at Renmark.Harkness Roses (http://www.roses.co.uk/) , founded in 1879, is a rose nursery based in Hitchins, Hertfordshire, which bred over 70 well-known roses from 1961 on, under the directorship of Jack Harkness, like Hybrid Tea, Alexander 1972; Large-Flowered Climber, Compassion 1972; Floribundas: Margaret Merril 1977; Mountbatten 1982; Amber Queen 1983 and Princess of Wales 1997; and Modern Shrub Roses, Marjorie Fair 1978 and :
Jacqueline du Pré Harkness, Britain, 1988
A cross between Floribunda, Radox Bouquet and Hybrid Spinosissima, Maigold, this large strong, disease-resistant Modern Shrub Rose, 1.8 metres tall and 1.5 metres wide, has abundant, dark green foliage and large, single to semi-double, ivory-white flowers, with prominent golden-red stamens and a lemony musk scent. See: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/jacqueline-du-pre-shrub-rose.html.
It repeat-flowers freely from early Spring. It was named for the highly talented cellist, Jacqueline du Pré (1945 to 1987), who died at the age of 43 from Multiple Sclerosis, and has a Garden Merit Award from the RHS.
Next week, I am exploring some of my favourite poets and poetry books in our library before my final post for the year on Boxing Day!
Last Spring, just as the garden was getting into full swing with the October Iris in bloom and the roses in full bud, I had the distressing experience of losing, not just one, but two of my faithful little point-and-shoot digital cameras to lens retraction error. I don’t know what caused it, as neither had been bumped or dropped, and whether it was a speck in the air or a bit of the pervasive cottonwood poplar fluff, which had been constantly floating around or just sheer tiredness from overwork, but my sturdy little red work-horse refused to budge and when I retreated to my default option, my previous slightly dodgy model, whose erratic prima donna behaviour had prompted the later purchase of the more advanced model, it took one gasp of fresh air and immediately joined ranks, its lens also refusing to retract!As a keen photographer and chronicler of the garden, I was desperate, especially as my husband had been given a whale-watching trip voucher for that same weekend. After getting no response from the local camera shop, which was undergoing a transition of ownership, we resorted to good old Google, specifically this site: http://camerarepair.blogspot.com.au/2007/12/fixing-lens-error-on-digital-camera.html, with a sequence of progressively drastic steps to follow to resolve the problem.By the tapping stage, we had convinced the old camera (photo above) to finally close, and even though it is still dodgy, suddenly closing down mid-shoot or mid-zoom or refusing to turn on, it still worked when it wanted to, but we have had no luck with the red camera, which hasn’t budged from its adamant refusal to work! Unfortunately, to send it away for repair could cost over 200 to 300 dollars, so it is scarcely worth it for a mere point-and-shoot camera!Fortunately, we were able to borrow my daughter’s far superior and more expensive digital SLR camera (photo above) for the whale-watching, though I really did need a telescopic lens for it, and also my dodgy old camera decided that it would help me out for the special occasion, so with the combination of the two, I was still able to get a few good shoots, improved markedly with adjustment on the computer (see below!), but I really missed having the red camera with its great zoom.But now I had a dilemma with Spring marching on in all her full glory and our upcoming northern holiday to visit family, but also enjoy the Old Roses of Saumarez Heritage Garden and Red Cow Farm en route during their peak season, not to mention the future of the blog, which as you all know is heavily reliant on my photographs!!
There seemed little point in buying a third version of the same camera! These little Power Shot cameras are so portable and convenient, but their constant zooming in and out every time the camera is turned on, means that the lens has a very limited life, especially if used as much as I do!
The far better option seemed to be to save up and buy the far more expensive digital SLR camera like Caroline’s, even though it is slightly larger and requires more frequent lens changes. We resolved to research all the different models and either get my overseas daughter to purchase one duty-free on her return home for Christmas or investigate secondhand options. But what to do in the mean time?!!!
Borrowing Caroline’s camera a second time for the holiday was a possible option, though it would mean she was without her camera for two whole weeks, and even if we did that, I would need a fair bit of practice to master its focusing, so my holiday photos weren’t all a bit of a blur! Could I manage with the dodgy old camera, my mobile phone, which admittedly takes excellent photos, and the odd local borrow of friends’ cameras along the way?
I had just resolved that I could, when my darling daughter phoned to let me know I could borrow her good camera and saved the day! I gave my lucky girl the misbehaving cameras to play with in exchange!!!
It was good having the opportunity to experiment with my daughter’s Digital SLR over the fortnight and while I did still manage to get some good photos, especially macro closeups and landscapes, I really missed my zoom lens for the birds. We saw both a Tawny Frogmouth on its nest, as well as lots of parrots in the Blue Mountains, but I really needed a telephoto lens on the Digital SLR and my mobile phone wasn’t much help in these instances either! See if you can spot the Tawny Frogmouth in the first photo! It was almost impossible to find the Tawny Frogmouth with the camera, a difficult task at the best of times, due to their superb camouflage skills and ability to freeze for long periods of time, so I literally did have to point-and-shoot blindly with Caro’s Digital SLR, but I was able to take a photo and the images above show gradual enlargement on the computer. I could definitely pick the little Red-Rumped Parrots in her camera viewfinder (I would have to be blind not to detect their brilliant colours!), but my problem with them was not being able to zoom in close enough, even though I was just across a narrow waterway! The photos above (taken with Caroline’s camera) show the amount that I was able to progressively enlarge them on the computer before blurring of the image occurred.
My mobile phone wasn’t much better either! In fact, I think it was worse!!! Both images below were blurry to a certain extent. Enlarging the first mobile phone photo on the computer really wasn’t effective! Which got me thinking! I really didn’t want the inconvenience of having to constantly change lenses and there was also the possibility of blurring with the heavier camera, once the telephoto lens was on. I started veering back to my point-and-shoot models, despite their deficiencies!
We visited a camera shop en route to research the options (see Buyer’s Guide above, as well as a possible point-and-shoot camera Lumix DMC-TZ80) and discovered Bridge cameras (photo below), which fit in between Digital SLRs and Point-and-Shoot cameras. They are slightly larger and more substantial than the latter, but don’t have as much lens movement on immediately turning on, as well as having a 60X zoom! I am now saving up like mad!Mean time, I also had to consider the future directions of my blog for next year, especially in the light of a potential lack of a camera for a period! I had thought for a while about showcasing the wonderful Australian bird life, especially in our local region, and luckily, I already have a huge number of bird photographs, some of which have already appeared on this blog, so that was one option and it tied in with my idea of presenting them monthly in line with the song, ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’.
I also had many new photos from excursions this last year, which I can explore in more depth this coming year. I may even include one post in this section about major new developments in our Candelo Garden where appropriate.
My book posts are easy, as their photographs require scanning on the computer and I had already intended to explore my craft library this year. And for the fourth week, I was sure that I had enough photos of all the beautiful plants in my garden to revisit my monthly feature plant posts.
So, I think I am now all organized (!) and it won’t require an immediate camera purchase or as much flogging of any new camera this coming year! The final line-up is as follows:
Week 1 : Monthly Feature Plant;
Week 2 : Birds;
Week 3 : Craft Books; and
Week 4 : Places to Explore!
So, for January 2018, it’s Buddleias; Parrots and Cockatoos; Colour and Design Books; and the beautiful Murrah Lagoon!
Next Tuesday, we return to the last of my posts on Rose Types, with a look at other Modern Shrub Roses and their breeders.
At risk of repeating myself, here are the contact details!
Red Cow Farm (Owners: Ali Mentesh and Wayne Morrisey)
7480 Illawarra Highway Sutton Forest, 5 km south of Mossvale 2.5 hectares (6 acres)
1.5 hours drive from Canberra and Sydney
Phone: (02) 4868 1842; 0448 677647
Open 8 months of the year from late September to the end of May, 10am – 4 pm. Closed Christmas Day.
$10 Adults; $8 Seniors and $4 children (4 to 14 years old)
Red Cow Farm is such an artistic garden. I love the colour combinations used; the diversity of both colour, texture and form; and the play of light and shade. However, for this post, I am focusing on the old roses in all their full glory! Where I can identify them, I mention their names, having quizzed Ali in great depth after exploring the garden, but for many of the roses, it was merely enough to enjoy the total picture and breathe in their beautiful scents.
I am also including the garden map again, so it is easier to discuss the location of the roses! As in my previous post on Red Cow Farm, I am following a similar path from the entrance to the cottage garden, curved pergola and Apollo Walk to the Abbess’s Garden and beyond, following the numbers on the map.Front of the Cottage
The highly fragrant Kordes rose, Cinderella, greets you on the left as you enter the front gate.In front of the cottage on the left is a huge bush of Mutabilis (photo of shrub in the background below) and behind it, adorning the house, is Awakening, a sport of Hybrid Wichurana, New Dawn, itself a sport of another Hybrid Wichurana, Dr W Van Fleet. Awakening is the rose, being held in the hand, on the far right of the photo below.Cottage Garden and Camellia Walk (Areas 3 and 4):
I loved the contrast between these tidy clipped balls and the blowsy, overgrown shrub roses. The next photo is taken under the start of the curved pergola with the start of the Apollo Walk to the Abbess’s Garden.Curved Pergola and Courtyard (Areas 5 and 1):
The curved pergola is stunning from either direction, looking down to the courtyard and circular driveway: and back to the Apollo Walk. The golden roses look so good against the old weathered timber beams, stone walls and brick pillars. I love the attention to detail and the mixed plantings- soft blue campanulas and lemon Sisyringium strictum in a carpet of pinks. The courtyard behind the cottage is a delightful spot to sit.Roses were often planted in monastery gardens during the Middle Ages, so it was very appropriate to find many of the old roses in the Abbesses Garden and the Monastery Garden.
Abbess’s Garden (Area 7), leading into the Beech Walk (Area 8):
The first bed on the right as you enter the Abbess’s Garden from the Apollo Walk is full of yellows and golds with English Rose, Comte de Champagne (2nd photo below), in a sea of lemon-yellow aquilegia.I love all the colour combinations, both complimentary: and contrasting: The wide variety of plantings ensures constant colour and interest throughout the seasons. I particularly loved the Alliums.On her pillar in the third bed on the right, Hybrid Multiflora, Laure Davoust, rises from a sea of pink.As you approach the chapel, Hybrid Spinosissima, Golden Wings, is on the right: while golden David Austins, Wildflower (single, gold to white with gold stamens) and heavy, globular Charles Darwin grace the left bed.The riotous colour of the Abbess’s Garden is in dramatic contrast with the calming green living walls of the next garden room, the Beech Walk (Area 8), which leads to the Hazelnut Walk (Area 9) and the Lake (Area 11), complete with island and bridge (Area 20). I love the twisted red stems of the hazelnut trees and the intensity of the colours, backlit by sun, as you emerge from the shade they cast.Blowsy Hybrid Wichurana, Albertine, falls into the water from the banks, while Noisette climber, Lamarque, graces the island end of the bridge. I love this view of the wooden bridge from the Bog Garden (Area 10).Woodland (Area 19)
The woodland area is a study in contrast in colour, tone, form and texture.There are a few roses in the herbaceous borders of the Obelisk Walk (Area 23), including Hybrid Rugosa rose, Jens Munk, which was also in bloom last January (first photo) and this unidentified pink rose.
The richness and lushness of the garden is always such a contrast to the surrounding grazed paddocks: and I love the woodland paths.November is also Rhododendron and Azalea season. I would dearly love to find the golden Rhodendron luteum, whose scent is superb, but I also loved this deep-pink rhodo, Homebush, under the shade of the dogwood tree. and this unidentified rhododendron with masses of light pink blooms. The new shoots of this Gold Tipped Oriental Spruce, Picea orientalis aurea, were quite stunning as well.Garden Shed and Circular Driveway (Area 17)
Tea Rose, Countess Bertha, also known as Comtesse de Labarthe, Comtesse Ouwaroff, Mlle de Labarthe and Duchesse de Brabant, climbs up the back wall over the door, while the front garden facing the driveway contains Hybrid Tea, Mme Abel Chatenay, on the left, facing the shed, and English Rose, The Alnwick Rose, on the right. On the left of the junction of the path back into the Flower Walk (Area 16) is a shrub of Fantin Latour. I love the bright poppies of the central flowerbed in the driveway, which was filled with bright pink and orange zinnias in full bloom on our last visit in January. There was a stunning Oriental Poppy further down the driveway on our current visit in November.Monastery Garden (Area 13)
Like the Abbess’s Garden, the Monastery Garden is full of roses. This photo shows a view of the Monastery Garden, looking back to the entrance.A creamy cloud of Mrs Herbert Stevens (Hybrid Tea), Devoniensis (Tea) and Souvenir de la Malmaison (Bourbon) covers the entrance wall to the garden. The fallen purple petals of Portland Damask, Rose de Rescht, carpet the path on the right. St Fiacre, the patron saint of gardens, hides under Hybrid Perpetual, Reine des Violettes. I loved this little Nicotiana mutabilis, complementing the pink rose behind, and the contrast of the monastery bell with the infilled arches of variegated ivy.Vegetable Garden (Area 12) and Nursery (Area21)
I loved the hedge of Hybrid Rugosa, Roseraie de l’Hay, behind the globe artichokes: and the Icebergs (Hybrid Tea) dotting the vegetable garden. On the nursery side of the Wisteria Walk (Area 22) is the dramatic striped Delbard rose, Guy Savoy. And finally, ….
The Walled Garden (Area 2)
A riot of colour and scents! Hybrid Macrantha, Raubritter, covers the right of the seat, while Species Rose,Dupontii, stands tall against the end wall of the cottage. There is just so much colour and interest in just this section of the garden alone!I loved the sea of poppies in the front garden around the birdbath.Red Cow Farm would have to be one of my favourite gardens in all seasons and I would highly recommend a visit in November for maximum enjoyment! It is a photographer’s delight, so make sure that you take your camera or beg, borrow or steal one, as I had to do for this most important visit. I shall tell you more about my camera woes on Thursday!