A rosy conversation

On the weekend we took a trip up to the Blue Mountains, to visit an open garden called Nooroo. I'll post more about the gorgeous autumn colours and the garden later in the week, but for now I wanted to share this conversation. J, Baby A and I arrive to the garden's front gate. J is wearing Baby A in our ergo carrier:


I guess we just ring the bell, I say.

A man who is clearly a gardener, with a gentle, weathered face appears from behind a wisteria.

He smiles. Oh! Show me the baby, please.  J turns obligingly.

Oh, you lovely thing, he says.  How old?

Two months.

A nod. Ah! How lovely. Natural birth?

...(pretending not to be a little taken aback) Yes.

Good girl.


My wife's a pediatrician.

Us, politely: Ahh!

After a moment of financial and directional dealings, we are left to our own devices.

Fifteen minutes later,  we are wandering through the rose garden.

David Austin Rose
Rose garden

Footsteps behind us as I am teetering on the edge of a flower bed, testing out the macro lens.

Alexandra of Kent

I've been sent by my wife to give your daughter a present, he says.

He proceeds to stomp through the bed, wielding a pair of secateurs. Oh no! I say, You're not going to cut your roses?


Which one's that? I ask. Juliet? (I knew it wasn't as soon as I said it.)  I get a quizzical glance.

...I'm a florist.

Eyebrows lift. No, he says, it's Heritage. Smell that.

We all swoon over the fragrance. It's sweet, sherbet-y, like fruit tingles.

Thank you so much, we say. It's so beautiful.

And this one! He marches through the bed. Snip.

This is Eglantyne. Look at that.  He muses, It's supposed to have the same meaning as honeysuckle. (Bonds of love, generosity.)

It is the most ruffled rose I have ever seen, like those frilly cakes all over pinterest.

eglantyne rose

And the smell! He exclaims. We all lean over to breathe in the fragrance. It is both delicate and bold, fruity and full, and syrupy sweet.

That's one of the most famous fragrances in the world, he says.

We mosey back over to the flower I was photographing.

Ah, now that is Princess Alexandra of Kent.

Alexandra of Kent rose

Here I think he decided that we were Rose People and told us all about the species, black spot, that it was being replaced by David Austin with a better flowering species, and so on. And then, as abruptly as he arrived:

Well. Enjoy your walk.

And off into the holly hedge he disappeared, leaving us with roses in hand.

pink david austin rose
roses and baby