Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Roses in spite of everything

There is a house up the road, here in the cul de sac in Constantia, recently renovated by its refugee owners from Johannesburg, and omsingeled by a new 8 foot stone, brick, mortar and electric wire wall. The house has a name, stuck onto the wall in big brass capitals.


Ag no, man. Maybe it's a joke. Maybe they forgot the word NOT, after the rose...As dit is wat julle will he moet julle verder trek.

We can't see any roses through their parallel wood-barred gate. I see a lot of pink gaura. Texan native. The owners told the builders who made the wall that snakes would soon be introduced to the garden. Night snakes, day snakes, and, especially, wall climbing snakes.

There are some grass snakes in my mother's garden, and there are some roses. There is no wall. Above, the 8 foot tall David Austin rose, Graham Thomas.

Below, Rosa "Sharifa", with cat. The rose has a famously strong scent, but I find it no more lovely than Abraham Darby's...

Below, in bud, Rosa mutabilis - like the nicotiana in the previous post, its colours fade over several days, starting off deep fuchsia and becoming a blown-out pinky yellow.


  1. yellow roses like your mother's are my absolute favorite!

  2. Oooh, the tints of the rose and cat picture!
    Now every time I see a picture I like, I feel like "Oh, this should have been in the book!!"
    I can tell I'm gonna feel like that often, I better deal with it ;)

  3. I wondered why they built such a big wall, then realised they are "Jo'burg refugees..." Sad that people take some things with them.

  4. Lisa - hi - I wish I could send you a bunch. They smell so good, too...

    Sigrid - :-)

    MIT - it is sad, and they are no exception. I think it isolates people even more and, frankly, makes them more of a target.


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