Take time to smell the roses

When I was still working in an office I remember being given a list of motivational sayings written by the latest management guru. It was the usual kind of stuff but the one I remember to this day is “Always take time to smell the roses”.

I never used to like roses but now I can’t get enough of them – the same with olives. I hit my 30th birthday and – ping – turned from an olive hater to someone who can eat a whole jar in one sitting.

Our roses are now starting to come out – a month later than last year. My favourites are the older climbing variety. We have a Madame Alfred Carriere by the front door which smells lovely and is covered in blooms.

When our old dog, Tess, died we had her cremated and buried her ashes under the study window – she liked to lie behind my chair in the study. I then found a Tess of the D’Ubervilles rose to plant over her. For the first time this year it is covered in flowers.

I also love the wild roses. The hedge at the front of the house has¬†one that has climbed 12 feet up and is in full bloom just now. I don’t think there can be anything more perfectly english¬†than a hedgerow filled with wild honeysuckle and wild roses. And we have a lot of those here in South Shropshire with lots of very old hedgerows. I remember driving to Ludlow last June and the very strong scent of wild honeysuckle kept filling thar car!


The next 2 roses on my plan are a Shropshire Lad and Shropshire Lass – both from David Austin Roses. I keep meaning to visit as they are only in Albrighton on the Shropshire, Staffordshire borders.

Actually is not just roses I smell but any flower. So in the summer Rob is always telling me to brush the pollen of my nose. I once got home from work, stuck my nose in a beautiful lily, drove to the gym, did a work out, chatted to the gym instructor 10 minutes ( who kept a straight face ) then went to the changing rooms to see that my nose was bright yellow.

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