Smelling the roses at Charleston


After nearly a month away, it was wonderful this week to be back volunteering in the garden at Charleston – the former country retreat of artist Vanessa Bell, sister of Virginia Woolf and her painting partner Duncan Grant. Boy has the garden bloomed since I was last there.

Head gardener Fi has planted these rows of Dianthus to recreate paintings of this part of the garden by Vanessa Bell. They are complemented by those wonderful irises and Sweet Williams.
Charleston’s signature hollyhocks are out. This one has self-seeded in the gardener’s greenhouse.
Delphiniums and vegetable garden.
A cheerful welcome at the entrance to the house.
View across the pond.
Clematis jackmanii are mentioned by Virginia Woolf in ‘To The Lighthouse’.
Fi has planted a pumpkin on top of one of the compost bins.

This week, head gardener Fi gave me the rather lovely job of deadheading roses to provide petals for a group of visiting artists who were planning to create dyes with them.

I am not sure of the varieties – I think the white climber below is ‘Iceberg’ and the purple rose is ‘Charles de Mills’ and I am pretty sure the rose outside the studio (above, bottom right) is ‘Ballerina’. I must look the others up, but they smelled divine. And the artists got their trug of rose petals.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Ali says:

    It is looking lovely. X

    Liked by 1 person

  2. janesmudgeegarden says:

    A thoroughly pleasant job in gorgeous surroundings.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. tonytomeo says:

    Roses are used for dyes? I have not tried that one yet. Do the various colors need to be separated for various dyes?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was trying to pick mainly the stronger pinks here so probably yes.

      Liked by 1 person

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