We’re experiencing a very cold spring, but perhaps because of summery weather that came in March, my roses have bloomed nearly a month earlier than usual. I rarely have roses in bloom before the end of June, but they are flowering even in this very cool weather (about 47F/8C today). And here is one of my very most favourite roses, Gertrude Jekyll:
This rose was bred by David Austin Roses, and is an English rose. It’s a tall plant, and the scent of the open roses is incredible. Because it’s so cold here even in summer, you need to put your nose right into them to appreciate their scent, but indoors their scent can fill the room.
This rose was named after the famous early-20th-century garden designer Gertrude Jekyll, who revolutionised garden design. She invented the idea of planting in swathes, and of “cool” and “hot” colourways in garden borders. She worked closely with the architect Edwin Lutyens, designing gardens that complemented his house designs.
Her last name is pronounced JEE-cull. I’d always heard the title of the famous Robert Louis Stevenson novel, Jekyll & Hyde, pronounced JEK-kle. But I see from the Gertrude Jekyll estate website that Stevenson knew her brother, so perhaps I should now be thinking of JEE-cull & Hyde. Do let me know if you know!
I don’t imagine the roses care how you pronounce their name, though.