Happy Valentine’s Day

What is Love?

Regarding love, instead of a quote from William Shakespeare’s works, may I present you with a crimson red and highly fragrant David Austin rose ‘William Shakespeare’ from our garden.

Lovely 'William Shakespeare'
Lovely ‘William Shakespeare’

A deep red rose with more than 80 petals and a lovely old English rose fragrance.  It offers that rich color of blood that runs through the heart and warms and washes over us in layers of love enveloping us as the years go by.  It’s fragrance is strong but not invasive.  It invokes the power of love that is strong enough to hold one close to the heart, but not so tight the loved one cannot breath.

Shakespeare wrote many plays and sonnets related to love but I have often felt that no one can explain love in a relationship better than Kahlil Gibran.  In “The Prophet”, he wrote:

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself                   Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;                                                     For love is sufficient unto love.

And when it comes to explaining marriage in all relationships, he wrote:

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:                                                  Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.                  Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.                                             Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.               Sing and dance together and be joyous,                                                                 But let each one of you be alone,                                                                            Even as the strings of a lute are alone                                                            through they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.                                         For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.                                           And stand together yet not too near together:                                                    For the pillars of the temple stand apart,                                                             And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

Even in the garden, each plant needs room to grow.  A wild bird is much happier than a bird in the cage as the freedom to move and make its own decisions is important to all living things.  

As to why a red rose should represent love, my fellow blogger Rambling Ratz’s post on ‘Red Roses‘ informs us of its history.  I always wondered about the genesis but hadn’t found the time to read about it.

Looking for more red roses for the garden?  William Shakespeare is my favorite.   Burgundy Iceberg has deep burgundy petals, not very fragrant but grows easily and blooms throughout the summer.  It’s susceptible to developing black spots on the leaves though.  All Iceberg roses in my garden seem to be that way.   As for Mr. Lincoln, a big red hybrid tea rose, it has velvety deep red petals and strong damask fragrance.  It needs a little bit more pampering than the others but it’s worth it.

Burgundy Iceberg
Burgundy Iceberg
Hybrid Tea rose 'Mr. Lincoln'
Hybrid Tea rose ‘Mr. Lincoln’


Happy Valentine’s Day







5 thoughts on “Happy Valentine’s Day

    1. Many Old Garden and David Austin roses have quite a lot of petals. I once grew an Old Garden rose ‘MME Isaac Pereire’ which produced very big flowers with around 100 petals each and were quite fragrant. The deer ate it down to nothing one winter.

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