This year for me, seems to be one of roses. They were everywhere we went in France and since we've been home I've been noticing them too. Before I would have said I wasn't a fan of roses - well apart from the chocolate variety - and they were a definite no for my wedding bouquet (I had peonies if you were wondering).
However it's been all about the scent for me this year, and it could be the year I publicly declare myself a rose fan. I've already shared the two cottage gardens at Hyde Hall with you, and today it's all about the roses there.
Even before I reached the Rose Garden in the centre of the site I saw these in the borders of the Australia and New Zealand garden. And look at how the rose changes colour as it ages.
There weren't many rose hips around on my visit at the start of July - most likely a little too early - but there were a few starting to form. I imagine the rose bushes will look almost as good covered in these, almost berry like but slightly alien looking forms.
As you'd expect the roses in the rose garden were spectacular. I like these with the background of lavender and yes, they're both traditional cottage garden flowers aren't they, so are bound to look good together.
The variety of shapes, colour and form amazes me and I think the peachy pink ones below are my most favourite shape. I like how their petals change colour giving the flower a 3D look in my photos.
Perhaps it's no coincidence that the year I start to notice the roses is the year that my own Gertrude Jeckyll has sprung to life. That's partly because I've sited it in a more favourable place and it's repaying me, but I'm sure it is linked. These clambering pink roses reminded me of my own, although I'm not sure if they're the same sort.
There were roses everywhere at Hyde Hall - in the Shrub Rose Borders and in the Queen Mother's garden. And of course now I'm not sure where I snapped these. I don't think that matters though.
And to end a couple of yellow roses, because everyone needs some yellow in their life and I'm thinking where roses are concerned that logic also applies. These look so heavy and laden with petals that they can't quite lift their heads don't they, or perhaps it's so they can direct their scent down to us. What do you think?
So are you a diehard rose fan, or a new convert like me?