Romantic Love and Beautiful Surprises…

bibi maizoon 2Rosa ‘Bibi Maizoon’ (AUSdimindo, David Austin English Rose), and Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ â“’ Michaela at TGE

To be a gardener is to suffer the occasional disappointment… the inevitable loss. The Cornus florida crushed by ice. The Acer palmatum girdled by rodents. On the other hand, nature will give as much as she takes. And often, her gifts come when least expected.

Meet Bibi Maizoon. She is a David Austin English Rose. And just look at her! Look at that clear pink color. Oh how I wish computers could be click-and-sniff. A classic, cabbage-shaped rose of magnificent size, (much like the antique Rosa centifolia), Bibi has a beautiful, full cup. In the early morning, when I spotted her bloom, the air was filled with a delicious, slightly spicy fragrance. Some have criticized her delicate neck, scorning the droop of her heavy-petalled flowers. I find such nit picking ridiculous. Perfection is very boring. True beauty draws you in with a hint of wildness; something subtly strange and untamable.

I found Bibi cast aside in a late-season sale. Shocked by her voluptuous beauty, of course I fell in love. And in love we often throw caution to the wind. This is a marginally hardy rose, (pushing it at zone 5), and Ferncliff is a wild and rugged place, teetering on the edge of zone 4. But I was feeling bold and romantic, and against my better judgement, I snapped her up and drove home. I chose a protected spot just outside my secret garden wall, tucked her in for winter, and hoped for the best.

Fast forward through one of the toughest winters anyone in New England can remember, and a summer so wet and dismal that I feared the appearance of webbed-toes on my feet. Well, here we are, at the edge of autumn. Nature is fast preparing for fall’s arrival. Days are shortened by lengthening afternoon shadows and clear, chilly nights are filled with millions of stars. I did not expect Bibi to bloom. I was happy she even survived. But you never know what will happen in the garden. We aren’t really in control. And isn’t that the most wonderful thing, after all?

bibi maizoon 3‘Bibi Maizoon’ in profile, in front of the secret garden wall â“’ Michaela at TGE


For more information about David Austin English Roses, visit:

You may also find English Roses at many of the retailers listed under “Roses”, linked at right…

* I always recommend buying zone-appropriate roses from a local grower, but rules are sometimes made to be broken. And as you can see, I occasionally partake in horticultural madness myself *


Article and Photographs â“’ Michaela at TGE

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