Here is the first rose to flower in my Lewes garden this year caught in the early morning sun. There is something special about this moment and every year I celebrate it with a slight leap in my heart-rate.
This David Austin rose is Danse de Feu – it grows and thrives without fail on my shadowy and sun-starved North-facing flint wall where the flowers manage to shine out like rubies even on a dull day.
Today, with the sun shining on this new arrival, my single red rose has the promise of so much more to come. It is no coincidence that the first swallows started their pirouettes over my garden too this morning. Summer is well on its way – we just need the temperature to rise a bit more.
No wonder the Scots poet Robert Burns was inspired to his lyrical best by the sight of a red, red rose – “newly sprung in June” – well, mine has beaten Mr Burns’ rose by two weeks but the poem still deserves its turn in the sun.
Red, Red Rose
by Robert Burns (1759 – 1796)
O my Luve is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.
So fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.
Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,
Though it were ten thousand mile.