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This is ‘Mary Rose’, one of David Austin’s. Autumn roses are beyond compare; is that because we know we won’t see them again until Spring?

I have totally changed my mind about pink. Ten years ago I thought pink roses and pink flowers in general were horrid and pulled all them all out of my new garden. But recently I realised that, actually, I love pink flowers. I long for a brilliant pink crepe myrtle such as lagerstroemia ‘Tuscarora’, and I have several pink roses, pink salvias and gaura lindheimeri ‘Siskiyou Pink’. So why did I not like pink before? And how did that change?

Pink is such a common colour in flowers and anything that is common is often considered vulgar. But also….

….I hate to pick on the seventies again, as it is a decade I love, but I have to admit that when I was growing up in suburban Melbourne, most gardens were nasty affairs. Horrid pink tea roses were pruned to prickly sticks in beds of bare soil. Fluorescent pink azaleas assaulted the eye in every front yard and even more lurid petunias lined the concrete drives in shades of  bright purple, pink, yellow and red, all jumbled together with no regard for harmony. Even magnolia trees looked ugly in this setting, their huge pinky-purple blooms like bruises.

The aesthetic shock has obviously taken several decades to wear off. I still can’t warm to purple magnolias, though I adore white ones. And my resistance to pink was worn down by the gracious Albertine rose and then eroded entirely when I accidently bought and planted ‘Othello’,

another David Austin rose. On the label it was described as red, but when it flowered, it was a deep and luscious pink. I was in love and now have capitulated entirely and planted more pink roses.

So now I can love pink; dark raspberry pink, soft peach pink and especially bright pink. As long as it is surrounded plenty of green, it is a most refreshing and invigorating colour on a hot sunny day and warms the heart on a cool Autumn morning. Viva la pink!

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