Fan Girl Friday – A Rose By Any Other Name by Keziah Hill

After the previous fan girl post of Paula’s, the pressure is on.  As an erotic romance writer should I make up a deep and abiding obsession with riding crops or latex? Wax lyrical about nipple clamps or butt plugs? Reveal some kind of weird fetish concerning feet or fur?

The truth is, I’m boring. Some of you know this because the most exciting tweets I tweet (well, at least I find them exciting) are pictures of my garden. I love flowers. More particularly, I love roses.

I have a small suburban garden so I can only plant a limited amount which is around fifty or so. Everything from tiny miniatures like The Fairy  to big ramblers like New Dawn.  I seem to have a thing for pink, intensely fragrant roses like Gertrude Jekyll.

iceberg

Iceberg

Why do I like them so much? I think it’s a family thing. My mother was fond of roses and transferred that love to me and all my sisters. My Melbourne sister’s roses are fabulous. She has an old Peace rose in her front garden under planted with lavender. My American sister also has the bug and her mid-west garden is full of roses. My Sydney sister is a devoted Australian native garden so she keeps all her roses in pots where they bloom their heads off. Her Icebergs are a joy to behold.

QElizabeth

Queen Elizabeth

teacupOne of my earliest memories was lying on the grass in the backyard and gazing up at the drooping buds of a climbing Lorraine Lee which, along with Queen Elizabeth, were among the most popular roses in most garden in the nineteen fifties and sixties.  Inside, my mother was probably having afternoon tea on her Royal Doulton ‘Bouquet’ tea set with her tennis buddies.

mad menAll sounds very Mad Men doesn’t it?  There was more than a touch of the suburban family slowly imploding which is how I developed my writer’s skill of observing the undercurrents. Beautiful roses and lovely china can hide a wealth of family secrets. Cue to a scene with wilting roses and the dank, sour smell of stale flower water. A door bangs in the wind but the silence continues, becoming unbearable, endless. Our heroine creeps in, determined to … Sorry, I digress. Back to roses.

When I first became a home owner, I want a big garden full of roses and flowering perennials. On the whole that’s what I’ve got. Along the way I’ve begun to appreciate Australian natives and have increasing numbers in my garden, but really, my first love is and always will be, roses.

Old fashioned ones like The Apothecary Rose  (one of the oldest roses in the world) a species rose I’ve forgotten the name of, to my gorgeous Double Delight.  My latest purchase is an Albertine rose  which is a big monster with fragrant pinky-apricot blooms in spring. I’m going to plant it on a trellis on the north-east side of my back deck where it will grow up and block the summer sun (I hope).

There are at least two romance writers I know who grow wonderful roses. Fiona Lowe in Victoria and Kandy Shepherd in the Blue Mountains. I’ve seen Kandy’s garden which is fabulous.

Another garden out my way is Chapel House in Rydal about 15km west of Lithgow. If you’re looking for a wedding spot this is the one.

And if you ever travel to Paris, make sure you go to the Chateau de Bagatelle, in the Bois de Boulogne which is thoroughly charming.

tattooThere you are. A rose obsessive. Now if I was really clever I’d combine my rose love with something a bit more racy like a rose tattoo. But I’m a wimp so you’ll have to make do with the fantasy.

After quite a few years working in the criminal justice system, Keziah Hill and her alter ego Deborah Tait, decided a tree change was needed so decamped to the blissful Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, Australia. Amid a garden full of flowering blossoms, roses and the odd marauding possum, she writes steamy erotic romance and romantic suspense while trying not to procrastinate too much. Her work is available at most digital bookshops.

Business with Pleasure available on Kindle |  Moonlit Encounters available from your e-retailer of choice. See Deborah Tait’s website for links.

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9 comments on “Fan Girl Friday – A Rose By Any Other Name by Keziah Hill

  1. OOOH! I love roses too, Keziah, but I am not as good at growing them as you. Thank you both for this gorgeous post. I think Paula’s fangirling might be my new Friday indulgence!

  2. I knew you loved gardening but I had no idea how much you love roses. I love cut roses but less enthusiastic about them in the garden. Not sure that I should admit that I pulled out 6 “white” (that’ll show you how rose-ignorant I am) standards when we bought this house. However, we did give them to rose loving friends and they are now flourishing at their place in the country. Great blog, Keziah.
    Louise

  3. Great post, Keziah! I must admit my knowledge of roses extends to ones you buy at a florist 😀 I do love the tea rose oil I bought from the Body Shop – a beautiful scent that’s softer than full-on rose and smells gorgeous in the oil burner.

  4. My mother is a kick-ass gardener and always has roses somewhere about the place. Is there anything better than the scent and sight of home grown roses on the table while you have a nosh of bickies and a cup of tea (in a Royal Albert teacup of course 😉

  5. I love roses, Keziah but have always wimped out trying to grow them. Maybe I should experiment with pots given my garden is currently a wilderness and I want to landscape it soon. My mum has some lovely ones…including a very deep red one that smells glorious…it might be Black Boy? I always stop and smell roses (rose and rose geranium are two of my fave scents)…always disappointing when they don’t smell!

  6. Mel roses are as tough as old boots. They have a rep as being difficult to grow but mine got through a ten year drought without a lot of water. They just need about five hours of sun a day and some Dynamic Lifter. Melbourne is a great climate for roses.

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