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.
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.
One 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.
All 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).
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.
There 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.