Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Scent of a Colour, Tea Roses

"Beautiful in their irregularity, distinct in their properties, unique in appearance, we confess that we admire them above all others, and that their charms for us would depart were they aught else" said the great rosarian William Paul in 1848.

Tea Roses, which were in their hey day between 1880 and 1910, are to a very great degree forgotten roses. With fewer petals than most old roses, they remain unsurpassed for elegance. Lusciously scented with elongated buds and drooping blooms that tend to nod, they evoke a world of lost charm.

With thoughts of the the unfurling petals of Maman Cochet and the creamy shell like blooms of Devoniensis I have posted some images of deliciously feminine interiors that, like Tea Roses, teeter on the the edge of sentimentality, but are rescued from the fate of cloying prettiness by a sure sense of design.

Hal Williamson, October 08 Home Beautiful

Christian Berard deserves his own post

Hal Williamson, October 08 Home Beautiful

Adelphi Fabric, Designers Guild, photographed by James Merrell

Savigny Silks, Designers Guild, photographed by James Merrell

Paolo Moschino at Nicholas Haslam

I first saw Hal Williamson's beautiful interiors in a post by Habitually Chic and I felt, on reading her words, that she was a little puzzled as to why she loved the images that reminded her of the Ritz and Laduree. The answer is to be found in the elegant restraint that is so evocative.

There is quite a groundswell in the rose growing community to rescue these roses, the best remain in the warm climate of California and in New Zealand and Australia. I am reminded of a Tea Rose of quite a different colour, the great survivor, Lady Hillingdon, and of a quotation that has been quite wrongly attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, as it was Lady Alice Hillingdon who first stated, amongst a great many other controversial things, "I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall"

Lady Alice Hillingdon

and her namesake photographed by Mary Beamond
in an Adelaide Hills garden


balsamfir said...

Mauve rooms don't inspire me, since I associate the color with tacky prom dress of the 1980's, but the last photo of the aged ivory and charcoal Moschino/Haslam room is perfect. Are tea roses the same as hybrid teas? If so, they are a disaster in our climate, although the blooms are lovely.

little augury said...

Love the color palette here. I don't know how I went from turkish apricot to I like to say lilac. I have some of the tear sheets in my trove.

balsamfir said...

Lilac is a better word than mauve. I'll try to hold that idea in my head, but I still love the Haslam ivory room best. Great post.

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...


Cheers to the Southern Hemisphere! Love it. So pleased for all my friends in NSW and VIC and Qland that it is warming up...to cheer everyone.

Your thoughts on tea roses are most inspiring.

Beautiful post. www.thestylesaloniste.com

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