For the Love of Fragrant Roses

It is a strange coincidence that this post links to the previous one about warthogs. Last Saturday we had just turned on our recently re-erected electric fence around my rose garden when 4 warthogs came into the garden. I had finished pruning, and wanted to protect the new spring shoots on the roses. We have duiker and steenbuck that enjoy eating the roses.

warthogs at the rose garden
Warthogs baffled by the electric fence!

The warthogs were most frustrated by the electric fence, and tried in vain to find a way in to the roses. It was most amusing and a great relief that the fence served its intended purpose.

“But he that dares not grasp the thorn should never crave the rose.” -Anne Bronte

At the time of pruning I was also painting roses, from the many photographs taken over the past couple of years. It was the first time I have painted an oil of these roses. The previous oil which was painted in 2004; when we renovated our kitchen, was painted from old roses in books. It hangs over the hearth in the kitchen, and is not for sale.

My Kitchen Roses oil painting, 2004
My Kitchen Roses oil painting, 2004

“Beauty without virtue is like a rose without scent.”

All of the 85 roses in my garden are fragrant roses and range from old damasks to the beautiful hybrid teas, in every colour and shape. They are truly rewarding despite the struggle to keep the wildlife away.

Roses, Watercolour sketch. 374mm x 274mm
Roses, Watercolour sketch. 374mm x 274mm

This watercolour was a practice sketch and then the oil painting below, that I have just completed, took a full two weeks!

Roses from the Garden. Oil painting on canvas. 1250 x 940 mm
Roses from the Garden. Oil painting on canvas. 1250 x 940 mm

“There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted.”

-Henri Matisse



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4 responses to “For the Love of Fragrant Roses”

  1. Erna Wade Avatar

    They are just absolutely STUNNING, Barbara! I love the way you have presented them in the special vases (in both paintings). And – each rose is special and individual. Wow, quite a big painting! I can understand that it took you two weeks! I’m sure you have a well deserved sense of achievement!

  2. Barbara Avatar

    Thanks Erna, glad you were able to view the post without difficulty! Hope your painting is going well and you may see that I put your link up here, so I hope you get lots of visitors!!!

  3. Heather Simpson Avatar
    Heather Simpson

    I’m glad you were able to keep the warthogs out of your roses! Charles often speaks about the beautiful aroma of your roses.

    Jan & I enjoyed reading your previous blog about the optimistic warthogs – a lovely encouragement & reminder of home – what comical creatures ;)

  4. Rozanna Bojdo Avatar
    Rozanna Bojdo

    These are so beautiful I feel so inspired, especially the donkey cart I miss South Africa so much. I love the combination with Christ – it’s beautiful. Thank you so much

    Rozanna Bojdo
    United Nations
    Vienna, Austria

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