I'm pleased to discover that I haven't lost a single rose or peony plant since I planted them in 2009. This year, the Gay Paree is splendid, and doesn't appear to be bothered by its position alongside a giant rose bush and a clump of lavender (neither of which are flowering yet).
The Princess Margaret is thriving, but its huge flowers are weighted down by all the recent wetness. (Please disregard all the vegetation in the aisles between the plots, which I haven't had an opportunity of removing.)
On the opposite side of my garden, the Manou Meilland is a rose reflection of the peonies.
But the most glorious flower of all, at this time of the season, is the Don Quichotte, whose aroma is intense.
A month or so ago, in a quite heavy-handed manner, I cut away all the climbing rose branches protruding from the top of the pergola. Today, they've all sprouted even more abundantly.
It's a bit like a scruffy-haired boy whose mother needs to send him to the barber. Notice, on the left, the first small red blossoms of Albertine, whose stalks are also reddish.
I'm thrilled to discover that all the 22 rose bushes and the 9 peonies that I planted back in 2009 have survived the harsh winter. There are no rose blossoms yet, of course. But yesterday, I was greeted by the first peonies of 2012 at Gamone.
My Adzuma Nishiki surely needs a lot more sunshine, and less rain and wind, to acquire a more rosy robust complexion.
24 HOURS LATER: Look at the difference, this morning, brought about by just a few hours of sunshine: