slowing down to sniff the roses!

Posted: March 4, 2014 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time
Tags: , , ,

roses-in-the-lounge-roomHere’s our lounge room this morning,  in the foreground you can see some Madonna Lilies & a Kentia palm ready to go out and work for our Happy Triffid indoor plant hire service but just behind them is a bunch of sweetly perfumed pink roses, the Mermaid’s Pet by the fabulous ceramicist Jenny Orchard and a bunch of aged champagne coloured roses which have no perfume but I love the colour, they look like an old sepia photograph!
The roses are my birthday treat from Old Man Crow,  left home this morning at 4:30am and walked to the train station by starlight, arrived at the Sydney Flower Market at 5:15  dodging forklifts and trucks to get to the flower shed and what a buzzing scene it is! Nearly a hundred flower growers and importers supply all the Sydney florists every day from 5-8am, there are so many flowers, it’s a riot of colour and people all haggling, didn’t take my camera but will next time!
Here’s some pics of the 5 bunches of roses and the bunch of blue water lilies I scored for under $40 all up… I will never ever go to a florist again & guess what everyone else is getting for their birthdays this year? am still buzzing hours later and the scents are simply divine!

roses-and-Jenny-Orchard-mermaid's-petcloser look at those roses and the Mermaid’s Pet
posy-in-the-mirrora pretty posy of scentless roses reflected in the bathroom mirror
talking to a friend who is a florist, the story is the roses breeders have sacrificed scent for longevity, these new hybrids can last in a vase for 10 days… but really what is the point of a rose without the scent? It’s like taking away it’s soul, the essence of roseness….
and here they are, the darkly scented deep red Mr Lincoln roses still tightly held in their buds along with a big bunch of blue water lilies
when I lived in the bush in the early 80’s these water lilies grew wild in the dam, I would gather them every morning at dawn…
water-lilies-and-rosesthe perfume is divine
Mr-Lincoln-petala Mr Lincoln petal torn to test the perfume, this will work!
here’s the little rose book I made on the weekend from the offcuts of the text block for Crow Book 3
rose-book-by-MoIt’s an oriental  side stitch binding, the cover is thick Moulin de Larroque handmade watercolour paper with a scan of an old rose drawing I did for Old Man Crow back in 1996 reduced to size, incised with a scalpel blade, carved with a graver and burned with a pyrography tool. I will simmer this little book in a big pot of Mr Lincoln rose petals with some of the petals, leaves and stems interleaved and see what happens!
India Flint made a beautiful little rose book a few years ago and I have been wanting to have a go ever since, now’s my chance! Some of the text block for the new Crow Book will be immersed in the rose pot as well to give Old Man Crow a little time out to sniff the roses every time he opens it to write the next song!

  1. dinahmow says:

    Don’t know what your champagne coloured rose might be, Mo, but there is a rose called “Champagne” in a buff/pale apricot shade which is very fragrant.Good, strong bush, too. Win-win!I’m really looking forward to market photos!
    And did you know that flowers will last longer and water stay cleaner if you strip leaves that would be below the waterline?

  2. dinahmow says:

    Ooh! Happy birthday, girl! 🙂

  3. deanna7trees says:

    oh to be amongst so many beautiful flowers at once. must be divine. hope you had a grand birthday. taking the scent out of the flower to make them last longer is like what they’ve done to our food. taken out the good stuff and replaced it with all kinds of junk and preservatives so now we get sick faster and die younger….
    love your plan for the roses. i can smell them from here.

  4. Just the tonic I need this frosty evening after our thirteenth storm, The market on 14th Street here in NYC was my playground when I was doing gardens for others. I will miss the perennial Church garden (20 plus years in the making) as the Season turns Spring (whenever that will be), Walked away last Fall after a final interference from a very plant ignorant new pastor there, But I can make flower books, and eco cloth, so I will be at the market when funds allow this year. What a great post AND VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you dear MO!

    • Mo Crow says:

      thanks Michelle! I hope your eyes get fixed very soon, it will be like a miracle to be able top see clearly again and you will doubly enjoy all the flower books and eco cloth dyeing and stitching!

  5. margaret johnson says:

    First of all MANY HAPPY RETURNS Mo. What a wonderful early morning adventure!! Your roses look gorgeous. I have to admit I am a BIG rose fan, and have about 50 rose bushes here in our garden. I only buy the perfumed roses, can’t see the point of the non perfumed varieties. I use the petals to make soaps, syrups and teas. Would love to try colouring fabric or paper with them, but I can’t seem to drag out the confidence to try. Dyeing is a huge mystery to me. Hope you enjoy the rest of your day, Marg ox

    • Mo Crow says:

      Hi Marg, thanks for the many more happy returnings!Musy ay I enjoy birthdays and this one is a beauty! Wow, you are growing 50 roses in your piece of paradise! a couple of of our gardens have rambling roses that only flower in spring & my favourite is the pink Cecile Brunner, it flowers here in Sydney for about 9 months of the year but is such a takeover merchant we have to cut it back quite brutally every winter!
      & re dyeing… I love the tea and walnut dyed cloths you sent me & am looking forward to being intoxicated by the scent of those Mr Lincoln petals simmering

  6. mo, i have a cecile brunner growing up the corner of my house. it is my favorite too, the smell is incredible.
    happy birthday!! it might be the next day now, but celebrate all week.
    can’t wait to see the book complete.
    i have seen those blue water lilies here in South Africa. i haven’t been close enough to smell them.

    • Mo Crow says:

      thanks Linda! Gosh what a grand adventure you are having, have you seen any wild protea flowers?
      & I’m looking forward to seeing how this next crow book turns out too… it’s certainly calling all the shots!

  7. Carol says:

    Many happy returns, Mo, what a great beginning to your day. As the daughter of a flower grower I have spent many wonderful early mornings at the Sydney Flower Markets. We grew roses and many other flowers but I still love the memory of a shed full of fragrant roses. Your Rose Book will be delightful!

    • Mo Crow says:

      Wow!your family grew roses Carol, I can only imagine the power of the perfume in a whole shed full of roses! x fingers the rose book doesn’t turn to mush in the process!

  8. Anita says:

    Happy Birthday, Mo! Lovely post and wonderful flowers. Really like the water lilies and the Mr Lincolns. So interesting to see the book – never heard of doing that.

    • Mo Crow says:

      am really looking forward to beheading all the roses & throwing the rose book into the dye pot, the perfume will be even more intoxicating than it is this morning as more of the lilies and roses are opening!

  9. julie banks says:

    Happy Birthday, Mo! Yours is the same day as my Dad’s – no wonder there is a connection! We must have missed each other by a whisker at the flower markets, I was there at 6.30 with Mandy as she’s now studying floristry. Wonderful place.

  10. Dana says:

    Happy Birthday! I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than inundating oneself with flowers….especially roses. I especially love those champagne colored ones, and of course, Mr. LIncoln. I’m looking forward to his influence on your book.

  11. Dear Mo, I am wishing you a very happy birthday!! – such a glorious rose and flower garden you have there… we have water lilies in our lake Champlain that bloom in August – not blue as these but white with bright yellow centers – I have gathered them along with the leaves and snaky stems in the past, printed them on paper and made small water lily books – I still have one that I gave to my Mother before she passed… love the idea of a rose book – eager to see it – I love all of your work, your thoughtfulness and I can smell those lovely roses way over here…

    xox – eb.

  12. deedeemallon says:

    I am late, but happy, happy birthday MO!!! I was just thinking about what makes for feelings of abundance, and the thought of you in a roomful of flowers to celebrate your birth certainly counts!!!

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