The Cottage Smallholder

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The rose that has crept quietly into my heart

The rose that has crept quietly into my heart

A few years ago, when I was a decorator, I’d often receive a particular phone call. It was generally the same request on those occaisions.

“I have a little girl and it will be her 5th (6th, 7th) birthday soon. She loves the colour pink. That’s Sindy Pink, do you know the colour? Would you be able to paint her bedroom on such a such a date so that when she comes home from school it will be the colour that she loves?”

I managed it every time that there was a request. Even knew the colour number by heart. Going up the house, paint pots in hand, I would probably see a Sindy Pink bicycle with stabilising back wheels and often I noticed a whole plethora of toys in S P. I hated the colour – electric, vibrant and attached to a trillion pound industry.

Sindy Pink. This colour grabs your attention. In a way it’s a great invention as toys and equipment cannot really get lost in any garden. Perhaps SP glows in the dark?

Having grown up in an arty home I can spot most colours at five yards.  Sindy Pink, at a distance of at least a hundred yards, could be noted with ease. I bought a Sindy Pink coloured blanket from Netto when Inca was a tiny pup – they were sold as Barbie blankets but it’s the same family that generated the numerous sell ones. I cut up this bargain blanket into dog cmforters of various sizes back then and she is still using the larger ones now. Clearly good quality!

But even if I hadn’t bought this bargain blanket I’d still recognise the colour. Any client that had daughters under ten years old had a house littered with Sindy Pink bits and bobs.

Anyway I was delighted to paint any small bedroom with Sindy Pink. It generally took less than a day – 2 coats of professional quality paint* – as long as the room had been cleared for me.

Most times I was there to see the little girls arrive back from school and discover that their bedrooms had been transformed into their dream environment. Some little girls just stared from the doorway with amazement. I even remember that one child who wept with joy, and after a few seconds leapt my wooden step ladder and hugged me.

And of course there were parents that just ordered pale pink. Those pale pink bedrooms didn’t have the same effect at all. I’d hear the small drum of footsteps up the stairs.
“Thank you Mummy… It’s super.”
The disappointment was tangible.

I’m sure that 5 years later those small pale pink bedroomed girls were delighted that they didn’t have Sindy Pink adorning every wall.

I have a rose in the garden that beats Sindy Pink into the rough beyond the longest, healthiest golf swing. I bought it at Homebase – 3 for £10 roses – rather than the pricier specimens from Beales etc.. I chose very carefully – light pink, pale apricot and white. Perhaps someone had put the label back in the wrong pot? This pink rose is almost fluorescent.

But this rose has flowered and bloomed all this summer. Every time that I glanced out of the back door it nodded at me. Initially I hated this rose – the edges of the rose taunted me with a Sindy Pink shade.

But after several months of constant flowering, I have begun to fall in love with the joie de vivre of this rose.

This super flowering rose is pure Barbara Cartland. It has crept slowly and silently into my heart – it performed when most of my roses were tight lipped when it came to making that leap from bud to dazzling display.

Even Danny has noticed the Sindy Pink edged rose and he agrees with me that it should be fed well this autumn to give of her best next year. She has proved to be a darling.

I used to be a bit anal when it came to roses. Twenty years ago I only bought from the best growers, spent hours choosing just the right rose for me.

The flowering of this little £3.33 rose has put all of the more expensive investments in the shade.

Salute her! She flowers in the wettest of summers and gives pleasure. Who could ask for more from an English rose?

  Leave a reply


  1. Really pleased to hear that things are improving for both of you. I was really quite concerned at your long absence. Hopefully the number of enquiries as to your whereabouts gives you both an idea of how fond your followers are of you. I hope this knowledge of all these extra unseen friends has been of some comfort to you. Thanks to leigh for pointing the way to the update 🙂 Looking forward to your return to the net!

  2. I came on the comments section to ask if all was well as it’s been so long but others have beaten me to it. I had popped on to look at the forum now and then just to check you were ok and saw the occasional comment from you but thank you Leigh for pointing me in the direction of the forum that tells us why you haven’t blogged for a while. (I don’t regularly use the forum). It’s horrible when things are so bad you feel like withdrawing from the world but it’s probably a natural part of the healing process. Hope all’s well on the job front Danny and you & Fiona managed to enjoy Christmas. You’ve brought much pleasure to many people – hopefully it will come back to bring you comfort.
    Love to you both. XXX

  3. Fiona, I have enjoyed your blog The Cottage Smallholder for years. I discovered it when I was trying to determine what to do with a glut of quince and a recipe was on your website.

    I enjoyed the article on the sindy pink rose but for the life of me could not find the actual name of the rose. Could you please supply it for me and I’ll see if I can find it in Oregon. Thanks much!

  4. Jean | Delightful Repast

    Lynn, pink flowers are one thing, pink other stuff quite another. Even as a little girl, I never went through the pink (or purple) stage. Once in a while I chose a pink garment, but most of the time I chose yellow or red. But, as I write this, I am sitting in my “accidentally pink” office – it was supposed to be peach, it looked peach in the can, it was named [Something] Peach, even looked peach when it was wet on the wall; but as soon as it dried, pink! I’ll be living with it for years rather than go through all that work again!


    I’ve never posted here before either but after being a regular reader for so long I was worried about them. I found the info above in the forums. Thought I’d share for those who haven’t seen it.

    • Thank you for the link, just good to know that Danny and Fiona are on the mend

    • Thank you for that post Leigh, the mystery is solved. I have just caught up on the forum and am pleased that life is improving for them and here’s hoping they return soon.

    • Leigh, thank you . I was also getting worried. Miss the guys!

  6. Terrible, makes note to self to ask for a spell checker for Christmas

  7. So sorry for the terribe spelling

  8. I think we can safely say that there is something i miss at he Cottage, wheter or not something has happend to Fiona or Danny we do not know. Maybe one day the post on here will return, i know i miss my morning read and although i have never met any one from this site it is as though i know a few of you. I do hope that things get back to some normallity but until they do i would just like to wish Fiona, Danny and everyone else who reads these pages a very Merry Christmas and hope and pray that all troubles will so disappear

  9. Dear Fiona and Danny, Dreadful things happen, just out of the blue, they flaw you they break your heart and test your will…we all hope nothing so bad has happened to either of you and although most of us do not know you personally, most of us feel we do, and we care and we worry and, you know, if we could we would stretch out our arms and give you support and love. You both have become part of our lives and, silly as though it may seem, we worry. So dear Fiona and Danny, when you can please let us know you are alright…you both are survivors – we know you are – let us know that you know you are ! Okay !

    Much love to you both

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