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. Tanya @ Lovely Greens

    It’s bizarre to me how girls just love pink…it really seems like a genetic thing. A feminist friend of mine raised her little girl without television and exposure to ‘Pink Marketing’. It was a shock to her that when her daughter turned four she wanted pink everything!

  2. Patricia

    I hope all is well with you all – the last blog I received was posted around September 10th. Please just let all of us know that everything and everyone is ok.

  3. Sorry, I love pink my fave colour and am 81, perhaps it is because we were too poor to have girly things when I was young, you had to have useful things that wore well, they were always dark colours. I would have given anything for a Shirley Temple dress, but pure fantasy.

  4. Right with you there F, when i was a child I was forced into Cindy Pink dresses at every formal opportunity, I detested the colour for years, but have grown to love it again. As for the virtue of cheap roses, I bought 2 climbers from a well known pound shop, 1 has oen nothing but the other is spectacular, maybe not the colours it ws advertised as (pale purple) but is still gorgeous.

  5. What an interesting post this was! The rose IS beautiful, but I have to confess that I greatly dislike pink. It just seems that every little girl on this earth is SUPPOSED to like it, as if they are members of a flock of sheep. Both my mother (85) and my sister (48) loooooove pink and have a lot of that color in their homes. Ugh! I must have been adopted from an earthtone loving family!

  6. PipneyJane

    That is a lovely rose. Does it smell lovely, too?

  7. Thrift Bee

    Being a mother of a six year old girl I know exactly what you mean. A friend of mine did well when she painted a ‘feature’ wall in the sindy pink you talk of. The other three walls were white. It had a good pink effect. We will be having a whole bedroom rearrange when our extension is completed and i will be trying the feature wall option if I am pushed into pink.

    I also understand falling in love with a plant that performs. It’s gardeners gratitude. A pretty ordinary plant that just loves being where you put it is always a joy. I do think your rose is more than ordinary though. Very Pretty.

  8. I agree that rose looks gorgeous. Solid Sindy Pink though is hideous, added as a rim to those flowers with a backdrop of green it lightens the garden

  9. then they want purple….I never went through a purple phase. I remember being drawn to a quilt in red, black and gold, which, oddly, and many years later, turned out to be the national colors (for soccer, anyway) of the man I married. Weird….

    I have a rhododendron in the front yard that I describe as being a Lurid Pink. It came with the house….

  10. Michelle from Oregon

    I can understand why you love your rose so much, its beautiful!
    I can also understand your abhorance with pink, its a color that deserves to be in a natural enviroment, (on a flower, in the sky at sunset or sunrise) versus plastered on a bedroom wall.

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