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. I’ve been wondering too. Hope all is well!

  2. has something happened to Fiona and/or Danny?

    It seems most unusual that its all stopped with posts etc.

  3. sandra hawksworth

    Please could someone let me know if everything at the cottage is well, its been such a long time since the last blog.

  4. Roger Brook

    Some of your members might like my pink chrysanthemum on my latest post on my own blog

  5. Cathy Edens

    I hope you are well Fiona. I live in the US but have enjoyed your blog for a long time. I miss your posts.

  6. It would be nice to know what has happened on here, if any other reader knows then can they let me know, i hope that Fiona and Danny are both ok, i do miss my morning read

  7. I too hope everything is alright with you both x x

  8. It has been such a long time, i check every morning, hope all is well at the Cottage xx

  9. Is everything OK at the Cottage Smallholder? No posts in a long time. Hope all is well.

  10. Hi Fiona, hope all is well with you. I am missing your blog and was wondering if it is my pc on the blink. Hope to see you up and running soon!X

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