I rambled back to a favourite haunt of mine on Sunday: the National Botanic Gardens, in Dublin.
The place was humming with people. All sorts of folk who had turned up for all sorts of reasons.
Two little fair haired boys played a raucous game of catch among the flower beds. A little old ladies clutched pilfered seed pods and eyed a nearby flower bed with an avaricious gleam in her eye. Perhaps her too large handbag would serve a good purpose? A photographic club, meanwhile, fanned out under the trees and up over the hill towards the pond, on a hunt of another sort.
And I had a mission too: I was off to capture the end of rose bloom season.
I know nothing of roses. Not that such ignorance ever stopped me having an opinion on any topic, roses included. I had decided a long not to like the cultivated roses, while a wild rose tumbling through a roadside hedge is an entirely welcome sight.
Well, I was wrong-about the cultivated sort, I mean. Peering through the lens of a camera concentrates the eye so that suddenly, with my gaze drawn fully into the intense burst of colour, and careful pattern of petals and stamens, the angle of each exquisite flower head, I am captivated.
I planted three rose bushes in my garden this year none of which amounted to anything, beyond peering hopelessly and flowerlessly behind the too long grass. Neglect doesn’t seem to work too well with these plants.
The Botanical gardens, of course, have wonderfully maintained beds. In addition,each set of roses is carefully labelled, adding to the enjoyment. Want a rose called after you? Alan Titchmarsh has. Or name a rose after your favourite place? Rosa Oranges and Lemons got its name for its wonderfully variegated petals. But who was Sexy Rexy?
And rambled on to see the sculpture exhibition, and further on, to find long gone heroes in Glasnevin cemetery. But, for the rest of the day, my heart was captivated by sight and scent of roses.