It was not her dress that was so noticeable. A black dress, of a modest length, with sleeves made of a sheer material. Nice, but nothing out of the ordinary. Diamond rings and pearl earrings sparkled in the soft light. Her jewelry complimented, but did not compete, with her beauty.
And yet - some may not have even considered her beautiful. She had lines of experience written on her face, showing a life filled with both tragedy and laughter. When she smiled, it was genuine, and it brightened her entire face, but it also exposed teeth that were not perfect, and that had yellowed with age.
|Mrs. Dudley Cross|
What was it that made this woman so special?
She was tall. Large. Not overweight, but strong, or big-boned, as we used to say. She could never be described as petite, or delicate, but she long, lean legs, and a waist that curved in ever so slightly.
No, there was something more to this woman. Something charismatic. Finally, I realized what was so enchanting.
She was graceful. The way in which she danced was light and airy. Her feet barely met the floor, as if the wind were pushing her along. She could have been sprinkled with fairy dust, it was that magical. She danced the waltz with her husband, but he was just a frame to her picture of charm.
Generally, graceful is not something one sees every day. But there is a rose in my garden that is just as graceful, just as lovely, and just as mesmerizing as the woman that was waltzing.
The rose 'Mrs. Dudley Cross' is not tiny, or petite. She is large, growing to 8 ft tall and wide, although she would still be described as shapely. Her blooms nod down, almost the way in which Princess Diana always seemed to shyly bow her head. Her color is delicate, as if she is innocently blushing. Her almost thornless branches are light and airy. She has a charismatic pull to her, and I find myself drawn to her fragrant blooms. And yes, she is still blooming in my garden.
She would benefit from a strong, dark, solid hedge behind her. When the wind blew, it would seem as if they were dancing. I presume they would be dancing the waltz.
If you want to know more about Mrs. Dudley Cross, click HERE.
Lovely analogy of a graceful lady and a graceful rose; I'd like to have this rose in my garden one day.ReplyDelete
I hope you get to have her in your garden. She can be quite beautiful.Delete
Yes, Mrs. Dudley Cross is a BEAUTY... I'm sure she was equally as beautiful as the lady in the black dress with the jewelry.... AND--I'm sure that Mrs. Cross loves to do the waltz also!!!!!ReplyDelete
I think Mrs. Cross would love to have a handsome hedge to do the waltz with. Unfortunately, there is no place for a hedge to go behind her in my garden. She will just have to dance alone.Delete
Holley,it's a pretty comparison the rose and the graceful woman! I think when the wind blows your 'Mrs. Dudley' dances the waltz.ReplyDelete
Yes, Mrs. Cross is very graceful that way. Very airy growth that sways on the breeze.Delete
I like your comparison of the woman and your graceful rose. Did you get a chance to compliment the woman on how you admired her style?ReplyDelete
Oh, I wish I would have, but no, I'm sorry to say I didn't.Delete
You are smitten, I can tell. Wonder if Waltzing Matilda is RL family or friend, reading along with us, and smiling to herself?ReplyDelete
I don't think this woman knows I or my blog even exist, but perhaps a mutual acquaintance will let her know. :)Delete
Holley, save the last dance for me, yummy, just like your Rose.ReplyDelete
I'm not much of a dancer. I think Mrs. Cross will have to do the dancing for me!Delete
Hi Holley, what a lovely tribute to a lovely looking rose!ReplyDelete
Every autumn I am infatuated with this rose. And of course, every year she gets more beautiful.Delete
Hi Holley, What a lovely post comparing your beautiful rose to the graceful, waltzing woman. The fact that Mrs. Dudley's blooms nod similar to the way Princess Diana shyly bowed her head (I remember that) is the icing on the cake. If I had space for Mrs. Dudley, I've have to have her dance and nod in my garden! :-)ReplyDelete
She does need a lot of room. I guess that's so she can dance with ease! ;)Delete
Love this posting....you capture Mrs. Dudley Cross so perfectly. An amazing story for an amazing rose! Please in all due respect, I request more stories like these from your imagination of our Old Garden Roses!ReplyDelete
All the best,
The Gardener @ Rose Petals Nursery
Oh, thank you so much for your request! I am glad you enjoyed the analogy. Mrs. Dudley Cross deserves to have something beautiful written about her.Delete
Holley, you write so well. I can just see the lady in my mind's eye. And the rose is gorgeous, too!ReplyDelete
I'm happy that you could "see" the lady dancing. When this rose is happily blooming, she really does mesmerize.Delete
Lovely description of a lovely rose. You can add "rose of San Antonio" as a survey was done of the roses gardeners had in their gardens - most had her. ::sigh:: My garden is just not big enough. Maybe I can get the neighbors to plant one.ReplyDelete
I didn't realize San Antonio had so many! Next time I'm down there, I'll be looking for her! Good luck on talking your neighbor into the plants you want! :)Delete
Wow, very wonderfully written for a lovely Mrs Rose. The article is enchanting as well which we audience visualized perfectly!ReplyDelete
Thank you for the compliment. I'm glad the feelings I have for this rose were conveyed in my story.Delete
What a sweet story! I often imagine that the flowers in my garden are dancing on the breeze. The imagery of your story will probably now be included in my thoughts! Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
I will have to remember it, too. Usually I'm just mad that the flowers won't stay still long enough for me to take a picture! :) I'll have to remember they need time to dance with the wind.Delete
I like those sorts of big shrub roses.ReplyDelete
They really are usually quite easy to grow, and make such a big - and beautiful - statement.Delete
What a lovely blog. Extremely well written. I truly felt as if I was watching the dance.ReplyDelete
A lovely rose, I'm sure Mrs Dudley Cross would be pleased with your description of her and her beauty!!
I always wonder if the person has some of the same qualities as the rose that is named for them. I wonder if the real Mrs. Cross loved to dance!Delete
I love how you describe the rose's grace and beauty as if dancing a waltz...I was mesmerized in the dance with your poetic words Holley.ReplyDelete
That is quite a compliment coming from a writer such as yourself. Thank you. :)Delete
Ooh, I can picture the woman and the rose. The metaphor is lovely. You should consider writing ad copy for a rose nursery. Very nice.ReplyDelete
Gee, if only someone would hire me! :)Delete
I love graceful plants. In my garden it isn't a rose, though; it is the Lindheimer's muhly!ReplyDelete
Yes, the grasses dance, too, don't they? The garden could really be compared to one big ballroom!Delete
What a sweet description of a lady's beauty that is so much more than just looks. There's more to appreciate than just a pretty face if we look for it.ReplyDelete
It's the more than a pretty face part that we really should appreciate.Delete
I clicked through to your earlier post profiling this old rose, and what an interesting bloom it is. I am amazed at all the color changes that she goes through. I can see why this is a favorite --- and how delightful it is to have her dancing a waltz in your garden in December!ReplyDelete
Beautifully written --- I'm looking forward to reading your essay in January at Jennifer's.
She really is a beauty. I love the soft yellow, and the darker rose color, but my favorite is when her petals are mostly yellow, but dipped in pink on the edges. Truly as if she is blushing. And congratulations to you, too! That was a fun contest to enter.Delete
Thanks for taking us along on your journey to figure out and explain the "why" of the moment. Grace is underrated. You paint beautiful imaginary pictures that rival your lovely photos!ReplyDelete
Sometimes we are drawn to someone without realizing why. It is usually a quality that is not physical, I think. Grace is hard to define, but oh so lovely to see.Delete
You are such a talented writer, Holley, what a fun description of Mrs. Dudley Cross. She looks lovely in your garden, too.ReplyDelete
She really gets a little too much shade where she is planted, so I wonder if she's not a little more leggy than she would otherwise be, but it hasn't stopped her from blooming!Delete
Beautiful! Love the imagery! Great post!! :o)ReplyDelete
Thank you! :)Delete
Mrs. Dudley Cross is indeed beautiful. I love how you led up to her description! I also really like the combination of the rose with the silvery artemesia.ReplyDelete
I do love that artemisia. It tries to take over the world, but it does make a pretty backdrop.Delete
Very pretty rose, and lovely story! Mrs. Dudley Cross would indeed look beautiful framed by a strong, solid partner, but she looks lovely even on her own!ReplyDelete
To me, she looks lovelier every year. I can't wait for her to get huge! :)Delete
Beautiful - I also love plants (and creatures) that are large and have presence. They seem to hold themselves together strongly and are compelling to be around. I love the soft coloring of the petals.ReplyDelete
Compelling to be around. That's it exactly! :)Delete
I have said it before and I will say it again, you are such a good writer!! I love the way you lead up to your introduction of the rose. Grace has come to life in your descriptions.ReplyDelete
Thank you! I do think this rose deserves to have its beauty told.Delete