Lovely things are coming out of the garden. One of the very best parts of my job is that twice a week I have to pick flowers for us to bring home and test for vase life, enduring scent, and general appeal in the vase. Almost every time the bulk of what I pick is roses - well, each variety has different attributes and a differing vase life, so I simply must try them all! This week there are lovely creamy white and faded apricot blooms in abundance: Tranquility and Lichfield Angel are putting on a magnificent second show, and Desdemona's second big flush of blooms are a lovely warm pale pink, not the pristine white of her June flowers. Today I've brought some Desdemona home, along with apricot-coloured Grace and Port Sunlight, also the pink-muddled pudding-looking Rosemoor and the rich purple-pink Rosarie de l'Hay. In the vases I've mixed them up with some stems of my other current favourite thing, snapdragon Tetra Ruffled Giants Mix, which is not, in our experience, in fact giant, but it does have the most delicious flaked, veined and marbled petals, which look perfect with my roses. If I look after everything nicely - changing the water and re-trimming the stems, and keeping the flowers out of the sun - then my treasures should last for five to seven days. But when I know that I will be duty bound to harvest more again on Friday, the temptation is to just enjoy them!