At last – a use for British rose gardens

The sweet smell of roses may be improving British politics

The sweet smell of roses is improving British politics

Marvellous that rose gardens are heralding a new age in British politics. Having found the perfect place for ‘getting into bed together’, Nick Clegg and David Cameron consumated their marriage in the garden of 10 Downing Street (after the 2010 UK Election). John Major thought that if the White House had a rose garden then Downing Street should have one too – so the name was changed. These days, a rose garden is more likely to give one a seat at the top table than an independent nuclear deterrant. The political stench has been foul for most of my life, so my hope is that many future political events will take place in thornless rose gardens. One worry though – there are no roses. As I often remark, good garden design requires good garden designers.

8 thoughts on “At last – a use for British rose gardens

  1. Garden Girl

    I’ve waited a long time to sit in my garden and feel safe again. At last Britain may now regain her true indentity as a nation of garden lovers not legislation makers!

  2. Tom Turner Post author

    I hope so too!
    Please forgive my pedantry but one could argue that (1) landscape design is a pre-Roman British tradition (2) the first palace gardens in these islands were made by the Romans (2) the next wave of palace gardens were made by the Normans (3) the modern English garden drew its inspiration from the Italians.
    But today gardening and garden design are, as you say, utterly part of Britain’s ‘true identity’ and there must surely be more gardens per square mile in these islands than anywhere else on earth.

  3. Garden Girl

    I so agree AND it is part of of national character to believe that what failed in the garden this year is just bound to florish next year. Battling with slugs, greenfly, blackspot, moles, rabbits and indestructable weeds is what developed our Dunkirk spirit. Never mind political correctness or trauma counselling just get in out in the garden to experience real life!

  4. Tom Turner Post author

    Oh yes – there wll be so many lessons for politicans when they stop using expense accounts to get their moats cleared and their duck houses built. When they go round ‘door stepping’ at elections, I would like to see them pulling weeds instead of asking such stupid questions as ‘can I count on your support?’. Slug should speak unto slug.

  5. Christine

    Some interesting uses of the expression ‘rose garden’ are listed in the ‘Dictionary of Politics’: selected American and Foreign Political and Legal Terms(see p447).

    1) Rose Garden – A nickname for the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest, in Washington, District of Columbia, where the US President resides and officiates. Named after the handsome rose garden in the grounds in which the presidents stroll for meditation or to relieve pressure of the burdened office.

    2) Rose Garden Campaign – An incumbent president campaigning from the White House without extensive travel.

    Perhaps the Rose Garden Campaign is the ‘slug’ option or maybe the ‘green’ option?

  6. Tom Turner Post author

    Britain could possibly contribute ‘a Rose Garden Moment’ to the Dictionary of Politics, when sworn enemies awake to find themselves muttering sweet nothings in a thorny bed.

  7. Christine

    Perhaps Andrew Lloyd Webber could craft a political musical around Lynn Anderson’s classic ‘Rose Garden’?

    “I beg your pardon,
    I never promised you a rose garden.
    Along with the sunshine,
    There’s gotta be a little rain sometimes.
    When you take, you gotta give, so live and let live,
    Or let go.
    I beg your pardon,
    I never promised you a rose garden.”

  8. Tom Turner Post author

    I’d prefer Webber to Karlheinz Stockhausen but wonder if the latter might be closer to the mood of sworn enemies waking up in the same bed. But to return to reality, it is easy to see Nick and Dave as friends but hard to see a left-wing Lib Dem being friends with a right-wing Tory.


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