My Favourite Flower - Elizabeth Rowe

Boy are you in for a treat with the first My Favourite Flower column for 2015!  My guest this month is Elizabeth Rowe, who amongst other things, writes the absolutely gorgeous Squeak and Squirrel blog. I met Elizabeth during an online course, and immediately fell for her clean, feminine style, and her mutual love of all things floral.  I can honestly say, the photographs of her favourite flower put me at a loss for words, they are just so incredibly beautiful. Here is what Elizabeth has to say:


My favourite flower is David Austin’s Claire Rose. My daughter, Alice, and I call it a pancake rose because of its exquisite structure. Its bud forms a cup-shaped flower which slowly opens to a flat rosette, like a pancake, with layer upon layer of tightly stacked soft pink petals. I can think of worse things to eat for breakfast than an English rose.



I didn’t set out to plant the Claire Rose in my garden, but one year I left my run to the nursery for bare root roses too late and it was one of only a handful of varieties left in the crate. I bought nine and have never seen them for sale since.

I planted the roses in clusters along my back fence, which is hedged in emerald leaves and ornamental pear trees. The pink petals pop against the green and flower in two to three flushes from spring through to late summer. I love their bouquet-like ball formation on the stem and the fact they don’t have thorns. This makes the Claire Rose ideal for little hands and super easy to arrange.



I usually place cuttings in vintage glass jars and milk bottles (found under the kitchen floorboards in my previous home). Sometimes I suspend the bottles on twine so the roses can float on a wall. I have a little deer head which I am forever moving around - she carries petals in her antlers wherever she goes!




Alice likes to serve pancake roses to her bunnies at tea parties and sometimes we string the flowers together to make a garland for her playroom.



Such is Claire Rose’s beauty, I prefer to display the flowers alone but if I do mix them with other garden cuttings, I usually choose white and green hydrangeas and Cymbeline roses.

If kept in fresh water with snipped stems, the pancakes will age gracefully over weeks, their petals turning from blush pink to white before finally fading to an antique sepia colour.

I can’t imagine my garden without the Claire Rose. If I ever move, I think I’ll have to dig up each bush and take it with me because home just wouldn't be home without a bunch of pink pancakes.


All photos by Elizabeth Rowe

Thank you so much Elizabeth for sharing your favourite flower, and of course your stunning photographs.  David Austin roses are my favourite too, and I feel more inspired than ever now to create a space in our tiny garden to squeeze in one or two.

You can find Elizabeth here:

Happy New Year!

Emma x