I have two standard rose trees in my garden, a creamy white one called Claire Austin and an apricot one called Roald Dahl, they’re gorgeous! When I started thinking about my stitched garden book I wanted to include a little embroidery of my two standard roses. My original plan was to just stitch the actual rose tree, however, plans change!
I started with the Claire Austin rose which is down by the patio. The fabric looked somewhat white so I painted a soft circle of green with watercolour paints to add a bit of depth. I stitched the trunk with whipped stem stitch, whipping it makes it stand out a bit more, gives it a bit more shape. For the roses I used stem stitch, this is a new way to me to stitch flowers and I rather like it, when there’s a lot it’s also a lot quicker than bullion knots! I used two or three shades of white and cream. The leaves are stitched with fishbone stitch, I like this stitch for leaves anyway but I think it hints nicely at the serrated edge that many roses have at the ends of the leaves.
I was pleased with how the rose came out but as an embroidery it seemed a bit lacking. I have to confess I have no in progress photos of this one, it was my handbag sewing mainly, stitched at work during lunchbreaks or in the dentists waiting room. I do however have a photo of the Roald Dahl one at the same stage as I’ve already started that one…
It needed a bit more stitching, the trunk just looked too unbalanced really. I decided to add some flowers round the bottom.
In this flower bed I have a beautiful paeony with the most delicate pale pink flowers, a perovskia otherwise known as Russian sage which at the moment has sprays of blue flowers on sage green leaves, and there is also a penstemon which I think is called apple blossom. In reality the penstemon is a pale pink and cream, but the embroidery called for a bit more pink…in reality the paeony flowers in May/June before the roses have many flowers and the perovskia is flowering now…it’s called artistic license! Anyway, this is the finished piece…
I used woven stitch for the paeonies with lazy daisy leaves. The perovskia is blue French knots with straight stitches for the foliage and the penstemon flowers are little straight stitches with fly stitch leaves. I then just added a bit of seed stitch for the earth.
I’m pretty pleased with how it came out so I’m planning to do something similar with the Roald Dahl one too. These embroideries are coming together nicely, I’m going to have to start turning them into pages soon to make my garden book.