Another dull, misty day, though marginally less dark. The roses are hanging their heads from the rain now, the grass a mass of yellow, white and pink petals. The biggest rose in our garden is this one – Paul’s Himalayan Musk. A rambler of cherry-blossom beauty, it is now some 15ft high and 20ft wide and creates a massive wall of bloom throughout June, its fragrance so strong I can smell it from the house 100 yards away. Even the couple of blooms I plucked this morning wafted a delicate rose scent at me as I stitched, and each flower head has perhaps 100 blooms. Today’s threads are grey coton à broder no 16, green cotton perlé, golden yellow six-strand embroidery thread, sewn single strand and myriad threads for the petals: six-strand variegated embroidery threads in pinks and lilacs, pink rayon shawl fringe, palest pink Indian rayon etc, all mingled in the needle. The stitches are double threaded running stitch for the heart, spider’s wheel for the petals, a French knot for the stigma and French knots with pistil stitch for the stamens. Because this rose is so small and delicate, I sewed with 11 spokes on the wheel today and only three strands of thread in the needle instead of the usual six.