A dull, cool day (I’m back in winter trousers and a sweater this past few days). Nevertheless, the scent of roses still carries in the cold orchard air. One rose wending its way through the nearby trees is Alberic Barbier. Most of our ramblers are multifloras, with huge heads of small blossoms but this is a wichuriana, with glossy, almost evergreen leaves and large, invidividual blooms. The perfect tea rose, deep cream flowers gradually fade to white and seems to thrive even in quite deep shade. Ours, after a slow start, is now making its way through a violet willow, an oak and a walnut, hanging down in a delicate tracery. Today’s threads are grey cotton perlé no 5, green six-strand cotton sewn with two strands, rich cream cotton perlé no 5, pale lemon coton à broder no 16 and cream floche, sewn with one and two strands. The stitches are reverse chain for the heart, stem stitch for the stem, cretan stitch with infill for the leaves and backstitch for the petals.