Roses on the equator in Africa in Kenya (long)

anntn6b(z6b TN)January 23, 2014

Every so often roses show up in books when we least expect them.

Such a thing has happened in a book titled "The Ghosts of Happy Valley searching for the lost world of Africa's infamous aristocrats."

The place Kenyan highlands on one side of the Rift Valley. The time mid 20th century. The people.....that you would have to read to begin to get a feel for the convoluted relationships. The politics unstable with the death of colonialism thrown in.

Now about the roses growing at the Equator at elevations above 5000'.

I was surprised when the first old homestead had roses.

"There were some old roses growing along the edge of the house; did Idina once supervise her shamba boy planting them?"

My first thought was....surviving at the equator without any classic rose care for over five decades? Must be old roses. Second thought: probably not once blooming because what are the odds that she was there the week they might have been blooming.

Then as I kept reading, the author kept finding more old homesteads, and all were no longer in the families of their first owner families, and she kept mentioning roses as asides. I stopped marking the pages where roses were mentioned with strips of paper (the library book was starting to look fuzzy.)

If you happen to be wandering through the area that used to be called Happy Valley in Kenya, and if you have a camera with you and time to search out these old homesteads, it would be really interesting to know more about these survivors.


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aviastar 7A Virginia

I was in the Rift Valley and surrounding areas about 18 months ago. We stayed in a new 'camp' on the same property- which is now a conservancy- as one of these old homesteads. You aren't kidding about the politics; it's intense.

Didn't see any roses, though, unfortunately. Oh well, I'll just have to go back and look again!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 12:49PM
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Thank you for the interesting post. I actually have an old friend from high school that moved to somewhere in Africa. I may use your rose curiosity as an avenue to contact. Haven't spoken to him in years.

I'm relieved to know that other readers experience serious Roses on the Brain Syndrome as they devour books. I was able to solve a murder mystery once because I know that Zeph is a thornless Bourbon, and I always mark fascinating rose references for later research. Sometimes I lose my place because I've marked all the rosy pages but neglected to mark the last page read!


    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 12:57PM
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catsrose(VA 6)

It isn't just books. I just ordered two silicon bakeware with rose molds, one for cupcakes, one sort of a bundt shape!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 5:16PM
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Catsrose, we are addicted to roses, aren't we? What a wonderful sort of obsessive compulsion! My weakness has become a running joke around the house. Carol

This post was edited by PortlandMysteryRose on Fri, Jan 24, 14 at 21:41

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 4:12PM
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