One day, maybe five years ago, Ali and I were in Yenikoy, a neighborhood by the Bosphorous in Istanbul. We often went there in the Spring and early Summer to visit the giant mimosa tree or to see the wisteria in full bloom- there are lots of lovely gardens there that cam be appreciated from afar. On that particular day, Ali took me to see and smell a rose he’d encountered, a white rambler that tumbled over a garden wall. The scent of it was delicious, and we decided we’d take a cutting of it.
The cutting rooted ( taking cuttings is Ali’s department- I am more adept at seeds) and lived in a flower pot on our terrace. When we moved down here, I was in charge of packing the van, and that was one of the potted plants that I shoehorned into it.
Last year, I planted it out by the stairs and it immediately began to shoot up, as if it had been waiting for all that time to be liberated from the confines of its pot. Then Ali put up an arch over the path and now we have our own sweetly scented rambler that we pause regularly at the foot of the stairs to enjoy. We’ve pored over our garden books and we think it must be a musk rose, or Rosa Moschata.