Friday, January 1, 2010

The Queen Elizabeth Rose & Cucumber Relish

Rosa grandiflora 'Queen Elizabeth'
Released in 1954, a year after the coronation of HRH Queen Elizabeth II, this rose went on to become one of the most popular of the 20th century and was grown throughout the Commonwealth, being hardy even in sub tropical climates. It is classified as a 'grandiflora' and is a cross between the hybrid tea Charlotte Armstrong and the floribunda 'Floradora'. Tall and strong growing with excellent disease resistance, it is the one rose which is guaranteed to produce an endless supply of musk pink flowers all through summer and well into autumn.
It is also the perfect support plant on which to grow a cucumber vine during summertime. Growing vegetables between roses was something suggested by gardener/cook Stephanie Alexander in a radio interview last year.

'Telegraph' Cucumber amongst the roses

One small cucumber vine produces a huge crop, so looking around for a new way to deal with the excess I came across a recipe for making cucumber relish . In a small pan combine:
4 tablespoons coconut vinegar, 4 tablespoons white sugar, 4 tablespoons water, 1 coriander (cilantro) root chopped finely,1 head pickled garlic, chopped and its juice, pinch salt. Bring to the boil until sugar dissolves. Strain,cool and reserve.
Combine in a bowl: 1 finely sliced cucumber, 4 red shallots finely sliced, 2 tablespoons ginger julienned ,1 long red chili julienned,1 tablespoon coriander leaves. Pour vinegar/sugar mixture over. This keeps well in a jar in the refrigerator and is wonderful with Thai style fishcakes or as a dipping sauce for Vietnamese rice paper rolls.


  1. Happy New Year! I have the rose you mentioned, but it doesn't bloom profusely. The cucumber recipe seems very tasty ,I'll try it soon. Have a great day:-)

  2. QE is one of my favs. There's a lone pink rose out there waiting for the freeze.

  3. Ian, a beautiful rose in honor of a remarkable lady ~ who does not seem to age. May QEII reign for another quarter century.

    Also, a great cucumber relish. I am definitely going to make some soon. Many thanks...