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Picture of the week: It's a rose bee any other name...

With the recent blistering sunshine and the attendant temptation to spark up the barbecue or head straight for one of Northern Ireland's stunning beaches, you'd perhaps be forgiven for missing the finer details of what a summer day can bring to this little corner of the world.

Whether it's the recent sighting of a humpback whale off the Co Down coast, or the busy attentions of a bee, spoilt for choice of open blooms at this year's Rose Week in Belfast, the ever-present bounty of life which surrounds us in Northern Ireland can often be a wonder to behold.

For those lucky individuals not sweltering away in an office during the week, the Rose Trials provided one of the most pleasurable ways to pass an afternoon.

Now celebrating its 50th year, the event – held at Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park in leafy south Belfast – has become a cultural touchstone of sorts, in a place where the notion of a shared heritage is often an alien concept for many.

The blooms on display are not about orange or green, or blue, white and red – over the years some strains have looked towards the regal for their names, while others have given a nod to more Celtic-inspired origins.

Perhaps the event best shows that among the usual heated confrontations associated with the month of July here, we are capable of generating shared spaces, with nature as the ultimate facilitator.

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