Saturday, July 28, 2012

Random Rose Reflections

I can't think of a plant, other than the rose, that so many gardeners are so passionate about.

Shön Ingeborg, a hybrid perpetual. Hybrid perpetuals are sometimes said to be more hybrid than perpetual, i.e. they are known more for complex genes rather than good rebloom. This cultivar, however, gives me three flushes a year and its foliage is always healthy.

It has many dedicated admirers and is grown in widely different climates and gardening styles.

Lyda Rose, a modern shrub. Single blooms are usually much more fleeting than more double ones, but there are many more of them too.

It is exhibited, collected and treasured, but also disdained (they all get sick) and avoided (they all are too much work).

Colette, a large-flowered climber

I am sometimes amazed at how many complaints are hurled at this or that rose.

'Hoag House Cream', a found rose. Found roses are usually discovered growing abandoned, and often their identity can no longer be determined.

Knock-Out roses are ubiquitous (and are therefore for the uninitiated), orange roses are gaudy, hybrid teas are vulgar, teas mildew, hybrid perpetuals rust, albas crisp in the heat, gallicas won't bloom without chill, climbers get out of control and as for those jolly green giants with octopus arms and occasional blooms, known to some as David Austin roses... well, I dare not even start on those :).

Fuzzy-Wuzzy Red, a miniature moss. Moss roses are called so because of fragrant moss-like glands covering the canes and buds.

Hearing such blanket condemnation always makes me sad.

A cane of Penelope, a hybrid musk, fell on some osteospermum daisies. I have two Penelopes and am trying to grow one as a shrub and the other as a short climber.

As the estimable Mr. Bingley said in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice: "I would not be so fastidious as you are for a kingdom!"

Elie Beauvilain, a tea-noisette

Here are a few rose portraits I have taken recently.

Magnificent Perfume, a modern shrub

My collection is small and has come together helter-skelter without a particular goal or purpose.

A stem of Queen Mary 2, a hybrid tea. It has a very stiff growth habit for which hybrid teas are often faulted. Its saving grace is superior health, generosity of bloom, and a very strong fragrance reminiscent of bananas. I grow it for cutting.

Despite a variety of colors, shapes, sizes and petal counts they are each lovely in their own way.

Sir Henry Segrave, an early hybrid tea. Not all of them have high centered blooms.

Mme Berkeley, a tea

And what about those indispensable whole bush shots? Surely a rose is more than just a pretty flower?

Félicité Parmentier, an alba

Well, yes, but this is where my photography skills fail me miserably. In the middle of summer, my whole garden is a mass of color and foliage, and I cannot make you see where the rose bush ends and other plants begin.

Basye's Purple Rose, a rugosa, is peeking out from a profusion of summer blooming perennials. My rugosas never get badly chlorotic, even though I don't usually bother to acidify their soil.

With so many other plants growing around and through my roses, even I don't always see the whole bush until winter, when the perennials are cut down and I am pruning.

Rosa californica, a species....

....and its beautiful, multi-colored hips 

For me, it is a good thing. I am much less picky about a rose's growth habit because I never grow roses as stand alone shrubs. Not even in pots.

Cynthia Brooke, a hybrid tea, in a 24" pot. Some canes of Zéphirine Drouhin are drooping behind it.

So, for me, a rose is a rose, whether it has five petals or two hundred, whether pink or orange, a ubiquitous Double Delight or an obscure antique treasure.

Pretty Jessica, a David Austin rose

They are all beautiful and they all give me much joy.

Devoniensis, a tea
However, I do not want to give the impression that I am completely indiscriminate in my selections.

Sweet Pea, a polyantha
My garden is small, and I have to restrict my rose choices pretty severely.

Prinzessin Marie von Arenberg, an early hybrid tea
So here are some of my criteria for buying a rose.

Jude the Obscure, one of my favorite David Austin roses. No other rose matches its unique and powerful fragrance.
 I will not grow a rose that doesn't bloom :) I don't grow many reds because they are not photogenic. And I don't grow roses whose foliage is so sick that it is not recognizably green. Fortunately, that still leaves me with plenty of choices.

April in Paris, a hybrid tea


  1. Bardzo podoba mi się, że pod krzewami pięknych róż masz inne kwiaty, wygląda to ślicznie. Każdy kto ma róże, ma sukcesy i porażki w ich wyborze ich gatunków i pielęgnacji. Ty z pewnością porażek masz mało. Pozdrawiam.
    I really like that the bushes have beautiful roses other flowers, it looks pretty. Anyone who has roses, has successes and failures in their choice of species and their care. You certainly have a few failures. Yours.

  2. Masha, gorgeous photos! I love David Austin roses and the Pretty Jessica is beautiful!

  3. Ganz wundervolle Schnappschüsse, super.
    ♥ liche Grüße

  4. S I G H ~ These are all beautiful and you are blessed to have these growing in your lovely gardens.


  5. Hi Masha. I always love visiting your garden and admiring your roses. You just have so many gorgeous ones. Beautiful pictures, Have a lovely weekend.

  6. what a hard time trying to pick out a favourite! lovely pics Masha ( as always)

  7. Ваші трояндові фото неймовірно гарні!
    Але особливо мене вражають ті кадри, на яких троянди поєднуються із іншими квітами різних відтінків! Незабутнє видовище!

    Have a great Sunday!
    xoxo, Juliana

  8. Oh, what a lovely collection of roses! It's hard to pick a favourite, but I love David Austin roses and Pretty Jessica has been on my wish list for a while - it's just that my garden is tiny and I don't know where to put her! I think she will end up in a pot, which should be possible.

  9. Oh, wow. I was going to say this or that Rose was my favorite, and then I saw 'April in Paris.' Everything about it is stunning! The colors, the form, the way you've photographed it with the light shining through...gorgeous, Masha!

  10. I can only imagine how amazing it must be to wander through your incredible garden!! Tonight, when deciding what changes I need to make to the garden (a constant process) I've decided to transplant two small pink clematis close to my Graham Thomas climber so they can weave through its canes. I love that your roses aren't lined up like soldiers. I love how enmeshed they are with other plants. :o)

  11. Masha what a lovely roses you are sharing. It sounds maybe boring but I wish I could smell the fragance. Great photography.
    Have a lovely sunday

  12. Wunderschöne Fotos und ich finde es gibt nichts Schöneres als sich mit der "Königin" der Blumen zu beschäftigen. Ich liebe Rosen!
    Viele herzliche Grüße Annette

  13. You have the most beautiful roses, Masha and it's always such a treat to visit your garden

  14. Beautiful! I miss the hummingbird at the top, though.

  15. This post is such a delight for the eyes ! Thanks Masha !

  16. rosa californica est la plus simple mais pour moi elle est aussi la plus belle.
    Bonsoir ou bonjour ?

  17. Hallo Masha !!!
    Dziękuję Ci za te piękne zdjęcia wspaniałych róż.
    Dziękuję że opisujesz je i mogę choć trochę dowiedzieć się czegoś na ich temat... to jest bardzo przydatne... kocham róże :)
    Pozdrawiam serdecznie Gabi...

  18. April in Paris looks so lovely. As do all the others.

  19. Your observations are spot on... and you're right... does anyone NOT love roses?

  20. Masha, you have such green fingers with roses! They are all so gorgeous. I've given up on planting roses as they are so finicky in the tropics. Fungal growth is a bane. There are only two surviving bushes in my garden.


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