Sunday, June 21, 2009
GWI stylin’ the roses
Hey, thanks Gardening Gone Wild, for giving me something to post about. There is a great early summer garden in progress here, but with no big developments over the past week or so. I thought I’d said pretty much all I had to say about roses this year, but along comes GGW with a rose photo contest. Of course I have no expectation of winning, but I do have ideas about photographing roses and I love photographing them. Who doesn’t?
Roses are both easy and difficult to photograph. From any distance the bush form is not that interesting and the flowers tend to look like colored blobs. They’re not like the field of poppies or the swaths of salvia we photographed in Chicago. Close-ups, on the other hand, tend to be quite beautiful; one catches the whorled intricacies of the petals, and sometimes, you can almost smell the strong, clear fragrance.
But I don’t always like taking close-ups of flowers. I like to photograph my garden as a garden, and show the flowers in context of the garden structures and other plants that surround them. One has to take close-ups to show flower details, but I try to always show context as well, if I can.
For these rose photographs, first I took the unknown red climber that was in place when we purchased the house. It could be either Don Juan (1958) or Dublin Bay (1976); it blooms in trusses and the double blooms take a classic hybrid tea shape, maturing from medium to deep scarlet, with some blackening. They last quite long, sometimes even drying right on the canes. There is sporadic rebloom, right into November.
First (at top) you see the rose in its bed, silhouetted against the house—its best angle. Then (above), you see a small cluster I brought into the kitchen, against some curtains that look well with orange or red flowers.
My third image is of the Blush Noisette (Rosier de Phillippe Noisette, 1817). This delightful light pink double is said by all sources to be the first noisette. For me it is a tall shrub—almost a climber form—that needs support and protection against the winter months. It blooms profusely throughout the season, ending in late October. I like to overwinter it in the root cellar, as I don’t want to take any chances of killing it—it’s zone 6-9.
A small rose, Blush Noisette demands the close-up, but I have tried to show some deeper pink buds and the way it matures into lighter shades. It’s the first rose I bought and my favorite.