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.


Rose said…
I love that first photo! I agree photographing roses as close-ups shows their beauty, but I enjoy seeing how they fit into the context of others' gardens. Alas, I'm not a rose grower; I'm afraid I don't have the patience to fuss over them. But after reading your previous post, maybe I should give the hybrids a try--I'm good at neglect:)
Chris Gallant said…
The roses look great Elizabeth! I've had a better than average time with my roses. Those ones we talked about last time are going! But the two others are OK. The petals have already dropped though and I don't see any other buds. Any thoughts on how to get buds again?
EAL said…
Chris, you should deadhead back to just above the first 5-leaf cluster of leaves. Don't leave seedheads on the rosebushes. Also, you might try some Rosetone organic fertilizer scratched in around each shrub, unless you already have a compost program in place.

Roses generally give one big flush of blooms and then bloom sporadically for the rest of the summer, except for some varieties (like the Carefree line, Kock-Out, and some others).
I really like that first photo. Somehow bricks always seem to be a perfect background. Enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks and good luck in the photo contest.
Davy Barr said…
To help identify the red climber, Dublin Bay has almost no fragrance at all. Don Juan has a wonderful, classic rose fragrance.
beckie said…
You can photograph roses any which way and I still love them. I don't think I've ever met a rose I didn't like. Your red looks very happy where it is growing against the brick. Probably helps to protect it some in the winter. Also the pink is beautiful. Blush describes it perfectly soesn't it?
Kerri said…
I'd be so happy with any rose bush that grew large and gave me abundant blooms like your red climber. It's a beauty!
There's a pink bush (our only climber..planted a few years ago) promising to give lots of blooms...2 open and plenty of buds, so perhaps I'll have enough to cut a bouquet for the house this summer.
The other roses are coming along slowly..budding now, but the bushes are still small.
Your Blush Noisette is delightful indeed!
I also enjoyed your Bloom Day show and other posts, including the Spring Fling photos. It looked like such fun. Maybe I will make it to Buffalo in 2010!
Anonymous said…
Charming to see roses in their city setting - with beautiful windows and brick.
Commonweeder said…
I especially love the first photo! Reminds me of our days in NYC, although we didn't have roses, just a Dutchman's pipe. NOW I have 70 roses, and I thank you for the reminder about the contest. I'm just in time and posted my three photos. Thanks.
Kylee Baumle said…
The first photo is beautiful, but I love the second one, with the vased roses by the window. The color of the roses beside the drapes having the same color is great. I really like those drapes.
Mildred said…
Hi EAL I am sorry to approach you like this, but I can't seem to find an email address for you... I would appreciate it if you contacted me via my email or blog.
The roses in the vase photo looks so dreamy. Good photos all.

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