The last roses of the season
Actually, maybe not. One of the advantages to living in this never-quite-warm-but-never-quite-cold climate is that every now and then, a rose will pop out in winter. It helps that I don't really prune them. I learned this from my friend Cindy at Fickle Hill Old Rose Nursery; she has this very loose, laid-back approach to her roses that involves just sort of letting them spread out among the other perennials, and every now and then lopping off anything that looks like it would rather be in the compost pile. She's my sort of gardener.
And this yellow rose turned out to be one of hers. It was already here when I bought the place (actually, that's true of all the roses--I am a rose owner, but not a rose buyer) and it's called Lady Hillingdon. Sweet buttery yellow blossoms and bugundy stems. Gorgeous. Seems like I painted it once--I'll look around for it and post it.
I'm not much of a rose gardener--I take care of the ones I inherit but that's about it--but I was won over by Jeff Cox's Landscape with Roses. It's a lovely book about working roses into a landscape, rather than simply lining them up in rows as if they are about to be shot. It's written for people like me who demand that our roses function as a hard-working member of the landscape, pulling their weight alongside the salvia and the penstemon. He identifies roses according to their behavior, explaining that Luther Burbank’s ‘Apple Blossom’ will grow well in a naturalistic garden like mine, reminding us that ‘Climbing Cécile Brünner’ will climb into an old fruit tree, and giving practical instructions for training a rose around a window, over a mailbox, or for pegging it down to the ground for a more mounding habit. Check it out.
Meanwhile: Winter. Cold. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.