Late Roses

It’s been a rather lovely fall, up until the last couple of weeks, during which nature has decided to make up for not raining enough during early and mid October and has rained nearly every day. Some of the local roses didn’t seem to want to let go of summer. It’s always nice to be able to stop and smell them when the leaves are changing.

Now, I’ve seen October roses in Oregon before. I’m always delighted to see them again. When we went to visit Lockwood, we stopped at the rest stop just outside of Albany, and the bushes there were enthusiastically abloom.

Image shows a red-orange rosebud just beginning to open, surrounded by younger buds.
A lovely set of buds.

And, for those who are fans of the single:

The same bud from a slightly different angle, with the other buds cut out.
A single half-blown rose.

But that’s not the most interesting rose. There was one that intrigued me. See if you can spot why:

Image shows a rosebush that has a variety of roses on it: some red, some pink, some red-orange.
A very interesting rosebush.

Here’s a different shot that may make it clear:

The same rosebush from a different angle, clearly showing the different varieties.

See how many different colors there are? I’m not sure if this bush is a lot of bushes planted together, or if they were grafted to the same root stock, or something else, but it was odd and fun to see all those different kinds of roses popping out from what appeared to be a single bush.

Turning now to more local roses: some of our natives planted up by the creek have been enthusiastically blooming this fall. You got a sneak-peek when I showed you one that bees were hanging about on. But I took shots of a bunch, and they were lovely.

Image shows two dark pink wild roses blooming side-by-side. There's the remnants of an older bloom between them.
Native roses.

Some of them were in full bloom, while others were just getting started.

Image shows a dark pink rosebud, most of it tightly closed, but with a couple of petals beginning to unfurl.
Rose. Bud. Extra points to whomever gets the Rocko’s Modern Life reference.

Some were just on the verge of unfurling.

Image is a single dark pink rosebud, looking down into its opening petals.

And the scent, people. I’m telling you, our native wild roses put a lot of cultivars to shame. Yeah, I buried my nose deep in to the ones that hadn’t got insects in them. Inhaling the last of summer, right there by the roadside. I try to set a good example for my fellow citizens.

Here’s one that’s nice and inviting. You can put your schnoz close to the screen and imagine, right?

Image is a single dark pink open rose.
Smell me!!

Notice the brilliant red rose hip there just below it. Love it when they’re all ripe and vibrant like that.

Fate intervened in the form of a kidney infection, or I may have been out there sniffing away as often as I could. But I got one last chance when B and I ventured out for a gentle walk to photograph fly agaric last week. There were still a few roses in bloom, despite the fact their own leaves were turning.

Image shows a different dark pink native rose in bloom, which has fewer petals than the other. Many of the leaves around it are still green, but a fair number have turned bright yellow.
Last brave roses.

See the raindrops on the petals? That’s my northwest, right there.

I had to take a last lingering look at that rosebush, blooming whilst turning yellow, and with a tree turned brown behind it.

Image shows the rosebush from the previous picture, with a tree behind it. The tree's leaves have all turned a russet brown.
Fall couplet.

I love how things hold on around here. Life was rather more sparse and cautious in the desert where I’m from, even up in the more alpine parts of the state. Here, the stuff grabs hold wherever it can, and generally holds on til the very last instant. There are almost always flowers. And it gives you plenty of opportunity to smell the roses, from early spring to late in the fall. I don’t think I’ll be trading this for anywhere else any time soon, unless someone’s got a little cottage on the Mediterranean they want to set me up with. In that case, I suppose I can relocate for a few seasons. But I’d want to come back here. Between the geology and the biology, it’s one of my favorite places on Earth.



Late Roses
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6 thoughts on “Late Roses

  1. rq

    Love the first bright yellow rose with the red edging. I have a similar bush in my rose garden.
    And the bright fuchsia buds! Lovely.
    Over the last winter I lost one of my favourite coloured roses, which only had one bloom last season, and then, after several attempts, it gave up and died this spring (a bad winter for the roses, plus a wishy-washy all-over-the-place spring temperature-wise). These come something close to the amazing colour that one had, thanks for these photos!

  2. 2

    I’m not sure if this bush is a lot of bushes planted together

    Probably not. Roses need a lot of room and a lot of fertilizer to make good blooms, so a good gardener would not cluster plant them. Grafting is a good bet. Nearly all rose plants are grafted onto a root stock anyway, so two grafts would not be a big deal. It’s also possible you are seeing blooms coming from the root stock itself, but probably not, because root stock flowers are generally small and not well colored. It also could be a sport, i.e., a mutation that occurred in one branch.

  3. 5

    Hello, Dana. I’ve not commented on your blog before, but I’ve been reading it and enjoying it for some time. The rose with the multicolored blooms might be a cultivar called ‘Joseph’s Coat.’ Do a google image search on that name and you’ll see what I mean.

  4. 6

    I occasionally grow roses indoors from cuttings taken from a who-knows-what cultivar planted here by my great grandmother almost certainly more than 100 years ago. If I keep them going indoors too long and let them flower, the normally rich pink flowers come out instead as pure white. I dunno about other varieties but with this one the color varies based on… something, not sure if it’s nutrients or light levels or temperature or what, but different conditions can certainly change their colors.

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