Sunday, June 27, 2010

Among the Roses

A few weeks ago, the roses at the New York Botanical Garden were at peak, and I went to see them with my wife Grace, Jonathan (former student, now University of Vermont graduate and fellow plant/animal geek) and Donna. We could have hardly picked a better day, though the afternoon sun was hot and accounts for my squinting in one of the photos. It was a perfect spring for the roses, not too stormy once they began growing, rather dry, and on the warm side with cool nights. I'm no expert on roses, and I didn't take notes, so I can only identify a few of the ones pictured. The single flowered pink rose with a large cluster of blooms is "Complicata", which makes a nice looking bush when in full bloom. The other single with a white center is "Cherry Pie" which has good foliage to offset the bright blooms. The weird blue purple one is "Veilchenblau", and climber with very unique colored flowers, nothing else I've seen resembles it. The last one that I can identify is "Fourth of July" which has striped red and white flowers which really stand out. There were endless numbers of other lovely roses there, with climbers, old roses, English roses, and species on the periphery and mostly tea and floribunda types in the central area. Many are fragrant, but we were a bit late to get the best of that, since rose fragrance is strongest in the morning. It was an especially good year for the old roses, since they suffer the worst in bad weather, the flowers frequently "balling" and getting destroyed by molds in really rainy weather. The English or Austin roses are a great improvment, in that they have the old rose flower form but tend to be more vigorous, everblooming (rather than one massive spring display as with many old roses), and more weather resistant.
It was a lovely day, but I should bring a notebook in the future so I can better remember what I photographed.

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