Monday, November 8, 2010

The Last of Summer's Roses

I have always thought of roses as delicate, fussy plants- they need generous amount of water, they are susceptible to a wide range of pests and they need winter protection from the extremes of winter weather here in Canada.

In the last few weeks however, I find that I have been impressed with their persistence and their plucky determination in the face of the cold fall weather. 

Mid-summer Fairy roses were more lush

There have not been many blooms and quite frankly, the ones that there has been, are smaller and less spectacular than the generously ruffled blooms of mid-summer.

Yet, with all the other flowers faded or gone, theses late fall jewels seem very special indeed. In the last few weeks, I have been picking them, when I see them, and bringing them into the house, where I have more opportunity to enjoy them.

The Fairy rose covered in frost crystals

Now in late fall, the Fairy blooms are more petite.

Cream Groundcover rose

I love to put the roses in tiny bud vases and set them in a window, where the sunlight illuminates their petals.
the David Austin rose: L D Braithwaite

The cold weather is an unwelcome guest that is planning on an extended stay. 

We have had yet another hard frost this morning- the garden was glittering with all the ice crystals in the early morning light. 

Only a few tiny rose buds remain, shut up tight, waiting for the sun and warmth that will never come on a gray November day. 

I will have to go out later and pick them in hopes that they will open in the warmth of the house.


  1. I agree, what's up with the roses this year? When I walked the dogs through my neighbourhood yesterday I was very surprised to see how many gardens had roses that still had blooms. And they are hardier then I would expect because I know for a fact that these roses are in gardens of people who don't provide any special treatment to their plants ~ it's as though they survive on neglect! Have a great day!

  2. As much as I'm adverse to winter coming I do love the way the frost sits on the flowers in your photos. Such a pretty time of year.

  3. Dear Jennifer, How very pretty your frosted Roses look. Roses are much more resilient than most people think and, for me, no garden is quite complete without them.

    Your arrangements in the small vases look delightful and really make the most of these final, fragile flowers.

  4. How pretty your roses look in this harsh weather to come.

  5. The Fairy bouquet is gorgeous! I love the red rose with the purple asters too.

    Each late rose seems like such a gift.

  6. Beautiful photos. I love the ice crystals on them -- it is so Narnia! (There was an ice queen in that one right?) I heard that fertilizing rugosa's is a no-no, is that the same for all roses? Maybe they need neglect?

  7. I totally agree Jennifer, roses seem to go on forever in our gardens. I had some problems this year with the hot summer, insects, etc., but I also still have roses blooming.


  8. Jennifer, thanks for stopping by my blog. I love the ice crystals on that yellow rose! Very nice photography.

  9. Your roses are beautiful! My roses just finished blooming, too. Just when we think a plant may have earned its reputation as a diva, they impress us with how tough they are!

  10. I wish I had picked my Abraham Darby buds before our first hard frost. There are so many buds that went to waste ~ I just wasn't thinking. Your blooms are beautiful ~ I'm envious you still have them. Love the pink frosted blooms too even tho the cold weather is not welcome here either...

  11. Beautiful Roses! I like how they look covered with ice, I just hope they don't get much damage from the frosts. And also that my rose look as nice as yours next year!

  12. Jennifer I can say that I stand by my Morden Sunrise for surpassing any test it has gone through for being hardy and springing to life no matter what has gone on. My one and only David Austin is the William Shakespeare rose that smells utterly DIVINE : ) and it has kept up with the others even in its first year !
    I understand what you meant about the landscaping cloth .. Millar our landscaper laid an unbelievable tough one under the new smaller patio .. no ants not anything can penetrate it other than water .. so it does make the world of difference ! Good luck with changing that over .. once it is done it will be perfect !
    Joy : )

  13. I adore your whiskery roses. I had a friend whose mother used to come into the house with the pronouncement "This is the last rose of the year". Everyone had a good giggle as this was never the last rose - there always seemed to be another no matter how cold and frosty her Etobicoke garden became. It was only when the snow flew - that everyone knew for a fact - that it was indeed the last rose of the year. Love the fact that you appreciate these little jewels inside right up to the end.

  14. Really beautiful...can almost smell them.


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