The Roses of Summer

My favorite rose started blooming in late May, bloomed right through the dryness of August, and will continue for a while yet. At this point, I’m leaving the hips on to ripen, as they turn a very nice orange. It’s a David Austin rose called Windrush, which has a fabulous scent.

The rose Windrush in full bloom. In the upper righthand corner there are columbines; to the right, there are geraniums, Johnson’s Blue. Photographed on June 9, 2020.

The buds are beautiful and somewhat variable, I think in response to nighttime temperatures. They seem to be longer and pointier when nights are warm, and looser, rounder, and pink-tinged when nights are cool.

The rose Windrush, in bud. This one looks as if it were piped out of buttercream made with summer butter. Photographed on July 25, 2020.

July 25 was very sunny, and this bud was photographed shortly after sunrise. September 4, on the other hand, started out overcast. It makes a huge difference in the apparent color.

The rose Windrush in bud after a few cool nights. Photographed on September 4, 2020.

Windrush is yellow in bud and in the first few hours in bloom.

The buds take a little over an hour to open. A freshly opened Windrush bloom. Photographed on August 9, 2020.

By evening of the first day, there is still faint yellow glow behind that big boss of yellow stamens, but the following day, the flowers are white.

The September 4 rosebud the next day. A little pink persists on the edge because of the cool nights. Photographed on September 5, 2020.

As long as we are talking about scent, there’s Shailer’s white moss rose, which frequently has pink patches, as you see below. It’s piney, in the most delicious way. Those are not thorns; I do not know what they are called, but they are sticky with the scent of this rose.This old rose blooms only in June.

A small cluster of Shailer’s white moss rose. Photographed on June 29, 2020.

Francine Austin is a completely different very pale pink flowers that fades to white; when it flowers heavily, it can end up looking like popcorn. It is a lightly scented David Austin rose.

A spray of the rose Francine Austin. Photographed on August 7, 2020.

It flowers off and on all summer, but I suspect that if I moved some of its pushy neighbors, it could bloom a little more frequently.
This is a walk through time! I’ve had most of my roses for at least a decade, and a few for over twenty years. It hadn’t occurred to me until I started looking through these pictures today.

I ended up hunting through my old photographs to figure out what this next rose is—I have had it a very long time—with winter savory at its base. I’ve long since forgotten its name. The scent is wonderful. I found photographs as far back as 2000, but I kept labeling it Damask, so I am stuck. It is a repeat bloomer, roughly 4 feet tall, and very narrow; the flower petals stay stuck on when they die. I have to clip the spent flowers off. It has thorns, some few medium size, but more small ones.

A Damask-scented rose. Photographed on August 18, 2020.

I have a fair number of pink roses. The Cottage rose is planted in a spot that should not support roses. Too shady, and a bit too dry, but fortunately, it has not read the specifications. As long as there is regular rain, it blooms.

Cottage rose, a David Austin rose. Photographed on September 5, 2020.

While the Cottage rose is at the northeast corner of the arbor, there is another shrub rose on the south side of the same arbor. I am not sure I ever knew its name. There is a sunbeam that hits it on summer mornings, making for some dramatic photographs.

A bud on a shrub rose. Photographed August 12, 2020.

It’s got apricot overtones, beautiful glossy leaves, and a faint scent, reminiscent of tea roses. The buds remind me of tea roses too.

Two more buds on the same shrub rose. Photographed on August 12, 2020.

This rose opens into nice, loose, warm pink flowers.

Shrub roses in a sunbeam. Photographed on August 12, 2020.

I’ve had those six roses for many, many years., but the prairie rose, Rosa setigera, is a new addition, purchased to fill a spot in the rain garden just a few years ago. It has ambitions, so I had to move the prairie rose this past spring.

Rosa setigera with a young long-horned grasshopper, or perhaps a katydid. Photographed on July 3, 2020.

It has settled in very nicely. And bloomed lightly. A few canes are reaching 8 feet, and are being encouraged to head north or south—not towards the sidewalk!

I am sure you have noticed that there no hybrid tea roses among my favorites—there are none in this yard. They require far too much maintenance and give too little scent.