Roses in June and Keeping Track of Names

The roses seem relatively happy this year, although I think at least a couple will need to be moved this fall due to encroaching shade.

I have a very nice apricot shrub rose that catches sunbeams in early morning light. It’s been bugging me for years, so I decided to see if I ever knew the varietal name of this rose. I started with my photographs from 2000. Yes—the end of the last century; I have verified that by June 2000, I had already lost track of the name of this rose. The rose has always reveled in sunbeams, and I have always reveled in its reveling.

A fully opened apricot rose in a morning sunbeam. Photographed on June 18, 2023.

Then there’s the rather tall, enthusiastic pink rose—very thorny—that has beautiful clusters of loosely doubled pink petals. I thought it was the Mary rose, but it is over 5 feet tall and not a repeat bloomer. The Mary rose tops out around 4 feet and is a repeat bloomer.

Closeup of gracefully aging pink roses. Photographed on June 9, 2023.

Tucked under the arcing canopy of the tall, pink rose is a much smaller plant; it is about 3 feet tall, but not as wide, with fuller flowers in a deep pink. It is possibly Rose de Rêscht, based on labelled, older photographs, but I am not positive. It smells fabulous.

A deep pink rose, nearly fully opened. Photographed on June 14, 2023.

I have managed to keep track of the name of the final rose for today because it is my only yellow rose. It is Windrush, another very fragrant rose—my favorite. The flowers start the day yellow and end it cream-colored. They age to white rapidly.

A spray of Windrush roses. Photographed on June 20, 2023.

The moral of this story? Write the names of plants down somewhere! Put a tag next to the plant. Take pictures and label the photos with the varietal name. Add a caption in the photo app on your phone or computer. Change the file names to make them descriptive. 

You could print photos and write names on the back. The chain drugstores still print photographs. You can send the files to the nearest one and pick them up in an hour or so. 

Here’s how to add captions in Photos on an iPhone. I found this inadvertently; it’s always worth playing around with software.

Tap the photograph you want to label. It will come up onscreen, ready to edit.

A screenshot of a photograph in the Photos app on the iPhone.

Drag the photo up towards the top of the screen to reveal the photograph’s metadata, including a blank caption field.

A screenshot of the metadata for the photograph in the Photos app.

Click anywhere in the blank white space—the field—labeled Add a Caption to add a caption.

A screenshot of my new caption for the pink mystery rose, reminding me that it’s the one by the neighbor’s garage.

It’s a note-to-self, but don’t get too cryptic, because then  you’ll end up unable to recall the names anyway.

This experience brought to mind the photo albums my parents left behind. Neither people nor places were labelled, and there’s no one left who can identify them.