Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Rosy autumn

The foliage of the wild roses has been positively glowing lately. I'm not terribly sympathetic to roses in gardens - they always seem to be so much effort, and I never seem to like the shape of their growth habit. They seem a little too fussy, a little too demure. When I first smelled a rose as a child, I was nonplussed - all it smelled like was soap (I only realized much later that some soap smells like roses). I don't mind the idea of roses, but whenever they appear in fairy tales, it often leads to other flowers getting shorter shrift (note: that's how I fell in love with poppies. I read The Wild Swans fairytale, and I loved that the poisoned frogs turned into poppies, not roses).

But

I do love wild roses, and crazy cultivated roses that just want to run amok (like rugosas). In fact, I rather like their exuberance. It's like their economic use of petals allows them to direct their attentions to their roots and suckers and, most importantly, their fall foliage and rose hips. I loooove rose hips, so much more than the flowers that precede them. I am desperate to make rosehip jelly, and I don't even know what it tastes like.

If you read my blog regularly, you know where this is going: Pictures!

Wild rose foliage actually makes it to frost, and as a result, you get this lovely autumn rainbow of foliage colour, all on the one plant.

wild rose foliage

And the rosehips look so delectable, I completely understand why birds and rodents like them. Unfortunately, we humans have to prepare them in order to really enjoy them.

wild rosehips

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