Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Last Roses of Fall

Yesterday morning I had to drop off some assignments in an office on more or less the opposite end of the university and since it was a pleasantly mild day I decided to take the long way home, wandering through some quiet residential areas instead of cutting through the busy center of campus. Thus I came upon a tiny park wedged between an apartment building and a few Victorian houses, some of which continue to function as homes while other have been converted into university office space. Most plant life in the little garden had already retreated into winter dormancy, but a few rose bushes were still flowering resiliently. I was happy to see them and had to take a few pictures - with my phone, unfortunately...I really need to start keeping my camera on hand for situations like this - but I was also somewhat saddened by the thought that these will probably among the last real flowers I shall see outside this year.

I also realized that roses were almost the only flowers I have had the opportunity to take pictures of in the past weeks - the exception being a stunning light-pink Chrysanthemum which shall get a post of its own. On the whole, I really appreciate the fact that many classes of roses, such as most modern hybrids, Bourbon roses, and Remontant roses, flower so freely right up until the first hard frost. A few years ago my parents and I went to Germany for Christmas and there were still roses blooming in almost every garden. That fall and early winter had been really mild and so they just did not quit.

It even seems to me at times that some rose varieties produce their most beautiful flowers in the fall. There used to be a large specimen of the Bourbon rose 'Souvenir de la Malmaison' growing next to the main entrance of our house in Germany, and that bush always appeared most vigorous and produced the most immaculate flowers towards the end of fall.

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