Yesterday’s yellow rose is just one of three Rugosas, lovely plants growing in the wrong place.

Mostly-white Rugosa rose blossom
· · ·
Mostly-red Rugosa rose blossom

Our back yard is walled off from the lane with a high cedar fence; outside it there’s a nice little carport that we only sometimes use. Along its side is the flowerbed with these three bushes, whose flowers we thus rarely see.

The picture of the “red” blossom is accurate but not really representative of that plant, most of whose blooms are the most shocking bordello pink/violet blend imaginable. Of course, like most of my generation I’ve never seen the inside of a bordello, but it’s the colour I imagine you’d find there.


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From: Alex Waterhouse-Hayward (Jun 28 2008, at 14:45)

Blue, red and purple plants photograph differently from one's perception of the colour for one principal reason. It has all to do with the extended sensitivity of film and sensors to UV light. One of the "almost" bluest of all rhododendrons is Rhododendron augustinii, yet every time I have photographed it the blue disappears and is replaced by a purple blue. The same situation is only "enhanced" when the plants in question are photographed on a cloudy day and/or in the shade. There is simply more UV light in the shade.

Should you be interested in colours that are less lurid I would suggest you buy something like the English Rose, Rosa 'Fallstaff' (it re-blooms quite nicely) or any red Gallica (blooms only once) that you may be able to find. These deep red to maroon roses "fade" into incredible metallic blues that will defy your imagination. One in particular I specially love and that is Rosa 'Charles de Mills'.

Alex Waterhouse-Hayward


From: Chaz (Jul 01 2008, at 01:04)

This would be interesting to try with and without a UV filter. I feel an experiment coming on.


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