While on the subject of roses  . . .

January 7th, 2014, 2pm

I know that posting several moments on Hi on the subject of roses currently blooming in our garden must seem to some the height of triviality, to others simply boring or boastful, and to yet others a sign that I am desperate to keep up with my self-imposed sketch quota. There may be a little truth in all these points.

On the other hand, several people (well, two) in the presently frigid Northern Hemisphere have suggested that seeing pretty garden pictures helps lift their spirits mightily. So, I am going to run with the idea of spreading joy. It may help keep your mind off some of the terrible things happening on YouTube and Fox News.

Although we grow 0nly four varieties, they are all currently in bloom. I know the names of only two: Jacob’s Coat and Oklahoma. Some may be surprised to learn that the spray of blooms shown above are growning on a single plant with a succession of colors ranging from green buds(with reddish undertones) to red orange, orange, pink, then finally white with a lingering blush.

When choosing roses for the garden, I keep in mind three main criteria:

1 They must have a scent;

2 No speckles, splotches or stripes, just a pure single colour;

3 The blossom must move through a progression of colours as it ages like the one above or like Oklahoma which moves from nearly black to dark scarlet, to crimson, or, above all, like Joseph’s Coat, which is first red orange, then orange, then yellow, and finally fuschia. (Admittedly, Joseph’s Coat gets a little splotchy at times, but it works for me.)

After seeing Adrian’s fine image of a Kentish rose hip on winter display, I’m thinking of adding a 4th criterion: the colour and brightness of the hip. Strangely enough, Rosa Zarrosas-Arroz,(as in my recent pseudonymous posting) was chosen exclusively for its delicious fragrance. The glorious color is incidental.

P. S. My partner has suggested a fifth criterion. It really helps if the roses have a good view!

Richard, Paul, Adrian, Samuel and 3 others said thanks.

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David Wade Chambers

Born in Oklahoma: 30 years in US. 6 years in Canada, 40 years in Australia. Academic field: history and philosophy of science. Currently, teach indigenous studies online at Institute of American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, NM) and Brandon University (Manitoba). Come visit our B&B on Australia's Great Ocean Road. Mate's Rates for Hi community! (http://www.cimarron.com.au)

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