rose hips

Rose Hips

Rose Hips: Little Jewels in the Garden

Rose hips have been valued for a variety of reasons, but not frequently just as something interesting to look at or a thing of beauty to photograph. On this blog, I have looked at “Winter Beauty” and, on my photography blog at the interesting transition from “Winter to Spring.” Now I would like to show you some rose hips for their beauty and intrinsically interesting nature. If you have seen one, you have not seen them all!

rose hips

Hip of Climbing Rose, ‘Fourth of July’

All hips do not look the same, even on the same bush. I will show you some examples now.

These two hips from the same bush of ‘Buffalo Gal’ look rather different. The larger one appears fully developed, and shows some the rugosa characteristics on the outside.

Here are two hips from the Climbing Floribunda, ‘Dream Weaver:’

Two hips from the modern shrub rose, ‘Flower Girl:’

Two hips from the modern shrub rose, ‘Route 66’

These “almost hips” are from the early David Austin shrub, ‘The Squire:’

Finally, three hips from the miniature rose, ‘Yoyo:’

In 2014 I did photograph some images that were an overview of some hips in the garden.

hips of rose Yoyo

Hips of Miniature Rose ‘Yoyo,’ my registered sport of ‘Gizmo.’

Rose hips can be quite beautiful, unique, and intriguing!

red-breasted nuthatch

Red-Breasted Nuthatch

Red-Breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted nuthatch – not only had I never photographed one before, I am not sure I had even seen one before.!

red-breasted nuthatch

Red-Breasted Nuthatch

I was out this morning, photographing the backyard with the additional snow that had fallen overnight. I have feeders around the yard, and this seed cylinder hangs from the patio roof. You can see the icicles that were present this morning.

Since I was planning to photograph the snow in the yard, I had my landscape lens rather than my bird lens. It seems like almost every time, the birds seem to know and come around! This little guy was so hungry that he kept eating not all that far from me. It was actually a win-win situation of sorts – he could eat in peace without bigger birds like the finches pecking him out of the way. And, I got a photograph.

If you are wondering what that “cap” is on top of the seed cylinder, it is there to make it very hard for the doves to feed from the cylinder. Don’t worry – I feed the doves also, but I don’t want them feeding on my patio! They can stay a little farther out.

But, this little red-breasted nuthatch will be a welcome visitor anytime!

rose hip

Snow and Ice

Ice after Snow – Not So Good for the Garden!

Ice this afternoon followed the snow this morning. I was happy to wake up to five inches of snow. We have needed precipitation for so long, that even I was delighted to see snow. Some images from this morning can be seen at my photography blog.

Although the temperature did not warm to above freezing at my house today, some of the snow on the roof began to melt, and icicles formed at the edge. They began to drip droplets onto some of my roses, where that water immediately formed ice. This is not something you want to see happening.

Some of you who have followed this blog from its beginning may recall the damage done to my old garden rose, ‘Mermaid,’ when a 22 inch snow began to melt, refreeze, melt, refreeze, until ‘Mermaid,’ was pulled off the wall and laid out across my patio by the weight of the ice. It is why I now do something that most people would say I should not do – I prune ‘Mermaid’ back in late fall. It has proven to be a good strategy for this particular rose in this one particular spot.

(Some images of ‘Mermaid’ and the damage may be seen at the following links. Those images were taken with an old Nikon Coolpix, the first digital camera I owned. Thus, the odd settings that those of you who know your way around cameras will note.

Saga of Mermaid, Part 3
Saga of Mermaid, Part 4
Saga of Mermaid, Part 5
Saga of Mermaid, Part 6
Saga of Mermaid, Part 7
Saga of Mermaid, Part 9 )

Here in the high desert, Albuquerque, we do not prune until late March and preferably early April. That is because of the threat of late freezes. When I do prune this year, I will have damage from today to remove. At the time of this writing, it appears that ‘St. Patrick’ will have the most damage.


‘St. Patrick’ with ice and icicles

You see two different ice formations on ‘St. Patrick.’ The icicles are clear, and are not that big of a threat at that size. But, you can also see in this image a branch that was bent by the weight of the ice, and then droplets continued to drip from the icicles on the roof, weighing down the branch even more. Here’s a hint – you cannot shake ice off a branch like that, in the way you can shake snow off. That branch is broken by the weight of the ice. Those of you who are rosarians will understand that I had really wanted ‘St. Patrick’ to have a really good year in 2015. It may yet; it is far too early to tell for sure. But this ice is potentially a major setback for this rose bush.


Icicles on Veterans’ Honor

The icicles at this size are not a major problem for ‘Veterans’ Honor.’ However, this image shows why we do not prune until later. The leaves you see are last year’s leaves. But, if you look closely, you see new growth (red) appearing along the cane. This new growth will not survive the freezing temperatures. That is okay; there are still a lot of places for new growth when spring does arrive. Many places for new growth would have been removed had this hybrid tea been pruned. I’m not a bit worried about this rose, at least as of today. Who knows what weather lies ahead? But, for today, it is okay.

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spent bloom

Winter Beauty

Winter Beauty: Seeds, Hips, and Spent Blooms

Winter beauty in the garden is often overlooked. While things can appear brown and dry in the winter, especially in the high desert of the Southwest, bits of color can be found as well.

spent bloom winter beauty

Spent bloom, Veterans’ Honor

rose hip winter beauty

Hip of climbing rose, ‘Fourth of July’

seeds winter beauty

Clematis seed head and seeds

Here in Albuquerque, we have had some unusually warm days for an extended period of time, and roses in particular are beginning to show leaf buds way too early this year. If it stays warm, that will not be a problem. If we get the almost-invariable cold snap at this point in time, the plants could be damaged and blooms delayed. Hopefully, that will not happen!

As I was out surveying just how many plants in my yard are way ahead of schedule this year, I photographed some remains of last year’s blooms. I personally find them quite beautiful, and I hope you enjoy seeing them.