‘The Generous Gardener’ rose is one of my favourites. It requires some discipline not to list its selling points, even after so many years, but I’ll confine myself to observing that it is one of the more fragrant English roses, best grown as a short climber against a wall or sturdy pillar. That hardly counts, does it?
You may think that rose foliage is all the same colour, and I’d have to concede that the umbrella term ‘green’ does cover it. If you’re a keen observer of all types of rose, you’ll be aware that their leaves vary more than they are given credit for.
Some varieties’ leaves are darker than others and the green may have more than a hint of blue, red or yellow. Rosa ‘The Generous Gardener’ has dark leaves with a touch of blue in them, helping to make the rose so easy on the camera. While it’s tempting to associate yellow leaves with sickly roses (suffering from chlorosis), many shrub roses’ leaves are naturally on the yellow side of green. Lovers of R. ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ (I’m thinking of you, Ali) will witness to the strong bronzy-red colouring of the stems and the emerging foliage. Then there’s Rosa glauca (below) which, setting the colour aside, helps demonstrate that leaves can be more or less neat, wrinkled, long, slender or serrated.
I’ve heard more than one rosarian go into rapture about the mattness of a rose’s leaves (Old Roses are more likely to have matt leaves and Hybrid Teas, shiny). One prevalent myth is that seven leaves indicates a sucker from the rootstock. If the rest of the rose has only five leaves, then that may well be true, but roses can have five, seven or nine leaflets and occasionally even more.
(Short pause while I restrain myself from writing more about suckers… or leaves). It would be fun (for me) to do a leaf post one day – I’ll file that in my to-do list, with a note it may be rather less interesting to everyone else!
For the next four Sundays, I’ll be sharing a square cropped picture of a pink rose as part of Becky’s Square In September challenge. It’s a daily challenge but we are cordially invited to dip in and out as we please. You’ll find the guidelines here, but in essence, she’s looking for a post where the main photograph is square and the subject is In The Pink. My original shot was landscape format, and I’d not have thought of cropping it this way without Becky’s prompt. The crop makes the picture more abstract, highlighting the interplay of light and shade on the petals and the leaves.