Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Dreaming of Rosa glauca

Redleaf Rose (Rosa glauca or Rosa rubrifolia)
Photo: Distant Hill Gardens, creative commons by-nc-nd 2.0

Like many people, I've dreamed of my own garden and sadly that's exactly what I'm inheriting (or at least half a garden, my sis gets a half too). My sis and I both wanted very much to take over the farm and keep it in the family, but we thought it was still many years left before it would happen. While I haven't been much for gardening in years, it was dad that gave us and interest and know-how in gardening as kids -- when we had our own assigned plot where we were free to grow what ever we wanted -- and sowed a seed that didn't really start to blossom until the last couple of years. Perhaps it's with gardens as it is with genealogy etc, it comes with age.

Anyway, this post wasn't meant as a trip down memory lane. That's for later, not so close to everything that happened back in october.

Rosa glauca
Photo: Dale Calder, creative commons by-nc-sa 2.0

What I wanted to talk about was one of my latest flower obsessions. After bleeding hearts, columbines (aklejor), paeony poppies and pink-and-creme peonies, my dream flower is the red-leaved rose, Rosa glauca. In swedish it has a very poetic name, daggros, which literally means dew rose. It probably got the name from the dew blue colour of the foliage -- just as the latin name glauca is derived from glaucus, meaning blueish-grey and a synonym to e.g. frozen dew.

While I had heard the name daggros many times, it was just recently I realised which rose it referred to. And it was that lovely little rose bush I saw by the side of the street every day when walking from my student apartment to the uni when studying in Västerås. The rose with the gorgeous, matte dark foliage and stems and most delicate pink flowers. Even the rosehips could be a dramatic, dark colour in the autumn. The beautiful little rosebush that looked so neglected on the incline between the pavement and the football ground by the school.

hips on Rosa glauca
Photo: Malcolm Manners, creative commons by 2.0

So I've had a lingering love of this rose for many years, but it was something that happened just a few days ago when I decided to search for the rose on Pinterest (perhaps thinking of adding a pic to my Passion for Purple board) that really made me want that rose more than anything.

With my love of purple poppies, I found this pic from the blog Life in the English Cotswolds really inspiring. Three red-leaved rosebushes with an oriental poppy, 'Patty's Plum', planted inside the group. Be sure to read the blog post on why this combo is a good idea, not only for the beautiful colours. It also includes other plant combinations.

Photo: John Shortland, creative commons by-nc-sa 2.0

Isn't that just the most gorgeous garden photo? I want that too!

Many garden enthusiasts use the wintertime as an "off season" to plan for next year's gardening adventures and daydream over seed catalogues. Personally, I won't make any big plans or have any vast ideas of how to transform the garden into (partially) something that's mine, but I will dream and daydream about that photo. And hopefully I will avoid checking what such roses actually cost to keep my dream from shattering as long as possible. Besides, the best gardens are probably most often found in a person's fantasy rather than in real life. It's easier to have green thumbs and an infinite budget in dreams.


PS! If you can read swedish, you might want to check out the info on the rose at the POM website and Virtuella Floran. The former has an article on the history of the rose in swedish gardens.

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