Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Epitome of Summer




Of all the British Wild Flowers, there is none that epitomises the advent of Summer more than the wild rose. Maybe honeysuckle comes a close second - and the combined scent of both on a warm Summer's evening makes any walk worthwhile.


The honeysuckle is well in bud. A few warm days and it will be in full burst. But the wild rose is just coming out in sheltered places.


I have two old wildflower books with illustrated plates and archaic text. They were bought me for my birthday - I can remember the joy with which they were received. I was nine years old and mad on collecting the names of wildflowers.


Exactly why it is called the dog-rose (rosa canina) is hard to tell. I wonder if it is because whoever named it thought it was the "poor relation" of the cultivated rose. because the adjectival use of "dog" seems always to suggest something that is not quite right, too common (as in dog-latin for example). In French it is le rose de chien and in German hund-rose. I see that my old book says that "dog" probably means "worthless".


Well. I can tell you that this is not so. It is the most beautiful, simple flower - delicate pink and with a delightfully subtle scent. Sometimes it forms a bush and sometimes it goes mad climbing up a hedgerow or tree. And then - when all the flowers have gone - it surprises us with a wealth of startlingly red hips. It is without a doubt, my favourite wild flower and I post today a photograph of the first one I have found this year, together with a photograph of the illustrated plate in my book. Three cheers for the very English Wild Rose.


22 comments:

Dave King said...

For a variety of reasons our planting is well behind schedule this year. The roses (though not wild) and the honeysuckle have rescued it. A most enjoyable post. Thanks.

willow said...

I'll take an old doggy rose any day!

Denise Burden said...

I too love dog roses. At the moment my garden is awash with fox-gloves which are another favourite.
And I also love your new header! Was it complicated to do?

Sal said...

One of my faves too.We have a dog rose running down the length of our garden..it is beautiful.
;-)

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

Any rose is well worth having but especially ones that have perfume!

Heather said...

Hear, hear! I love your new heading pics Weaver. Neighbours whose garden backs onto ours have a horrid conifer hedge which has grown so tall. From the top is a cascade of dog roses which have reverted from a cultivated rose growing in their garden many years ago, and long since swamped by everything else. That rose plant must have struggled over 30 feet to get it's share of sunlight and air. Originally it was a rather lovely red climbing rose, but I love it just the way it is now.

willow said...

I answered your question over at my place, but just in case you don't pop back over, for my previous post on avatars click on the highlighted word in the body of today's post. :^)

Crafty Green Poet said...

they're just starting to come out here too, I'll try and get a photo in the next week or so!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

A rose regardless of name is still a rose, eh? My riverside garden is full of "old fashioned" plants—most of which are hardy, scented, and prettier to my eye than much of the newer stuff.

I like your new header, too. I'm about to rework my own blog layout a bit, so be sure and give me your opinion on the outcome.

Hildred and Charles said...

Across the street from our mail box is a glorious hedge of wild roses, and the scent is delicious. I would go to get the mail twice a day if I had to....

A shortcut we took so many years ago when I was going to school took us through a lane lined with wild roses in June. Many lovely memories....

I too am curious about how you manufactured your beautiful heading???

EB said...

I'm so keen on dog roses that I planted one in our garden. I love it but it is rather misplaced where it is, it would have been better more out of the way. Strangely they seem more special out of the garden. I share your attachment to them.

Elizabeth said...

Honeysuckle, roses, lime bloom.
This is what blogging does
it jolts us to recall and share our delights.
So lovely.
Your books sound super.

Leenie said...

Any kind of rose is okay with me. I saw you caught an insect visior with your camera as well. The new header really is a fine collection of botany.

Reader Wil said...

What a wonderful collection of flowers and I love your dog-rose!

Mistlethrush said...

I agree with you - I love the scent of dog roses and quite often smell them before I see them!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Love the new header with all the blooms! Is that Anthriscus sylvestris over on the left? I adore it's perfume as it grows in clouds by the lane-sides.

I love the dog rose. (Old botanical illustrations are beautiful!) Hals our neckshund says it is called the dog rose because it is the best of the rose family, just as as he is the best of our family!

Delwyn said...

Good morning

I think that your dog rose is preferable to any other rose. I like the unkempt unrestrained look.

Honey suckle is declared a weed here unfortunately...the climate likes it too much and it takes over...

Happy Days

The Weaver of Grass said...

Join the club Dave - that is the good thing about roses, they rescue us when all else fails.

Willow - I agree.

Denise - Hildred: If you have Picasa it is easy to do a collage - choose your pics, put them in a folder, then click on Collage and follow the instructions.

The Weaver of Grass said...

To everyone - glad you are all in agreement that the wild rose is in a class of its own. If we get a few warm days then the lane will be awash with them - and their scent (makes a change from cow smells as everyone is busy manuring their fields after silaging! (sorry to mention poo again - I promised not to!)

steven said...

hello, i've been visiting your blog for a little while now and wanted to compliment you on your fascinating and lovely postings. i was born in manchester (i live in canada now) and my fondest childhood memories are of journeys into the pennines and the dales. one of my fondest adult memories - walking the pennine way end-to-end. your blog immerses me in so much that i value from those experiences. thanks! great flaubert quote by the way - and so true!!! (i blog as "the golden fish" at http://leakstev.blogspot.com/) cheers, steven

Janice Thomson said...

There is nothing in the world like the heavenly scent of a wild rose...

UKBob said...

Hi Weaver, I think after the past week maybe the Epitome of Summer should be changed for the water lily. I hope things improve for the haymaking if you make any. Bob.