A touch of autumn

The days are warm and sunny but there is morning mist and a touch of autumn in the air that is hard to define. The first flowers of Cyclamen hederifolium always bring a touch of sadness as it is a sure sign that the heady excitement of summer is melting away. For this reason I have a less than enthusiastic attitude to berries. I am happy to see them in winter but August is too early. But as we age we change our opinions and I am at least prepared to enjoy them for what they are. Many roses have attractive fruits but I was stopped in my tracks yesterday by the hips on Rosa pomifera.

I think the name R. pomifera is invalid and it should be called R. villosa, no matter what it was called when I bought it. It is frequently called the apple rose (reflected in the name) and and is European and Asian in origin. It has been grown for its fruit in the past. It is doing well and growing on me. The grey leaves suit the pink, single flowers and the large hips are bristly and a glorious colour.

The semi-double ‘Wolley-Dod’ is more common but does not fruit as freely and is the same as R. pomifera ‘Duplex’ (I think).

Rosa moyesii ‘Sealing Wax’ is having a tough time to get going. Last year it produced long shoots and these flowered well this year. Last year none of the flowers opened and there were no hips. This year it flowered freely and I thought I would have a mass of hips but some of the stems have died back. I am not quite sure why but several shrubs have struggled at first and then improved so I will not give up. But there are some hips this year, the feature for which it is most loved.

A nice bonus has been the shiny, red hips on Rosa sericea. It too, has been struggling but at least it flowered better this year and there is a sprinkling of hips that give me hope for future years.

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8 Comments on “A touch of autumn”

  1. Paddy Tobin
    August 26, 2021 at 8:23 am #

    There are two wild rose plants very close to me which produce very large hips and they are in a position where it is very easy to collect them which I did last year and made a very nice rose hip jelly.

    That Rosa sericea is a dreadfully vicious thing, by the way! I’ve suffered with it but no longer grow it.

    • thebikinggardener
      August 26, 2021 at 8:40 am #

      Yes, it does seem odd to grow a rose for its thorns. I am happy to tolerate this at present. But I have been bitten by ornamental brambles before, especially the ‘whitewashed’ ones and, lovely though they are, I am reluctant to give them a chance to attack. I think rose hip jelly is on the cards this year too. Made wine last year. I am so old I remember Delrosa rose hip syrup, given to provide vitamin C. It was diluted and we drank lots of it – I think it was even put in bottles which probably explains why my teeth were so bad. But at least I didn’t have scurvy.

      • Paddy Tobin
        August 26, 2021 at 8:45 am #

        Yes, rosehip syrup is a memory from childhood. That was in the days when an orange was the regular Christmas present in the toe of the Christmas stocking! Re dangerous plants: I did a heavy pruning on Crataegus crus-galli during the week, to lift the crown and had a heavy branch fall on my arm so one of the thorns went deep into the muscle. It was one of those occasions when the blood literally pumped out of the spot. I now have a large bruise and still sore arm.

        • thebikinggardener
          August 26, 2021 at 9:04 am #

          That sounds nasty – and i assume your tetanus jabs are up to date. It is a lovely thing but I am always fearful for my eyes when I get near it – it is truly scary. I hope your wound heals well.

          • Paddy Tobin
            August 26, 2021 at 1:39 pm #

            I have no idea how my tetanus status is but it’s healing well.

  2. Mitzy Bricker
    August 26, 2021 at 11:24 am #

    Fall is indeed in the air. Beautiful photos!

    Blue Rock Horses Frederick County, Virginia bluerockhorses.com

    • thebikinggardener
      August 26, 2021 at 5:19 pm #

      Thank you. By one of those weird meteorological factors a blocking high is giving us some lovely days right now

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