The roses which make it through to November have to be tough.
This one has been a special joy.
We stop and enjoy its fragrance every time we walk up our driveway.
The rose bush is in a bed directly beside the drive; the first bed I dug, specifically for roses, once we came to this garden.
These very tough David Austin roses have survived annual grazing from the deer, root damage from the voles, sun, drought, wind and snow.
And they still bloom this beautifully.
This particular rose began as a bud in mid-October. We had already enjoyed it for several days when I first photographed it on October 19.
It was so stunning, my partner suggested that we photograph it.
Each day it has gotten more beautiful.
And through wind and rain, cold nights and sunny warm days it has lingered.
Last night we dropped into the mid-40’s here in our garden.
Today dawned overcast, cool and wet; bone shivering wet and windy.
So much so, that I was inspired to spend the morning bringing in a hanging geranium we’ve left outside in the crepe myrtle tree, the first of the succulent pots, and a even the large variegated geranium which has lived by our kitchen door since May.
But my first thought was for the roses. We love them so much this time of year as they give their final flowers of the season.
And our stalwart rose by the driveway continues to bloom, every petal intact, and offer up its fragrance each time we stop to visit.
We have made great effort to grow roses in this garden. It is the reason we work constantly to keep deer out of the garden, as rose buds are the sweetest of “deer candy.”
Given good soil, sun, and moisture; roses are relatively easy to grow.
But like pets and children, they require supervision and timely intervention.
While tea roses thrive on pruning, shrub roses may be allowed to grow without such drastic pruning.
They respond well to having dead flowers cut off, spring shaping and general maintenance; but they require far less maintenance than the hybrid teas.
David Austen’s hybrids are my favorites for fragrance, form, and color.
He has reached back over the centuries to the older full and fragrant varieties as the parents of his modern disease-resistant hybrids.
His hybrids offer the best of the old romantic roses on hardy, easy to care for shrubs.
We don’t ever “spray” here with chemicals. These roses are all grown organically. Once established, the shrubs remain healthy and give flowers all season long.
Even in November.
What more may any temperate climate gardener hope for than a garden full of roses on the first of November?
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014