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Wild Rose

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Wild Rose 

One of the many floral delights to be found at Illinois Beach State park are the fragrant and lovely wild roses blooming along the trails.

My grandmother was know as “the rose lady” in her little town in northern California. She grew tea roses, and I dearly loved when she would take me on a tour of her garden. Each rose had its own metal tag to identify it. Hers was a test garden, as I recall, for one of the breeders of roses. It all seemed so magical to me….until you ventured into her garage where she kept her cocktail of chemicals to spray on them for a myriad of ills.  I grew up thinking roses were fragile things that needed ’round the clock care and dedicated life support. What a revelation it was to me, then, to come across these gorgeous and tough wild roses. They grow all unaided, in lean sandy soil. Nary a black spot mars their leaves, and you’ll see no sign of wilt or aphids or malingering of any kind. It gives me hope for what I might be able to achieve in my strictly no-fuss garden, and I’m thinking I’ll take the plunge this year.

Here, in the meantime, is a painted bloom. I started this little painting  2 years ago, and somehow never got back to it. It’s done now, though, and is serving to remind me of warmer days to come.

37 thoughts on “Wild Rose

  1. It is lovely and in only a few months they will be blooming again!

    1. A week ago I felt that winter would never release us but I’m seeing daffodil tips emerging now and am beginning to believe in spring again 🙂 Thanks Eliza!

  2. There’s an echo for me of your rose experience. I always thought of roses as such fussy things. Eventually I discovered wild roses in various wild places and learned to love them. Your painting is marvelous. I love the way you suggest the texture of the petals. I can almost smell the lovely scent. Unlike so many cultivated roses that have had their scent discarded in favor of looks. Almost sounds like a metaphor in there somewhere?

    1. Thank you Gunta. Haha, you’re right, it does sound like a cautionary tale, doesn’t it? I’m happy to report that David Austin is busy breeding the scent back into his glorious roses.

  3. A beautiful painting of a beach rose – the flower center shines against the petals. It is amazing how hardy wild beach roses are.
    It’s also amazing how hardy the invasive multiflora rose is. Wish there was a productive way to rid ourselves of them other than a weed wrench!

    1. A weed wrench~ that is a new one to me. If it works against multiflora rose I want to know about it!

      1. There’s a cheap one from Fiskars to pull weeds in your yard, but for multipflora rose, you want the industrial grade weed wrench such as this one: https://www.invasive.org/gist/tools/wrench.html
        The conservation group I volunteer with uses all sorts of unusual tools for trail work (Rogue hoe? Pulaski?) and invasives.

      2. WOW! I never knew this even existed. It looks like a tremendous tool.

      3. I’ve used them – they work!

      4. I’ll mention them to my friend who is a steward. I think it would be a very useful tool in her arsenal.

  4. Captured beautifully and perfectly, Melissa! I love wild roses.

    1. Thanks so much, Pete! I love them too.

  5. It looks so beautiful, you should paint more. I hope to see your garden and its painting one day 🙂

    1. You would be most welcome 🙂 Thank you so much.

  6. This is a lovely painting, and it exudes cheerfulness.
    I also had a grandmother who raised roses – – some had to be tied down, covered with straw, etc. every fall, to survive a NY winter. But she also had a bed with older, wilder varieties – – the only name I remember is “Austrian Copper” and some, she called “apothecary roses” and those were for making potpourri.
    And I learned two important things about cultivating these older varieties.
    1. They are really thorny.
    2. Do not run backwards into them, trying to catch a frisbie, you will be sorry.

    1. 😀 sounds like the lesson *stuck* with you. Thank you so much Robert. That sounds like a magical garden, aside from the thorns.

  7. I remember the wild roses we saw growing (by themselves, with no chemicals) at Illinois Beach State Park on June 7, 2016:

    https://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/2016/08/21/that-which-we-call-a-rose/

    I guess you were working on this painting even then. I hope 2018 will be a good year for these roses at Illinois Beach.

    1. As a matter of fact, I had started it then. You were there at such a good time.

      1. I don’t recall if you mentioned it then. And yes, it was a good time.

    2. Somehow I missed this wonderful photo when you posted it. I’m glad you shared this link so I can enjoy it now.

      1. So much the better that it’s an atypical picture of a rose.

  8. Beautiful work, Melissa!

    1. Thank you Jane!

  9. It may have taken a long time to finish, but the final result is gorgeous. I can smell the rose and feel the summer day in this painting.

    1. Wonderful compliment, Otto. Thank you!

  10. I envy you your wild roses. You certainly have captured the spirit of this one beautifully. It must be wonderful to have the fragrance of roses mixing with the freshness of the lake air along the paths. Is this what I’ve always called a “bush rose,” with lots of clustered flowers, or are they more sparse?

    There are nine species of native rose in Texas, but they’re uncommon. Here on the coast, we have all the Macartney rose you could want, but unfortunately it’s a very determined invasive and causes real problems. It’s a beauty, though — many people call it the fried egg rose because it’s so large, with white petals and a large, bright yellow center. If it were a native, it would make a great subject for your brush.

    On the other hand, we have native primroses on the beaches and dunes, and morning glories, and some wonderful succulents — so we don’t lack for beauty. I’m anxious to get out and about in the dunes, but right now the snakes are coming out, and it will be better to wait a bit.

  11. I imagine, like bears, they emerge hungry and irritable. One year after a burn the dunes were covered with little brown snakes basking on the blackened earth. They aren’t venomous thank goodness. I’ve never again seen them in such numbers. I had one for a pet once and he was surprisingly responsive.
    Your invasive rose sounds far more lovely than our’s, multiflora rose. Dreadful plant with small, negligible flowers. Either way they are a menace, aren’t they?
    i wish I could magically transport myself to see your botanical riches!

  12. What a nice reminder of warmer days to come! The petals and stamens look perfectly delicate although, as you say, they are pretty hardy little beauties. There are many in the woods near my house and I occasionally see all kinds of pretty little beetles in the flowers. Very fun to photograph. 🙂

    1. Thank you Myriam! I love all those cute little beetles, too, and tiny native bees. I’m interested to read that they grow in your woods, as I have a longing to grow them but do have quite a bit of shade. I think this year I’ll just try and see what happens.

  13. A rose is a rose is a rose. Be they sensitive or hardy they are all beautiful. Love your pic!

    1. Yes they are! Thanks!

  14. What a lovely reminder of your Grandmother, and her garden! I wish you the best of luck with your non fussy garden.

  15. Thanks Deborah! Here’s to roses 🙂

  16. Such a beautiful painting and celebration of the simple rose. I still search for easy to grow healthy roses and love the single and semi-double forms. I have been reading many of your posts and love your ideas and views. What a delight to visit here!

  17. Thank you so much~how welcome your kind words are this morning! You’ve made my day.

  18. That’s a wonderful painting Melissa that really captures a wild rose.
    I also love older varieties of roses, my sister has several types of Rosa rugosa growing in her large garden. Flowering seems to last for most of the growing season and the perfume is intoxicating. They are so well behaved and never get blight so I’m amazed they are not more popular compared to the hybrid varieties.

    Best Wishes
    Kevin

    1. Thank you so much, Kevin. I have heard rumors of roses that bloom all season long but wasn’t sure I believed it! Now I know what to ask for at the nursery 🙂
      Kevin, I have decided to step away from my blog. While I enjoyed it tremendously, over the course of 3 years it generated nearly zero sales and was consuming a disproportionate amount of my time. I met some wonderful people, like you, whom I shall remember with great happiness. Are you writing a book? If you do, that would be something I could buy and treasure.
      My very best wishes to you,
      Melissa

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