Monday, June 29, 2020

Wild roses

The peak flowering period for wild roses here has now passed, but there have been some wonderful displays of these summer flowers in the hedges in the lanes where I live.

Nothing says 'summer day' better than wild roses, and a shower of rain can even enhance their beauty. Their fragrance is most intense when the air is warm and humid.

Burnet rose, with its gold-centred, creamy-white blooms is the most fragrant of all. New hedges were planted in the farmland beside these lanes after the land was restored from opencast coal mining, and the contractor included burnet rose in the mix of hedgerow shrubs. This year the burnet rose display was the best that I can remember.

All of these hedges - old and new - are mechanically trimmed at the end of winter but, unlike most hedgerow shrubs, roses seem to respond well to this brutal pruning.

Open, bowl-shaped flowers offer easy access to pollen and nectar for insects, like this drone fly.

When wild roses aren't entangled within a hedge they develop this lovely arching architectural form

Foxgloves and wild roses near Blanchland, in Northumberland.

Given time and support from hedgerow trees, wild roses like this one can grow fifteen feet tall.

This is sweet briar, also known as eglantine, and this species has fragrant foliage. If you gently rub the underside of the leaves a warm, apple fragrance is released from resin glands on their surface,

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