Friday, June 29, 2012

Portland Rose Gardens

Earlier this week on a grey but temperate day headed over to the Portland International Rose Test Gardens. I’m so glad I did but will warn you: photos ahead, lots and lots of photos mixed in with my thoughts.

When you enter the first thing you notice is the scent- heady and rich with an opium-like feel to it. I was reminded of a grandmother’s perfume, almost as if she were standing nearby, which would have been lovely as she would have enjoyed a stroll among such diverse beauty.

You might think a rose is a rose is a rose but as you progress through these amazing grounds the breadth of color, size and shape makes it apparent that a rose is anything but predictable. It's almost hypnotic and as soon as I was certain I could not take another picture...well, there was another flower that demanded it.

 Yellow but not, peach but not quite. Sorbet, I think.

 Orange flame

Salmon with fluted petals

 Just launching into its lipstick red perfection

This sly shy fellow with his fierce scarlet color was hidden behind a screen of glossy green leaves. Pulling them aside to get the photo was the only 'editing' I did all morning.

Such beautiful indecison- starting as white and becoming red or pink at the tips.

White flowers are not generally my favorite but when it is this pristine I get it. Not a single stain of any color.

One of my favorites. Such a sweet soft lilac bud, opening but with more to come. Unassuming in its perfection. 

 These grande dames are moving towards the end of their season, ceding the field to younger rivals like...

these extravagent ruffled blooms. Their color may be soft but their multi-layered petals are anything but.

 The only true purple still left (any early blooming color, I wonder?). Royal in size and bearing.

 The debutantes of the garden showing their frilly petticoats. The one on the left, especially, makes me smile. Can you imagine an entire vase of such exuberance?

 A true stand-out. Sunny yellow flanked by soft pink. This is when I really marvel at nature...or botany, I guess. How do you know what strains to breed to achieve such a thing?

Probably not too suprising that I close the show with a perfect pink, my favorite color. The softly frilled tips of each petal makes this feel like a rose that, while commanding in her fullness does not want to overshadow but simply enhance. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

1 comment:

Jennifer Wolfe said...

So beautiful! Roses are my favorite...I grow as many varieties in my garden as I can. I visited the Portland Rose Garden once and was mesmerized...

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