Friday, February 6, 2009

The Cranford Rose Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

"One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon - instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our window."
Dale Carnegie

I recently had the pleasure of taking a late winter tour of the Cranford Rose Garden, with its new curator, my dear friend Sarah Owens. Sarah has just taken over the helm at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's outstanding, 81 year old public rose garden. On a sunny February afternoon, we walked and discussed the many virtues of this temperamental but so highly revered plant we call the rose. Whether one desires a color, fragrance, beauty or longevity, there is a rose that suites almost every need.

From its beginning, somewhere around 470 B.C., the rose has been coveted for its size at one time, then its color and undoubtedly for its fragrance. This has changed throughout the centuries and seems to be continuing today.

What is captured here is a different type of beauty the rose possesses. This is the rose with out its inviting, deep green foliage, absent of its wonderful and intoxicating bloom. Instead, I would like you to notice the amazing architecture of the rose. The wide varieties of thorns and prickles, the spent flower heads, the unopened beauty of a late bud, and of course the prize of the late autumn rose - the hip.

I hope you enjoy this tour, and don't forget to visit the Cranford Rose Garden this spring along with all the wonderful gardens at The Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Sarah Owens inviting me into her magical rose garden.

A magnificent red rose bud, perfectly frozen, before it had a chance to unfurl.
Amazing colors and shapes of rose hips.

The medieval prickles of the Rosa sericea f. pteracantha.

The alien-like structures of the spent bloom.

The promise of spring, a new bud starting to swell.

Photos courtesy of Dodo Loechle

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