Ashes of Roses

I've barely been outside, never mind gardening due to work deadlines and my new foster dog who's just settling in- so into the photo archives we go and here's a rose that I've been intrigued by that I've seen in a couple of places, Rosa Glauca. The photos were taken at different times at the NYBG, early on when it was in flower and then more recently when it had these amazing chocolate colored hips.

I've never read the book Ashes of Roses but for some reason the title sticks and when this Rosa Glauca caught my eye, those were the words that popped into my head. Perhaps because the shrub has an eerie gray cast even in bright sunshine, a cold color tone that explains it's recurring description as blue or 'pewter blue'. I think this description fits best for me- purplish gray. In any case, it's complex, as described here: bluish gray in full sun (with shimmering overtones of burgundy and mauve), or with an icing of silvery gray-green in part shade

For me, this shrub is intriguing not because of it's colors in their own own right but what it does with other colors- the hips look so interesting against the variegated grass it was growing next to. In central park, a clematis clambers all over the shrub there and the color combination with a mauve flower is striking. The photos which make it look a little livery don't really capture the real thing and its interesting to see how difficult it is too get a mental image of it from the descriptions in articles and catalogues.

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