Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mlle. Franziska Outdoes Herself

Happy Roses
Such good weather for roses and taking rose pictures. They--like all living things in the area, in fact--have been loving the moderate temperatures we've had for a solid month now (highs in the upper 70s, lows in the 50s and 60s). They have great, fat, happy plentiful blossoms at their peak of shapeliness and color.

And today's overcast, Novemberish sky was a bright grey that was gentle on the colors.

A most triumphant--if unusually muted--Mademoiselle Franziska Krüger bloom

I'm especially pleased with 'Mademoiselle Franziska Krüger,' who is revealing unexpected depths of infinite variety. Her buds are larger and fatter now than they were in the summer, and their color is more gently shaded-less aggressively pink. They've also taken on a more autumnal mellowness of form--not the pointy, jagged shapes of summer. And the shrub is covered in copious large, peachy-gold balls that look as pretty from the street as they do up close.

A nice, fat Mademoiselle Franziska Krüger bud

The weather particularly favored 'Mutabilis', often a difficult rose for me to capture--its mottled pinky-apricots often look washed out in photos.

A really particularly nice picture of 'Mutabilis,' though I say it who shouldn't

This is the first time I've paid any special attention to Mutabilis's buds, which, intriguingly, are striped.

A striped 'Mutabilis' bud

The matchless 'Souvenir de la Malmaison' is also making unusually large, abundant flowers this autumn. Here's one of her dense, heavy blossoms in front of an orange bulbine. Her fully blown flowers are so hefty, they weigh their stems to the ground.

'Souvenir de la Malmaison'

I still struggle to capture the deep crimson of '4th of July,' but this may be as close as I've come to getting the color right. In real life, it's darker and richer than this.

'4th of July' climbing rose--coming out of its summer slump

And trusty 'Green Ice,' that gem among miniatures, is covered in diminutive greeny-white blooms. It often is covered in flowers--just right now, it's more covered.

Throng of deceptively delicate 'Green Ice' flowers

Plants Around Town
While biking around Elgin, I found this marvelous malvavaceous treat. We're not sure what it is--some sort of super-charged althea? But it's one of the few persuasive peony replacements we can grow in central Texas--it has those large, frilly, peony-like blooms. And, as you can see, it's got plenty of them.

Unknown tree hibiscus down an alley in Elgin

And, interestingly, even its spent flowers are kind of nifty--like pink, ruffly hockey pucks.

Spent hibiscus flower

Meanwhile, Mother Nature is signalling with increasing conviction that it really is autumn. Our neighbors across the street have an unidentified tree that is completely undistinguished all year long except in the fall, when it suddenly goes yellow from top to toe.

Unknown tree with fall color

And further down the street, there's a maple that's turned flame orange (wish I knew what kind--I don't think of this as being a maple-friendly area, so I'd like to know what exceptions there are to the rule. All I can say for sure is that it isn't a big-tooth, even though it does, in fact, have big teeth.)

Mystery maple changes color--in real life, it's much brighter than it appears here

Despite these signs and despite the droughty summer, Matt & I don't think it looks like the trees will be putting on a show like they did last year. The pecans, instead of wearing last year's exceptional clear gold, seem now to be turning their usual muddy yellow, for example. Still, there's time yet. The Chinese tallows have just barely begun to change, so more color may be on the way.


Anonymous said...

I love pictures of your roses. Would you mind telling me where you got your Mlle. Franziska? It's on my wish list.


My e-mail:

Elgin_house said...

Thanks phurst!

I think my husband just turned up with it one day. However, you can definitely get Mlle FK from the Antique Rose Emporium, which sells online as well as at their Independence,TX nursery. Chamblee's probably sells her too. If you're in Austin, you might try Barton Springs Nursery--they've got a pretty fair selection of roses.



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