Monday, October 6, 2008

When “big hips” are great!

from guest writer Terri Clark

We all have heard that old saying “a moment on the lips, a life time on the hips” but there is one area where over indulgence does not apply to a hefty hour-glass figure– when it refers to roses. Everyone knows that the rose appeals on a variety of levels either through numbers of petals, blossom shape, colour and, most sensuous of all, scent. But how many of us fully appreciate the stunning second act of the species roses where before the season’s curtain call they take a final bow in the guise of beautiful hips.

Rose hips have long been the subject of apothecary lore and delicious foodstuffs but now we can appreciate these seed heads as an added bonus to the garden landscape, especially if we are not too assiduous in the pruning department.

Every garden can have at least one rose bush that produces showy hips, perfect foils for the cooler landscape and wonderful grist for the mill when it comes to making seasonal wreaths and arrangements to brighten the darker months.

When you purchase rose bushes this fall, be sure and ask who has the biggest hips and enjoy them while not adding one ounce to your own!

Pictured at the left are the elongated, flagon-shaped orange hips from the vigorous Rose moyseii. Though a vigorous plant with almost single smallish blooms, this beauty shines in two seasons and is often preferred for their delectable hips.

Another good selection for showy hips is the hardy, easy to care for and very scented Rose rugosa. Pictured to the right, the globular tomato-red hips of R. rugosa ‘Frau Dagmar Hartopp’ whose pink flowers keep producing through the summer yielding a pleasing mix of hips and blooms in unison on the bush.

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