Roses are like people – some just have nicer hips than others. Some have pretty faces, some have great legs, great shoulders. Some have good hips - especially in October. And I like good hips. To me, they speak of strength, fertility and beauty.
Autumn is the best time for the widest variety of fully-formed, voluptuous and vibrantly-colored rose hips in the garden, in arrangements, in recipes and in photographs.
Successful pollination triggers good fruit set. If you want good hips, then you need good bugs. So your best bet is to avoid pesticides – particularly broad-spectrum pesticides. Although you might want to only harm insects you worry are damaging your roses, any pesticides are also likely to be killing or impairing your pollinators.
R. ‘John Cabot’ – climber – noticeably oblong deep orange
R. ‘La Belle Sultane’ – large, round burgundy, dull-rough sheen
R. ‘The Endeavor’ – round, shiny, apple-like orange to red on single hip
R. ‘Shropshire Lad’ – round, mid-sized, dull orange
R. californica – multi-clustered, oblong, bright orange to red
R. ‘Crown Princess Margareta’ – slightly oblong, pale orange to red
R. ? white spray shrub rose – name unknown – small, squat round, greenish to brown
Shasta Rose Society: www.shastarosesociety.org/Shasta_Rose_Society/Home.html
Bidwell Heritage Roses: http://bidwellheritagerosesgroup.com/
Sacramento Historic Rose Garden, Sacramento Old City Cemetery: http://www.oldcitycemetery.com/roses.htm
American Rose Society: http://www.ars.org/
This article originally appeared in the Butte Rose Society’s October 2011 Newsletter.