Every day on my way to work, I always look at a certain house, just before I make my final turn. It is the one vibrant spot of color on a block, which, though perfectly nice, is typified by sedate, small front lawns and a few foundation plantings. But these people. These people are gardeners and plant lovers. They start with daffodils and tulips in April/May and continue with perennials and roses throughout the summer. But, interestingly, you don‘t really notice the roses until very late in the season, when they are almost the only plants blooming. The image here shows what they look like at the chilly, rainy end of October, with Halloween 5 days away. (I didn’t get too close because I do not know the homeowners and didn’t want to be lurking around their property. ) I love that the roses are different heights—not just one big planting of Knock-Outs, for instance.
Roses en masse never look that great as a composition; their individual forms show up better in close-up. But still, as November approaches in Western New York, you can’t do much better for a cheerful front yard planting. No mums, no Autumn Joy, no pumpkins—not that there’s anything wrong with those. Just a few remaining perennials and roses, which give me a lot more pleasure than the typical plants of fall.
At home, I still have a few roses coming out. I also have tropicals (above), lots of coleus, and my faithful lobularia; there hasn’t been anything close to a hard frost yet. I’ll be interested to see how late into the season my drive-by roses last.