The Last of the Pinks

I don’t bother with fall decorating outdoors as my pink Knockout roses (see link) are still going strong, and pink and orange (as in pumpkins etc) are not the best color combination in my opinion. It may be odd to see roses in October, but Knockouts are repeat bloomers and they’re usually in their 3rd bloom cycle in September with roses appearing right up until mid-November if we have mild weather. Although obviously not as abundant as in June, they do well considering that I have long given up all pretense of fertilizing and watering.

Fall is late here in my part of Ontario with no frosts so far and the trees just catching fire. The temperature today was 50 F (10 C) with another nice week ahead, with a few days in the 60’s, although there is already snow out on the prairies. While I would love to prune them now as I do my other roses, the timing is key, and so I wait and then curse in the spring and sometimes in December too as pink does not go well with Christmas decorations either! By then they are definitely the worse for wear especially when the rest of the yard has been tidied up but it’s much too cold too tackle any outdoor work. One year it snowed while they were still blooming, and that was a very strange sight.

More than a dusting of snow…

I’m presently busy with the art world, with mom’s exhibit opening next week and writing time scarce, so I thought I’d post a few pictures of them, in their final days of fall glory.

They often look scraggly this time of year, shooting off in all directions, but are almost the same height as the deck.

I took these photos on the sheltered side of the house as the colors are more vibrant in the shade.

The bushes at the front are fuller but more blowzy, the wind having knocked many of the petals off.

Photo taken Oct 20
By the garden gate – photo taken Oct 20.

I have other pinks in the fall – the odd hydrangea, a leftover dinner-plate hibiscus, but they are usually finished by the end of September.

Pink phlox

My phlox was especially lovely this year.

Unknown species but pretty in pink…

This flower in the side yard belongs to my neighbor, but I’m not sure what it is?

Photo taken Oct 20

The pale pink climbing roses on the front trellis are repeat bloomers too, so I don’t cut them back until they are finished.

The last rose of summer…
Burning bush blushing…

A definite sign of fall, this burning bush looks almost pink in the shade.

And that’s it – the last of the pinks until next year!

The Last of the Pinks – painting by Joni’s mother

31 thoughts on “The Last of the Pinks

  1. Kate Crimmins says:

    I have a hedge row of pink knock out roses. Some years they do better than others (mostly when I remember to water!). This was a good year for them despite the heat and humidity and they are still blooming. I love pink flowers and always chose the pinks, purples, and blues first. You won’t find an orange flower in my entire yard!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      A whole hedge row sounds lovely….I spaced mine too far apart for it to look hedgelike. No orange here either, except my neighbours orange ditch lilies which poke through the chain fence!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jo Shafer says:

    How timely your post of pinks this morning, Joni! Late yesterday afternoon, I cut the last of our proverbial “last roses of summer,” long stems of Betty Prior (c. 1935). Those are the only ones that still bloom this late, usually, but with night time temps dipping into the 20s, I didn’t want to waste any. They’re a graceful bouquet in a glass stein, on a side table in my study.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I hope you enjoy them Jo! I tried to buy some of those “Grand Dame” roses, I think you had blogged about them? but the nursery was out of stock for this year so I’ll have to wait until next spring… then we’ll all be started for beauty.


      • Jo Shafer says:

        I think you can order them from Weeks Nursery. Let me look it up. I bought mine from a local nursery a few years ago, but they had been ordered from Weeks.


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        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Thanks Jo…..I see them on the first website and have saved the link for the spring, so I can show my nursery what to order. Another nursery I called in August said they had a few in earlier, so there must be a Canadian distributor. I think they are a good match color wise to my Knock-outs, and I will need to replace one of those in the spring which did not survive last winter and by the time I got to the nursery they were sold out too. I like the size and height and have the perfect spot – you can never have too many roses.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Anne says:

    I take my hat off to you for growing roses so successfully. Perhaps our climate is too hot for them – and the drought isn’t kind to any plants! This post has been a delightful read. I think you must have a lovely garden to sit out in during the warmer months.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I do, but I don’t sit out in it enough, esp. in the summer when it is too hot and humid. I put all the lawn furniture away today and washed and cleaned the deck from mildew, so I’m ready for the cold weather which is coming soon. It’s 75 today, so really probably the last day of nice summer-like weather this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jo Shafer says:

    We enjoyed “Indian summer” days like this just last week. Now a cold front is working its way through, but I don’t mind at all. It’s time for real fall, and I’m ready. Salmon chowder for supper tonight, a roast pork for Sunday dinner, fire laid in the fireplace, and a warm duvet on the bed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      It sounds lovely and cozy! I don’t mind the cooler weather….it’s the snow I hate. I’ve never had salmon chowder, only clam chowder which I love, so you’ve got me googling for recipes!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Linda Schaub says:

    Your “pretty in pink” Knockout Roses are beautiful Joni. I would think they are a shrub rose, yet they are tall like a tea rose. The combo of pink roses (and other equally beautiful flowers) looks stunning against the white deck fence. I brought my “Home Run” roses back somewhat, but they still have a huge dead part which is “dead center” (pardon the pun). I had the snow come two or three years ago before I got them cut down – it made for some unusual shots, but may have contributed to how raggedy they look now. The snow and ice settled right onto the buds.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      Have you tried pruning out the dead center dead parts? I had to do that to some of my roses last spring, as they’ve been in for ten years now and were starting to die in the middle and look woody. Hopefully the new growth will hide it? Hope you didn’t get too much of a storm….we missed most of the rain, but windy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I tried to do it in the Spring and it was thorny and I ripped two pair of thick gloves so went and got stainer’s gloves to do it – hopefully that works with the lopers as it looks ugly in the middle. I put a lot of rose food on it this year hoping the woody parts would leaf out, but they were dead as a doornail as I thought. We did not lose power, but others did – I think 22,000 people lost power. It was very windy and dropped almost 30 degrees in 5 hours I think they said. It was a gorgeous day up til then.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Annie… I am a lazy gardener, plants that can survive on their own are my preference! Yes, we are excited about the show…I have heard some gushing reviews which is always motivating for my mom.


  6. J P says:

    That’s a lot of pink for October in Canada! A nice change of pace from all of the normal fall colors.

    I tried growing roses for a few years in the late 80s but then I moved and never tried again. My tastes ran to red, white and yellow. When I was a kid we had a rose bush that got zero attention and produced the most gorgeous deep red blooms every year. My own were never so hardy.


    • Joni says:

      I have one of those old faithful rose bushes too, over fifty years old and blooms abundantly every year. It came with the house. I planted 20 Knock-out rose bushes, (so it makes a statement) about ten years ago, so they are well established now. And yes, that much pink clashes with orange. Here’s the link to the Knock-out roses if you are interested. I bought mine at a nursery but I’ve occasionally seen them at Lowes, but only the single ones. They have a red, white and yellow and I’ve seen coral too. I bought the DOUBLE knock-outs, which are more winter-hardy and have a fuller bloom, but ordered them from a nursery. I literally do nothing to them, fertilize in the spring with long acting stuff, and water only if we have a long drought. Best landscaping investment I’ve ever made. Several southern bloggers told me that a disease wiped out a lot of the Knock-outs in the south and northeastern states, so you might check with a local nursery to see if that’s a problem in your area. It’s called Rose Rosette Disease or Witch’s Broom and it’s a virus carried by wind so once one bush gets infected, they all go. So far it hasn’t come that far north – Knock-wood!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      HA! No usually they’re buried under a foot or two of snow by then! I have seen the branches start to green up in March and then we’ll get a freeze or a blizzard or two, so I’m never quite sure when exactly to prune them back.

      Liked by 1 person

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