My attempt to document 40 sunrises in Eastern Cincinnati. Spring 2011.

Sunrise 32: Ault Park (Garden of Old Roses)

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(Not sure what flower this is, but I really like it).

This morning was similar to yesterday morning in that the temperature is in the lower 40s (about 6-8 Celsius), except that today I was ready for it. Perhaps it was this preparedness that made the morning chill seem not too bad. Whatever the reason, I was determined to not let the thick overcast sky and the sharp bite of the wind put down my explorative mood. Today I set off on my friend Geoff’s Trek 4000 again, with its knobby tires and low gearing. I realized, after talking with Geoff last night, that in fact I had ridden the bike incorrectly yesterday morning. I commented on “how low the center of gravity was” on the bike, but what I really was talking about was how low to the ground I felt. As it turned out I rode the bike with the seat all the way down at the post – a position Geoff had set the seat to for storage purposes. After raising the seat about 8″, and suddenly feeling stretched out and more mobile, I set off towards the park at a much more comfortable pace. Eventually I’ll check out the “Garden of Old Roses” – one of the three lawns in the center of Ault Park, below the pavilion. The new growth in the garden is a bit young, having only been blooming for a week or two by now. I imagine in another month it will be exploding in color.

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click for higher quality!The overcast cloud bank was thick. It was also relatively low to the ground. I lost most of the planes taking off from Lunken Airfield quickly as they rose up into the atmosphere. I decided that instead of sitting at the overlook, a location that has become familiar and comfortable, staring at the featureless gray sky, I would set out to the arboretum and have my morning coffee at one of the benches hidden back under the small trees. I set off for the pavilion to look for a photo subject or theme for the morning. Now that I have a new image processing script that takes the tediousness out of adding pictures to this post, I was prepared to be generous in the usage of my small camera. (Before my update to my script earlier this week, each picture would take, let’s say, 1 minute to add to a post individually. Now I can add all of them at once so it costs no time extra to take a few additional pictures).

click for higher quality!The kickstand-less Trek 4000. It is nice not having to worry about the gravel trails in the lawn, but the top speed is about half of my Fuji-S10s for the same effort up the hills.

click for higher quality!The sky was a dark gray; I had a surprisingly hard time figuring out the best lighting configuration with the camera. If you’re on the front page, please continue to see the roses and more.

click for higher quality!These trees surprised me. All the other white blooming apples, pears, and cherries stopped blooming about a month ago. These guys are just getting started. I didn’t get much closer to see what species they are.

click for higher quality!One of the several beautiful rustic metal signs around the park. Date unknown.

click for higher quality!The bushes are blooming up against the retaining wall. I stopped to read the plaque in detail, something I realized I often ride past without checking out.

click for higher quality!The plaque reads “The ‘Smittie’ Concert Green; George G. Smith IV 1909 – 1985; Musician, Band Director, Teacher; A living memorial made possible by contributions from those whose lives he enriched – his students, musicians, family and friends. Dedicated June 14 1987. Cincinnati board of park comissioners”. The lawn, both above and below the wall, serve as a great venue for the summer and fall, including the after party for the awesome Reggae Run.

click for higher quality!A third water fountain by the lawn. It is not, however, of the classic design that fit the rest of the fountains. I see no sign of “Murdock” on the metal, unlike the other water facilities in the park. Blasphemy! I wonder when it was added?

click for higher quality!The bald flower garden. I wonder what is going to go here?

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You can see the pavilion through the trees.

click for higher quality!I thought these white flowers on the dark purple bush were beautiful.

click for higher quality!Close up of them. Reminds me of the cherry blossoms.

click for higher quality!Some purples and whites as I enter the lawn.

click for higher quality!Pink Flower; first of many.

click for higher quality!The white version. These are all over the side of the lawn, not sure what they are. Pretty and simple.

click for higher quality!“Garden of Old Roses”. I haven’t been over here for about a week – lets see if there are any new flowers?

click for higher quality!The metal sign and flower garden. “Old Roses” you say?

I find myself excited to check out the old Rose garden. After reading Michael Pollen’s A Second Nature over the past winter, and being surprisingly fascinated by his chapter on old world roses vs new age hybrids, I’ve found myself paying much more attention to rose bushes. In his book Pollen describes how certain species of rose were cultivated by each royal family of old Europe, and often the politics and cultural undertones behind the breeding and display of the roses were as complex as the society that maintained them. A rose is seen as a symbol of love and youth because many species of rose seem to throw future care to the wind, displaying beautiful and vibrant flowers that soon wither. With the introduction of “Eastern Roses” from Asia that bloom all throughout the year, there were periods of instability in the ancient rose culture as hybrids that were selected for time-length of bloom (or multiple blooms per year) over color and scent beat out the native, short blooming species. A “watering down” of the noble rose genes, if you will. There is much more in the book, including talk of the 20th century “modern hybrid” roses that come in every color and have flashy names like “Dolly Parton Hybrid Tea” Rose. Often these new roses lose their qualities after a few generations of inbreeding as environmental selections take over and their ancestor’s genes of ancient stability start to become dominant again. Here’s an Amazon Link to the book if you ever want to check it out. It is one of the most meditative and reflective looks at modern culture through the eyes of the American Garden that I’ve ever read. Pollen’s writing style really shines through. It covers a lot of 20th century garden and horticulture philosophy and history along the way, something I have had literally no experience with. Maybe one day I’ll write a more thorough review on the book – it has probably helped to shape my own personal philosophy regarding our relationship with nature and the garden than I realize. It is worth reading if for nothing else than the comparison between European wall gardens and what you see in a typical “American” garden, and why often the American garden style is not as well defined as many other classic styles – such as the European or the Eastern garden. I don’t know anything about garden styles or horticultural history, so this was quite an eye opener for me.

I stroll down the sidewalk and realize that there are many new flowers that were not in bloom even two weeks ago. These gardens were all green as the daffodils and cherry trees were in blossom, but they are coming alive now. Fair Warning: I don’t know roses that well and it is possible that I mislabel a species or two. They are almost all on thorny bushes, but some don’t look like what I think of when I think of a rose.

click for higher quality!A dark pink rose that has been battered by the storms. A young bud opening in the background.

click for higher quality!This yellow rose bush was just beautiful. Vibrant and young, full of blooms.

click for higher quality!This is a rose bush right? I would think so, but I don’t typically think of a rose as being so wide open.

click for higher quality!A pink rose bush.

click for higher quality!No idea what these are, but they’re awesome!

click for higher quality! I bet these will look neat, whatever they end up being.

click for higher quality!This is off of another rose bush. Reminds me more of a carnation, but what do I know?

click for higher quality!A “flesh” colored rose, with signs of being picked on by the storms.

click for higher quality!Surprisingly this was the hardest rose to take a picture of. The red kept showing up as a washed out bright neon red. After playing with the color settings I finally was able to get a picture that didn’t look too weird.

click for higher quality!Looking back up the path with the dark gray sky overhead. It was bright enough to wash out the pictures, but the light wasn’t bright enough to get clean pictures without trying too hard.

click for higher quality!On the outside of the rose path, facing the lawn and open sky, was this beautiful white rose bush. It has more blooms than most of the bushes combined. Once again – this is a rose right? It is thorny and the small buds sure look like roses, but the flowers open up incredibly wide.

click for higher quality!Close up of the white rose bush

click for higher quality!Finally, I arrive at my destination. This is a pleasant little spot at the end of the lawn. I enjoyed my first (and second) cups of coffee here.

click for higher quality!These vines are thick. This also reminds me of just how thick some of this vegetation is. The kind of thickness you’d find in the swampy southern climates.

click for higher quality!More of the simple white flower.

click for higher quality!Close up of the buds-to-be.

click for higher quality!One of the thriving green bushy plants in the shaded area under the maple and cherry trees. These leaves are the size of a dinner plate.

click for higher quality!The Trek 4000 against the lawn. No kickstand here.

click for higher quality!As I was packing up, I found these purple flowers behind the small pavilion. They are rather large and are blooming from a vine that is just starting to climb the columns.

click for higher quality!Another pink flower – I’m guessing a rose? This was a huge bush as well, but it hasn’t started to bloom like the white rose bush.

click for higher quality!A little bit of perspective never hurt anyone 🙂

Thanks for reading and checking out the pictures. Tomorrow may be more of the same (overcast and cloudy) but by Friday hopefully there is a break. Nothing beats a surprise slightly cloudy sunrise, especially after the drab and gray overcast ones of the past 4 days.

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4 responses

  1. Tara

    Okay here we go (knuckles cracking)…

    The pink flower is Dianthus as Amy said, and the white with purple flowers is Bronze ninebark. I think the the “simple” pink and white flowers are Dames Rocket flowers but not positive. I believe the thick woody vine growing on the pergola is Trumpet vine. Reddish orange trumpet-like flowers will bloom in the summer and attract humming birds. Amazing creatures. The heavy vegetation next to it looks like Oakleaf hydrangea which should get white clusters of flowers but in sort of a cone shape instead of a ball. I know almost nothing about Roses (I am a fan of Pollen though) but I think the “wide open” roses are knockout roses. Finally, the purple beauties are Clematis. Many people plant Clematis by their mailboxes. I think so they don’t have to weedwack? And it looks pretty of course. I do not know what the green spike ball plant is-no clue. I’ll try to track that down. Oh, and the purple flowers at the base of the “Garden of Old Roses” sign is Salvia. It looks like there is also some moonbeam Coreopsis which gets yellow flowers that almost seem to glow at twilight. Phew, that was fun! 🙂

    May 17, 2011 at 6:08 pm

  2. Pingback: Sunrise 40: Ault Park (Achievement Unlocked! and Alms Park Sunset #3 with Mountainous Cumulus Clouds) « Ault Park Sunrise

  3. Pingback: Sunrise 45: Ault Park (Adopt-a-Garden Blooms, Young Roses, and Harvestmen) « Ault Park Sunrise

  4. Nick Feathers

    Yes, the plants in question are roses aside from the purple one. The purple one was a clematis. I’ve seen most all of those old roses, although their individual names escape me at the moment. Antique roses have many differing forms of roses. Modern hybrid tea roses are actually the “goofy” looking roses, even though they are the ones that everybody thinks of when they hear of a “rose”. I highly recommend checking out the Columbus Whetstone Park of Roses in Columbus in early-mid May for the Antique Roses and late May to early June for the rest of their more modern roses. They have 13 acres of roses. I personally grow over 50 different roses….most of which being David Austin English roses. David Austin hybridizes antique roses with other antique roses or modern roses to increase their disease resistance, hardiness, and giving them the ability to have the old bloom form with all the easy features of the modern roses. Roses have many forms of blooms and some are even thornless. You can get a rose in ANY color except for blue as a rose does not naturally produce a blue pigment. Some roses can be as small as 6 inches tall and others in prime environments like California with a lot of sun, can grow upwards of 50 feet tall. I’ve seen roses in Cali “climb” trees and fill out entire trees. You literally couldn’t even tell the the tree was actually not a “flowering” tree. More vigorous roses allowed to sprawl will look like the white rose you pictured and can go to enormous sizes….the size of entire homes in California.

    April 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm

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