Season’s Pickings: Hip Looks
Many roses provide a superb display of tomato-red or bright orange hips in late summer and autumn, adding an extra layer of interest to the garden. Though gardeners tend to prune faded rose blooms to encourage more flowers, leaving the spent flowers on the bush will allow rose hips to develop. They’re gorgeous, very decorative and birds love them. We’ve used them here in appealing autumn floral designs.
Willow basket from heather shaw basketmaker, (06) 364 7281; rosehips from canterbury fields, (03) 312 6731.
Some roses provide better hips than others so it’s worth doing a little research. The tomato-like hips of rugosa roses are often favourites. Some continue flowering until quite late, while also fattening their splendid hips from earlier blooms. These are also generally the largest and most abundant and are said to be the most flavoursome.
To get good rose hips, don’t dead-head or the plants won’t be able to produce seeds. Prune just once in late winter or early spring to a desired shape or simply remove some of the oldest branches. Leaving well alone will pay the best dividends.
When reading specialist rose books you might see hips referred to as “heps” – it’s a derivative of a word that comes from the Middle English “hepe”.
How to arrange rose hips (shown above)
You’ll need: A small piece of galvanised 5cm chicken wire; a small plastic pot; a cane or straw basket to fit the pot; newspaper; tall leaves (eg croton or magnolia); rose hips; long willow stems; moss.
||1. Crumple the piece of chicken wire and place it into a plastic pot. Put the pot into a basket and pack the outside edge with newspaper to keep it upright if necessary. Put water in the pot. |
||2. Put tall leaves around the outside edge of the pot of water; here we’ve used croton leaves in lovely autumn colours. |
||3. Fill the centre of the pot with rose hips – we’ve used ‘Sensational’ and ‘Wedding Day’.|
||4. Push long willow stems into the basket on the outside of the pot (they don’t need water), loop them over the top and tuck in on the other side. Tuck moss over the top to cover the mechanics.|
To make the arrangement above, we placed a small block of wet floral foam in a bowl. Viburnum berries were cut about the same length and placed close together in the centre. Orange roses were then arranged in a circle around them, with hips from the rose ‘Giant’ clustered generously around the edge. Top the bowl up with water as needed.
Story: Fionna Hill
Photographs: Kelley Eady Loveridge
Stylist: Fionna Hill