Picture Ohio! – The Roses of Summer

Veilchenblau, Secrest Arboretum, Wooster
Veilchenblau, Garden of Roses of Romance & Legend , Wooster

“They are not long, the days of wine and roses.” (Ernest Dowson).

Peter Schneider Rose Garden, Portage County, Ohio
Peter Schneider Rose Garden, Portage County, Ohio

A few years ago I was commissioned by Storey Publishing to photograph about 150 varieties of roses at the Portage County, Ohio home of Peter Schneider, who grows 1200 kinds of roses in his garden. Peter knows just about everything there is to know about growing and taking care of roses, and he is the co-editor of the Combined Rose List, an annual directory that describes more than 14,000 varieties of roses in commerce. Many of the photos I took in Peter’s garden and a few other northeast Ohio locations were included in Peter’s new book, Right Rose Right Place, which provides detailed guidelines on growing and maintaining roses, as well as information on 359 great rose choices for different areas of your garden. You can buy this fine book at your local booksellers, from Amazon.com, or directly from Peter Schneider via his website:


Right Rose, Right Place Book Cover

Each year Peter also opens his rose garden to visitors for one or two days in early summer. This year his garden will be open to visitors on Sunday, June 12 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturday, 18 June 2011, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m., and Sunday, 19 June 2011, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. For directions and more details, visit his website, listed above.

Rose Garden, Secrest Arboretum
Garden of Roses of Romance and Legend, Wooster, Ohio

One of Ohio’s finest display of roses is at Ohio State University’s Garden of Roses of Romance and Legend, next to the Secrest Arboretum in Wooster, Ohio. Although Secrest Arboretum was badly damaged by a tornado last September, the rose garden is expected to put on a fine display of roses over the next few weeks.  This year the Open House at the rose garden is next Saturday, June 11. For more information, visit Secrest’s website:


Rose Garden, Cleveland Botanical Garden
Rose Garden, Cleveland Botanical Garden

The Mary Ann Sears Swetland Rose Garden at Cleveland Botanical Garden in University Circle will also be at its peak of bloom during June. For more information, visit the garden’s website:


Other Ohio public gardens that have fine rose displays include Kingwood Center in Mansfield, the Park of Roses at Wetmore Park in Columbus, and Fellows Riverside Gardens at Mill Creek Park in Youngstown.

One of the questions often asked at my garden photography workshops is how to get accurate color in photographs of roses and other flowering plants. The solution is to shoot in “raw” mode and use a calibrated card that is a precise color, such as the excellent Whibal cards marketed by Michael Tapes. Note that a regular “gray card” is useful for establishing the correct exposure for a scene, but many gray cards are not precisely neutral in color and are of limited use in setting the “white balance” (i.e. color) correctly when you are doing close-up flower photography. Simply position the Whibal card next to the subject, take a photograph, then remove the Whibal card and take another photograph of the subject. Back at home, you correct the color of the photo that includes the Whibal card with Photoshop, or your favorite image editor, then apply the same correction to the photo taken without the Whibal card. Voila – perfect color! For more information on the Whibal cards and Michael Tapes’ other excellent products for photographers, visit his website:


Rose 'Justine Lee Miff'
Rose 'Justine Lee Miff'

Summer is fleeting, so take time to smell – and photograph – the roses over the next few weeks.




This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. These are gorgeous, Ian! I never knew Portage County could look so beautiful, and I spent the first 18 years of my life there. . .

  2. Beautiful roses! if only I could get those kind of results in my modest Phoenix, AZ garden (the heat tends to kill them off quickly)

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