I moved to Montana in 1999 to help my Dad with a few things and while I was there, I collected some wild rose plants for use as bonsai and because they are one of my favorite natives. The Latin name for this species is Rosa woodsii and is quite common in southwestern Montana. The ones I collected were growing at the 7,000′ elevation but they also grow in the valleys along rivers and streams. The planting I’m featuring in today’s post was grown from the seeds of one of the collected specimens. It was really the by-product of puttering around the garden one day, spying a rose hip (fruit of the wild rose) ready to drop and ‘rescuing’ it by squishing out the seeds, popping the fruit in my mouth and planting the seeds in with one of my trees that was in a grow box. I forgot all about them until they sprouted and let them grow a bit before moving them to their own 4″ pot. I let them stay in that small pot for three years and they had totally colonized it to the point where I had to transplant them. So I put them into a shallow oval bonsai pot two years ago, which they quickly outgrew.

When I was in Montana, I was fortunate to find a source for the steel discs that are used by farmers to break up the clods of soil after plowing their fields. The ones I found are 16″ in diameter and have a square hole in the center, perfect to function as a drain hole for a pot, if one chooses to do so. This proved to be just the right size for my rambunctious little rose planting and that’s what you see it planted on in this posting today. The first photo was taken around the time of the new year and you can see the buds beginning to swell:

We had a pretty wet and cool spring this year in Portland and this planting flowered a little later than usual–around the first week in April. It can be challenging to get a good shot of a wild rose as the flowers only last one or two days if you’re lucky; rain spoils them quickly, so there’s two strikes against you before you even start 😉 Here are some shots of it at about the peak of flowering: