Saturday, May 11, 2013

Roses and Butterflies

I have made two trips recently, one to Roses of Yesterday (a rose nursery and display gardens),....

Sally Holmes

 ... and one to the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco to see their new butterfly exhibit.

 I thought I would combine them into one post: I don't have enough time to blog more frequently, and I am getting bogged down with all the pictures I am taking :)

Gypsy Boy spilling over the entrance gate at Roses of Yesterday

Visiting Roses of Yesterday was a real treat on Mothers' Day weekend.

A very impressive mound of Ruselliana

The nursery is located at a higher elevation and closer to the ocean than my garden, so their roses come into peak bloom just as mine are getting crisped in the heat.

Marguerite Hilling

 I have been there a few times and thought I have seen all there is to see, but surprises don't seem to end.

Rose de Meaux 

The display garden is very old with lots of roses tucked together, growing ever bigger, and suckering ever wider.

Phyllis Bide growing into Russeliana

 Most tags are illegible or missing altogether, which only adds to the charm, as far as I am concerned. On each visit I find a rose or two I missed on previous trips :).

'Pink Mermaid'. Unlike the real Mermaid, it is very restrained in growth and far less prickly.
For a suburban dweller like me, it is very soothing to visit a quiet rural garden in the woods where instead of manicured lawns, roses intermingle with abandon and drip from redwoods.

Belle de Crecy
Because of a cooler and moister climate, the size of blooms is considerably bigger than in my garden. The fragrance wafts. The colors hold in the gentle light. A pure delight in every sense.


Roses blooming at the display garden


Roses for sale

The butterfly exhibit at the Conservatory of Flowers was very different but equally entertaining.

A common buckeye

I walked through a cottage garden filled with flowers....

....where butterflies could be seen as close as one wants.

A white peacock

There was also a "hatchery" where butterflies emerge from chrysalises. It was the most fascinating part of the exhibit for me.

I have learned that butterflies determine the quality of nectar on a flower by tasting it with their feet.

A great southern white

They use ultraviolet vision to zero in on a flower.

A butterfly's long coiled tongue, called proboscis, is used to sip water and nectar whose sugar is the butterfly's chief food source.

I was one of the first visitors to the exhibit, and as it turned out it is not always a good thing. In this exhibit, butterflies are released into the garden as they hatch, so the longer you wait, the more different butterflies you will see.

 I thought I would try to visit the exhibit again at the end of summer, when the dahlias at the nearby dahlia garden are blooming.  Hopefully, many more butterflies will be drinking nectar from these flowers. It is nice to have something to look forward to.


  1. What wonderful photos of two of my favorite things, roses and butterflies.

    Have a lovely day and week ~ FlowerLady

  2. Thanks for sharing. Beautiful photo's of the butterflies and roses.

  3. Lovely roses. It must have been heavenly to walk through the display garden. And thanks so much for all the butterfly information! I didn't know any of that. The photo of the butterfly with his tongue out is just incredible.

  4. Who knew butterflies had tongues! Great shot, worthy of National Geographic.

  5. Masha, awesome photos of butterflies! I tried to take pictures of them and it was difficult--they are very fast!
    Thank you for sharing this exhibition!

  6. Beautiful photos, and such great close-ups, those butterflies must have been on their best behaviour! Lovely roses too, I must admit I have roses-withdrawal symptoms, it is mid-May and I still haven't got any roses in flower! Here in London we have had an extremely cold spring, and after a short week of nice weather it has gone cold again. Not sure when I will have all my roses in flower but so far we are 4 weeks late.

  7. Phew, the butterflies are just as showy as the Roses in your part of the world Masha.

  8. Thank you for sharing you trip and the roses. So pretty. We have all summer to look at your lovely pictures, even after the roses have faded.

    What a nice trip to travel to a more rural/quiet area.

  9. Hi Masha, so if I'm correct the exhibition is on open air? Usually butterflies are kept in some kind of closed greenhouses or pavilions. The rose garden is awesome, I liked the way they've arranged the rose plants on sale on the van. You didn't come away empty handed, did you? ;-)


  10. Thank you!

    Alberto, the butterfly exhibit was in a conservatory which is really a greenhouse. They were contained. As to the roses for sale, I actually did come away empty-handed: I cannot squeeze any more roses into my garden even with a shoe horn....

  11. What absolutely stunning photos you have taken, especially those of the butterflies. I've always wanted to visit a butterfly farm here in the UK, but never quite managed it, maybe this will be the year! Those roses look magnificent in such large groups, mine aren't showing much signs of life yet.

  12. Hehe... if I ever should steal a car, it would be this one :o) :o) :o). Your butterfly photos are just gorgeous, stunning... I can't find the right words they are so beautiful!
    Have a lovely week

  13. Just lovely Masha! I stumbled across your blog and have enjoyed my visit very much.

  14. Gosh, that hatchery is nifty! Excellent macro on the butterfly! You are an amazing photographer, Masha. It's always a pleasure to stop by!

  15. What a gorgeous place! It sounds like a peaceful retreat. :o)

  16. I envy your visiting Roses of Yesterday. :) Their roses look and sound magnificent. Wonderful butterfly pictures too!


I am so glad you have stopped by!