OLD ROSES AROUND MY GARDEN
I think it is good to have variety in the rose garden, that’s why I like to
have a few “old” roses among the hybrid tea’s and floribundas. I only became interested in growing “old” roses around seven or eight years ago.
Some years ago I had
an interest in visiting old halls and castles – well before I had any aspirations of becoming a rose exhibitor! It was in these various locations where I first became aware of this type of
rose and recall even then admiring them, growing up walls and over pergolas etc..
Occasionally whilst on my “gardening” travels I would purchase the odd one or two. They have mainly
been planted in areas of the garden where other roses did not thrive and so far have grown well.
Old roses are well known for their often wondeful scent, and the beautiful multi-petalled flowers
usually come in shades of pink and purple. A nice “old” rose with a good scent is the variety William Lobb (old velvet moss 1855), the medium sized double flowers are deep
crimson-purple fading slate grey – the only “old” rose currently growing in my back garden.
One of the first “old” roses I planted has as rather unusual name, Zephirine
Drouhin (1868) – a thornless rose used mainly as a climber. Its loosely formed cerise-pink flowers are beautifully scented. In my garden, it grows untrained and intertwines with modern
shrub rose Constance Spry with its numerous light pink fragrant flowers. The contrast of the pink shades is most effective – pleasing to the eye and nose too!
Roseraie De l’Hay
(1910) a thorny rugosa variety named after a famous rose garden near Paris. A large specimen plant after only a few year’s of growth. The flowers, many in number, are wine red and the
fragrance is most beautiful. Alfred de Dalmas (1855) Aka Mousseline is a slower growing shapely bush producing pretty shell pink semi-double flowers. The scent is strong and sweet. A
Rose de Rescht – date of introduction uncertain – a rather compact plant which grows quite near my front door. This fine old rose is a real eye-catcher. The
flowers are camelia like and fully double with a nice rose scent. The colour is a lovely bright fuchsia pink. A sport of the old variety Eugene Furst is the interesting and rather unusual
Baron Girod de L’ain (1897). Flowers are a rich purple with wavy white edges and appear in light clusters on an average growing sized bush. Good scent, a nice rose.
Charles de Mills
– a quite fascinating old rose (date unrecorded) which used to grow in a large container but now is far happier in open ground. It has developed into a large fine specimen bush, heavily laden
with flowers. The fully double quartered mushroom like rosettes open flat and are a rich maroon-purple, fading as they age. A favourite. One of my more recently planted old roses is the
variety Louise Odier (1851) – a good addition to the rose garden. Its growth has been rapid with plenty of bloom. The full warm pink flowers are shaded lilac and will appear all summer
long as this rose is a continuous blooming variety.
Another variety more recently planted is the rather striking Reine des Violettes (1860). It produced fully double quartered rosettes in deep
red-violet – quite tall with good scent. Ferdinand Pichard (1921) not as old as some! Also quite showy with a nice fragrance. The lovely flowers best described as carmine
striped on pinky white background. This rose had been on my wanted rose list for some considerable time! A similar variety Variegata de Bologna (1909) with its fully double quartered rosette
of palest bluish pink, striped with rose purple – a nice flower but too few of them.
Boule de Neige (1867) is at present the only old white rose I grow – like a larger Little White
Pet. The clusters of crimson tinted tight buds opening to ivory white with reflexing petals. Flowers are sweetly scented, however, being rather delicate tend to spoil easily in damp
conditions. The flowers of Souvenir du Dr Jamain (1865) are very beautiful – buds almost black and open to a dark purplish red, there is a fine fragrance too, quite a tall grower sometimes
used as a climber.
Again a newer addition, the lovely Fantin Latour (1900) clusters of fully double cupped blush pink flowers are produced, the fragrance is sweet and powerful. A beauty.
Tuscany Superb (1848) an English bred rose of much charm and appropriately named I feel. The open cupped flowers are a rich deep purple with a white eye and yellow stamens – attractive,
however little or no scent – unusual in an old rose. Madame Isaac Pereire (1880) with its huge full double flowers of deep rose pink shaded magenta and fabulous strong scent make this variety
my favourite old rose. The blooms don’t always appear true to form but when they do they are indeed very beautiful – worth growing for the scent