plants your garden
Us hopeful rosarians have to admit that roses are not just another pretty flower. There is something very special and noble about them, the older they are the more rare and valued their flowers and often the more persnickety they get.
Here are some cultivars to test your rosarian mettle. Plant only if you are willing to dedicate a lot of time to these cherished heirlooms:
–Souvenir de la Malmaison, a delightfully fragrant bourbon, feeling very at home in warmer climates, not so fond of winter. Susceptible to black spot, needs winter protection.
–Reine des Violettes, as its name implies, has flowers that look like they’re made of royal purple, blessed with an intoxicating scent; more sensitive than a mimosa and really high maintenance.
– Mme Alfred Carriere, a climber with large cupped flowers, blooms generously and is wonderfully fragrant, but as all noisettes dislikes both cold and humidity.
– Alfred de Dalmas, an exquisitely fragrant moss rose. Enough said. I quote: “many moss roses are susceptible to aphids, slugs, snails, fungus and rot”.
– Blush noisettes, sophisticated and fragrant, doesn’t survive winter above zone seven.
– I personally started Tuscany, an old velvet Gallica, twice, but it might just be me… I will try until I succeed.
To keep your spirits up around this high maintenance environment plant some fail proof old roses like Roseraie de l’Hay (any rugosa, really) , Leda (an unbelievable painted Damask, alas, not fragrant) or Mutabilis if you live in a zone warmer than 6.
The rose in the picture is neither an old rose nor a high maintenance one. It is a beautiful Canadian hybrid called “Morden Blush”, which has all the qualities and none of the shortcomings.