So almost everyone with anyone special is thinking roses.
It got me to thinking about roses, too, but not those long-stemmed beauties I saw for $60 a bunch in the grocery store yesterday.
I am thinking about the type of rose pictured at the top of this post, the Apothecary Rose (Rosa gallica), also known as the Red Rose of Lancaster. As you can see, it is actually a bright pink, but in roses, pink is red and.... well, if you are really interested, a friend of mine is obsessed (a mild term) with roses and can do the rant much better than I can.
|Souvenir de la Malmaison, once grown by the French Empress Josephine.|
I did not choose the apothecary rose because of its historical association with war, but because of its historical association with medicine. It was the official medicinal rose of the old apothecaries. This also is a fragrant rose.
The above "white" or pale pink rose, the Souvenir de la Malmaison is new to my flower garden, given to me by the above-mentioned friend with the rose obsession. Because it was new last year, it received some watering priority during the summer drought and rewarded me with numerous late blooms. It seems quite hardy. Before the middle of the 19th century, this rose (one of the "Bourbon" roses) had some name with the word "Beauty" in it. When a Russian duke gathered a start from Josephine's Malmaison grounds and took it to be planted in the gardens of St. Petersburg, it became a Souvenir. Roses are so loved that they have quite an interesting history.
The photo at right is a beautiful climbing rose we installed in the front of our house last year, called Don Juan. Minimal fragrance, but lovely, lovely color. It kept blooming late into the season.
This adorable little red rose (below) is called Red Mini Mo. It is a miniature rose that stays truly miniature, barely exceeding 8 inches in height at maturity.
|Red Mini Mo|
Unfortunately, the only roses I have that have a notable fragrance are Souvenir de la Malmaison and the Apothecary Rose. My collection is not yet complete, however, if my rose obsessed friend has anything to say about it. So I imagine that at some future date I will be raving about some fragrant rose newly added to my "estate." If you are going shopping for roses this year, do so while they are in bloom so you can pick the fragrance(s) that most appeal to you,