The Last Rose of Summer

Fall is definitely in the air but as long as the weather stays mild, the roses will keep on blooming. I cleaned up the garden this weekend, pulling out all the bedraggled annuals and planted the rest of my spring bulbs. I saw some roses are still blooming but they are smaller than the spring blooms and the color is more intense. I saw this beautiful rose blooming next to my back door. It’s named Dr. Jane Goodall, to honor the legendary ethologist and conservationist, Dr. Jane Goodall.

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Here is a lovely poem written by Thomas Moore (1779-1852) that carries my sentiment for the season.

‘Tis the last rose of summer

Left blooming alone;

All her lovely companions

Are faded and gone;

No flower of her kindred

No rosebud, is nigh,

To reflect back her blushes

To give sigh for sigh.

 

I’ll not leave thee, thou lone one,

To pine on the stem;

Since the lovely are sleeping

Go sleep thou with them.

Thus kindly I scatter

Thy leaves o’er the bed,

Where thy mates of the garden

Lie scentless and dead.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda Morgan

 

Constance Spry – The Rose and The Mother of Floral Design

Constance Spry

Constance Spry, introduced in 1961, is one of the first English Roses hybridized by David Austin and its success contributed to the founding of the English Roses. David Austin Roses is a flower arranger’s dream. They can be used to make wonderful floral arrangements either on their own or with other plant materials. With its voluptuous blossoms and dainty habit, you can duplicate the beauty and charm of an Old Dutch floral painting. 

Constance Spry Climber by DARPhoto Credit – David Austin Roses

 

Constance Spry can grow to a height of 6-12 ft. with a width of 6-8 ft. or 10 to 18 ft. as a climber. Bloom size is 3” with a petal count of 80+. It has a lovely pink color and very fragrant. The only drawback is it only flowers once in the spring but it blooms profusely.

 

Constance Spry by Flower Magazine
Photo Credit – Flower Magazine

Who is Constance Spry?

Constance Spry is the mother of modern floral design. She would have loved to use David Austin Roses for her floral arrangements. After World War 1, she changed the formal, rigid composition of floral design with unconventional pastoral compositions; flowers arranged asymmetrically with assorted shapes of foliage in various types of containers. She used all kinds of wildflowers, grasses, pods or practically anything the Victorian ladies shunned. Her style was full of drama and a refreshing reprieve from the more stiff floral design of her contemporaries.

Constance Spry PinterestPhoto Credit – Pinterest

 

Connie, as she was known to her friends, was born in Derby, England, in 1886 and raised in Ireland. She found refuge from her domineering mother in the gardens of her childhood, where she began to take note of what would become her favorites: old garden roses, lilac, mock orange, laurel, buddleia, and evening primrose, as well as grasses, weeds, and other typically overlooked plants and materials.

 

Though flowers and gardening would be her lifelong passions, under her father’s direction she began her early professional life as an educator and social reformer. Traveling by horse-drawn wagon through the Irish countryside, she became a proponent of healthy living, educating housewives on the benefits of fresh air and nutritious food as part of a “War on Consumption” campaign. After a disappointing marriage to a coal mine manager, she took her only son back to England to begin life anew. It was there she met and fell in love with Shav Spry, a colonial civil servant who would be her lifelong companion.

It wasn’t until the age of 41, that Spry’s amateur talents as a floral designer were noticed by an influential lunch companion, leading her to Norman Wilkinson, a theater designer whose encouragement would launch her meteoric design career. With a commission to do flowers for cinemas and a perfume shop, Spry took her unorthodox visions of gathered materials and artful references out of the homes of friends and into the public eye, where she was praised for displays that in an incredibly modern twist included leaves, berries, seed pods, wild clematis, and golden hops mixed with exotic orchids.

Suddenly this middle-aged woman found herself thrust into the social scene, befriending legendary decorator and fellow entrepreneur Syrie Maugham and an exuberant crowd of theatrical personalities and social luminaries. She became the florist of choice to London high society organizing the flowers for royal weddings. She designed the flowers for the Queen’s wedding and Coronation. Her books on flower arranging made her a household name.

Constance Spry Cookery Book by antique-atlas.com
Photo Credit – Antiques-Atlas.com

 

Besides being an influential floral artist, Constance Spry is the founder of the Cordon Bleu cooking school and an author of a bestselling cookbook bearing her name.

 

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda

When is the rain going to stop?

 

It’s been raining on and off everyday for too long. The ground is so soaked already. My roses are drowning.

This is the view in front of my townhouse everyday.

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This is what you can see through the window in back.

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Remember the nursery rhyme:

Rain. Rain. Go Away.

Come again another day.

Little children want to play.

 

I would like St. Swithun to send the rain to California. They need it there. We have enough rain here already.

Have you heard about St. Swithun? Who is he? What’s he got to do with rain?

St. Swithun is regarded as one of the saints to whom one should pray in the event of drought.

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St. Swithun – Photo Credit: Christianity.com

I remember years ago while I was in New York and it rained on July 15 and it kept on raining everyday till late August. We were having an Ice Cream Social at the end of August and I mentioned it to one of our guests who lived across the street. She must be well-read because she recited the poem right away. Not many people know about St. Swithun. She knew the legend about St. Swithun and the 40 days of rain. It says if it rains on St. Swithun’s day which is July 15, it will rain for 40 days.

We might be heading that way. I cannot remember the weather on July 15. Maybe it was raining. It has been raining everyday for quite sometime now. Where I live in Johns Island, it is like England’s weather. The sun will come up and then dark clouds move in all day long. The rain is so localized. It could be raining in front of my house but not in the back. It could be pouring on the lake but dry on the street. Weird.

Here is the English weather lore proverb about St. Swithun:

St Swithun’s day if thou dost rain

For forty days it will remain

St Swithun’s day if thou be fair

For forty days ’twill rain nae mare

 

A Buckinghamshire variation has

If on St Swithun’s day it really pours

You’re better off to stay indoors.

 

St. Swithun was an Anglo-Saxon Bishop of Winchester from his consecration in Oct. 853 until his death on July 2, 862 and subsequently patron saint of Winchester Cathedral. On his deathbed St. Swithun begged that he should be buried outside the north wall of his cathedral where passers-by should pass over his grave and raindrops from the eaves drop upon it. However, it was decided later to move his body to a new indoor shrine, and one theory traces the origin of the legend to a heavy shower by which, on the day of the move, the saint marked his displeasure towards those who were removing his remains.

According to Durham chroniclers, the legend was derived from the tremendous downpour of rain that occurred on St. Swithun’s Day, July 15, 1315.

 St. Swithun Roses

This is a rose hybridized by David Austin named in honor of St. Swithun.

Photo credit – David Austin Roses

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda

 

A Rose (Rosa Banksiae) and a Tip for a Happy and Healthy Lifestyle

Rosa Banksiae

Class: Rose Species

Syns:   R. banksiana, Banksian rose, Banks’ Rose, Lady Banks’

Cultivated since 1796

 

Rosa banksiae is one of the best shrubs for a wall and in a few years will reach the top of most houses. It produces an abundance of pretty small roses with the sweetest fragrance you can imagine. The flowers are borne on last year’s wood and so it is well-advised not to prune in the spring. Only dead or useless branches have to be trimmed. The date of introduction is not known but the double white form was first described in the Botanical Magazine for 1818 as Lady Banks’ Rose and one of the sweetest of roses. It has also been known as a native of China and had been introduced in 1807 by William Kerr. The double yellow was introduced in 1824.

 

Definitely not for the small property, this vigorous species rose offers a spectacular spring show in warm-climate gardens that can accommodate its rampant growth habit. There are four different forms of R. banksiae, varying by flower color and flower form.

·        R. banksiae normalis is considered to be the “wild” form, with single white flowers.

·        R. banksiae banksiae (also known as ‘Banksiae Alba’, R. banksiae alba, R.banksiae alba-plena, White Banksia, or White Lady Banks’ Rose) offers exceptionally fragrant, double white flowers.

·        R. banksiae lutea (R. banksiae lutea-plena, Yellow Lady Banks’ Rose) is the most well-known form of Rosa banksiae in cultivation with small, fully double, bright yellow flowers that come in clusters. They are only slightly fragrant.

·        R. Banksiae lutescens has single light yellow blooms.

 

All four have small, oval buds that open to clustered, 1-inch wide, rosette-form flowers, usually blooming in early or midspring to late spring. Slender, thornless canes carry semi-evergreen to evergreen, shiny, dark green leaves with narrow leaflets. They are rarely bothered by diseases.

 

All four forms of this specie rose have a vigorous, rambling habit and can grow up to 30 ft, so they’re usually used as 20 to 30-foot climbers. They need a sturdy support, such as a well-built pergola or arbor; they also like to scramble into trees. It is a great rose for zone 8 to 10.

 

I saw Rosa banksiae in Charleston, SC on my first visit there in 1989. We went on a House and Garden Tour and at one of the gardens we visited, ‘Yellow Lady Banks’ was growing almost to the roof of the house against the wall. We wandered along some tiny street and I saw ‘Yellow Lady Banks’ rose by the gate and I took the above photo. Fast forward to 2011 – when I joined the Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society, I discovered the owner of that rose is one of our members.

 

Tip of the Day – Learn to be cheerful even if you don’t feel like it.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

 

Rosalinda

 

Cupid, Red Rose and Valentine

 

This month as we celebrate Valentine’s Day, it is interesting to note that the rose is not only a symbol of love but a symbol of discretion. Legend has it that Cupid gave a red rose to Harpocrates, the god of silence, to bribe him to secrecy over the dalliance of Venus and so the red rose become the symbol of discretion, love, passion and romance. Roses were henceforth painted on the ceilings of banquet halls to remind all gathered there that whatever was said there, should not be repeated which became the expression sub rosa (under the rose).

Subrosa 3

 

Another legend says that while Aphrodite was running to the dying Adonis, she was scratched by a rose bush and her blood falling on the roses turn it red. Other account says that Adonis turned his blood into red roses.

 

Whatever legend strikes your fancy, there is nothing in our garden at this time of the year but the florist and even the supermarket stores are selling roses grown in South America so there is no excuse not to give red roses for Valentine’s Day.

 

And how did Valentine’s Day get started?

 

A certain Bishop Valentine started it to replace the Roman festival of Lupercalia. There were several Bishops of Valentine but nobody is really certain as to who is the real Bishop Valentine. But whoever he is, the tradition continues and we celebrate this day exchanging gifts and greetings between our loved ones, friends, family but mostly lovers.

 

During the Victorian era, valentine cards were mostly decorated with old-fashioned roses. Even today, valentines are still associated with roses. For Valentine’s Day, red roses are arbitrarily the most popular flower.

Valentine Card

 

There are several red roses in the market nowadays but I can recommend some tried and true varieties that grow very well in the garden. Plant some of them and give your Valentine red roses again in June.

 

Here are my favorites:

Firefighter – dark red rose

Ingrid Bergman – dark red rose

Lasting Love – dark red rose

Let Freedom Ring – medium red rose

Mister Lincoln – dark red rose

Olympiad – medium red rose

Veterans’ Honor – dark red rose

 

 

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A bouquet of red roses from my garden last growing season.

 

For the romantic at heart, here is a lovely poem by Robert Burns (1759-1796).

O my Luve is like a red, red rose
   That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody
   That’s sweetly played in tune.
 
So fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
   So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
   Till a’ the seas gang dry.
 
Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
   And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will love thee still, my dear,
   While the sands o’ life shall run.
 
And fare thee weel, my only luve!
   And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,
   Though it were ten thousand mile.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!!!

Single Rose

Until next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.

Rosalinda

 

Rose Day of Remembrance – September 11

FirefighterTreeRose
“Firefighter” – Photo Credit – Edmunds Roses

“To remember, lest we forget.”

There isn’t an American who is not affected by that tragedy at the New York Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. Everyone who died in that tragedy left someone behind who loved them. Rose is a flower of love. To honor and pay tribute to all the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Sue Casey of Portland, Oregon formed an organization called Remember Me” Rose Gardens to create three rose gardens on or near the sites of the terrorist attacks in New York, at the Pentagon and at a field in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County in Pennsylvania.

The intent of “Remember Me” Rose Garden” is to affirm love and life year after year with the blooming of each rose bush. It is a national opportunity for us to remember the fallen and celebrate life, liberty and freedom through roses.

There will be 11 roses to be selected for the “Remember Me” Rose Garden”. So far the following roses have been chosen:

  1. “Firefighter” – In September, 2003, “Remember Me” Rose Garden announced “Firefighter” the first of the eleven roses to be named. “Firefighter” is a red hybrid tea rose to honor the 343 firefighters who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
  2. “Soaring Spirits” – In September, 2004 “Remember Me” Rose Garden announced “Soaring Spirits”, the second rose to be named. “Soaring Spirits” is a new cream pink and yellow striped climbing rose to honor the more than 2,000 people who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 as they worked in the World Trade Center Towers.
  3. “We Salute You” In September, 2005 “Remember Me” Rose Garden announced “We Salute You”, the third to be named. “We Salute You” is an orange/pink hybrid tea to honor the 125 service members, employees, and contract workers who died in the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
  4. “Forty Heroes” On April 27, 2006 “Remember Me” Rose Garden announced in New York City, “Forty Heroes”, a beautiful golden yellow floribunda named for the crew and passengers of United Flight 93. Courageously they fought back forcing hijackers to crash the plane in rural Pennsylvania instead of the intended target in Washington, D.C., changing the course of history.
  5. “The Finest” is a beautiful white hybrid tea rose that honors the 23 NYPD Officers lost in the line of duty on September 11, 2001. These 23 NYPD Officers, in their dedication to protect the lives of fellow citizens, gave the ultimate sacrifice-their lives. “The Finest” honors the NYPD.
  6. “Patriot Dream” honors the 64 people who were the crew and passengers on American Airlines Flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. A family member of the Flight 77 crew suggested the name for this beautiful salmon colored rose. “Patriot Dream” is a shrub rose with a light fruity fragrance. “Patriot Dream” will be planted at the three Washington, D.C. schools who had students and teachers aboard Flight 77.
  7. “Survivor’s Rose” The name “Survivor” was suggested by a group of Survivors’ who worked in the World Trade Center. Lead by JoAnn Pedersen, the group said there could be no other name for the dark pink rose. The survivors who made it out of the World Trade Center helped rescue others, aiding in their escape down the stairwells before the Towers collapsed. At the Pentagon, survivors struggled to reach safety after Flight 77 crashed into the building. Ordinary people became heroes to one another.
  8. “Wings of Courage”, a beautiful butter yellow rose with a halo of white petals. It is mildly scented and can have up to thirty blooms at one time. “Wings of Courage” is named in honor of the crew and passengers of American Airlines Flight 11 which struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001.

 

Until Next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.

Rosalinda R Morgan

Author & Garden Writer

 

How many red roses do you have in your garden?

Today is National Red Rose Day. A red rose conjures of romantic love, passion, respect and courage. In celebration of the National Red Rose Day, I’m listing the red roses in my garden. I have 21 red roses, 17 varieties.

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1.       1 Mister Lincoln – dark red – Hybrid Tea

2.      2 Veterans’ Honor – dark red – Hybrid Tea

3.      1 Firefighter – dark red – Hybrid Tea

4.      1 Ingrid Bergman – dark red – Hybrid Tea

5.      1 Drop Dead Red – dark red – Floribunda

6.      1 Let Freedom Ring – medium red – Hybrid Tea

7.      2 Dublin Bay – medium red – Climber

8.     1 Miracle on the Hudson – medium red -Shrub

9.      1 Oso Easy Cherry Pie – medium red – Shrub

10.  1 Othello – medium red – Shrub

11.   1 Grande Amore – medium red – Hybrid Tea

12.  1 Cramoisi Superieur – medium red – China

13.  1 Louis Philippe – red blend – China

14.  1 Fourth of July – red blend – Climber

15.  2 Scentimental – red blend – Floribunda

16.  2 Rock & Roll – red blend – Grandiflora

17.   1 Dick Clark – red blend – Grandiflora

 

Here is a poem by Robert Burns (1759-1796) titled

A RED. RED ROSE

 O, my Luve’s like a red, red rose,

That’s newly sprung in June.

O, my Luve’s like a melodie

That’ sweetly play’d in tune.

 

As fair as thou, my bonnie lass,

So deep in love am I;

And I will love thee still, my dear,

Till a’ the seas gang dry.

 

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,

And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:

I will love thee still, my dear,

Thile the sands o’ life shall run:

 

And fare thee well, my only luve!

And fare thee weel a while!

And I will come again, my luve,

Tho’ it ware ten thousand mile.

 

 

Happy National Red Rose Day!

Until Next time. Stop and Smell the Roses

Rosalinda R Morgan

 

Rose Glossary

 

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‘Our Lady of Guadalupe’

 

 

Here is a Rose Glossary to help you understand some rose terms and enjoy your rose gardening hobby to the fullest.

 

AARS – All American Rose Selections

AGRS – American Garden Rose Selections

ADR rose – a winner in the German ADR rose trial (Allgemeine Deutsche Rosenneuheitenprüfung). No chemical pesticides have been allowed since 1997.

ARC – American Rose Center

ARS – American Rose Society

Anther – the part of the flower which produces pollen.  It is the upper section of the stem.

Axil – The angle between the upper surface of the leaf stalk and the stem that carries it.

Balling – the clinging together of petals in wet weather so that the bloom fails to open and turns to brown color.

Bare-root – a rose dug up at the nursery and sold with no soil around the roots.

Basal shoot – a shoot arising from the neck or crown of the plant.

Blind shoot – a mature stem which fails to produce a flower.

Bloom – stem having one-bloom-per-stem with no side buds.

Bract – a modified or reduced leaf that occurs beneath and next to a peduncle.

Bud eye – A dormant bud on the axil of a leaf.

Bud stage – Rose should be less than 50% open.  Sepals must be down.

Bud Union – the swollen part of the stem where the scion of a grafted rose meets the understock.

Calyx – the green protective cover of a rose flower, composed of the sepals.

Cane – one of the main stems of a rose plant.

Corolla – the petals of a rose flower considered as a single unit.

Cultivar – a named rose variety exhibiting distinct and consistent features, indicated by single quotation marks.

Deadheading – removing spent flowers.

Disbudding – removing buds from side or center of spray to improve overall appearance of specimen.

Disease Resistant Roses – Roses that have been bred to resist many diseases.  Disease resistant are just that resistant but not immune to disease.

Foliar feed – a fertilizer capable of being sprayed on and absorbed by the leaves.

Hard Pruning – Rose canes are severely cut back to less than 6”. Not all types of roses respond well to this treatment.

Hilling – A method used to protect roses from winter damage. Material, such as compost, is mounded 10-12 inches around the base of the bush after the ground is frozen.

Hip – the fruit of a rose, large and decorative in some varieties.

Inflorescence – the arrangement of flowers on the stem.

Lateral branch – a side branch which arises from a main stem.

Leaflet – the individual segment of a compound rose leaf.

Node – the point on a stem from which leaves and buds emerge.

Old rose – strictly speaking, a rose introduced before 1867, but more loosely used to describe any rose grown or introduced before 1900.

Once-blooming – a rose that flowers only once in early summer and does not repeat.

Open bloom – roses should be completely open and center stamen visible.

Own root – a rose propagated as a cutting rather than by grafting.

Peduncle – a stalk that supports a single flower or flower cluster.

Petal – the showy, usually colored part of a flower.

Petiole – the stalk by which a leaf attaches to a stem; also, leafstalk.

Pistil – the female reproductive organ of a flower, consisting of carpels, ovary, style, and stigma.

Pith – the spongy material at the center of the stem.

Pollen – the yellow dust produced by the anthers.  It is the male element which fertilizes the ovule.

Prickle – the technical term for a rose thorn.

Recurrent flowering – same as repeat flowering.

Remontant – roses that repeat flowers during the season, same as repeat flowering.

Rootstock – the root portion of a plant onto which the scion is grafted; also understock.

Rose Rustler – a person who propagates Old Garden roses from cemeteries and old homes sites.  Etiquette requires that permission be obtained if possible before cuttings are taken.

Scion – a shoot grafted onto a rootstock; the “top” of a grafted rose.

Sepal – one of the five individual, leaflike divisions of the calyx.

Sport – a spontaneous genetic mutation, often resulting in a plant that bears flowers of a different color or with more or fewer petals than the original plant.

Spray – stem that has two or more blooms with or without side buds.

Stamen – the male reproductive organ of a flower, consisting of a filament and anther.

Standard rose – a term used for tree rose.

Stigma – the part of the female organ of the flower which catches the pollen.

Stipule – a small, leaflike appendage that occurs at the base of the petiole.

Sucker – a stem, usually unwanted, that originates from a rootstock.

Sustainable Roses – are those roses that are winter hardy, possess above average insect & disease resistance, and require little or no pesticides in order to remain healthy.

Stage – an exhibition rose that is at its most perfect phase of possible beauty.

Stem-on-stem – Refers to a bloom on a stem that branches off another stem. This Y formation cannot be exhibited.

 

 

Until Next Time. Stop and Smell the Rose.

 

Rosalinda Morgan

 

www.rosalindarmorgan.com

The Green Rose for St. Patrick’s Day

The Green Rose

 

Is there a pot of gold for us lovers of roses?  For all the Irish in all of us, we can say we have a green rose, not St. Patrick rose which only has a tint of green, but a real green rose.  It is Viridiflora ‘Rosa Monstrosa’ otherwise known as The Green Rose.  The buds are small, oval, of soft bluish green color and quite beautiful.  The petals of the bloom reverted back to leaves (petals are modified leaves) and it does not have reproductive organs.  The “blooms” are usually formed in clusters throughout the year, and a spray of this rose is wonderful.   As you would expect from an Old Garden Rose, this one is fragrant too.  It has a spicy fragrance.  But unless you know what you’re looking for, it is hard to find the bud since the bush is totally green.  But is it really a rose?  The Green Rose is just that, a green rose.  It blooms continually through the season.  The small plant grows to 3’ tall and has few thorns.  It can be grown in a pot, and is rarely out of “blooms”.

 

It is an oddity and a conversation piece to say the least.  Just as when you present your friend with a perfect rose and they ask “Is that real?”, I bet you this same person will tell you this one is not a rose.  However, records say The Green Rose has been in cultivation as early as 1743 and is a sport from Rosa Indica (The China Rose of England and the Daily Rose of America).  So take pride, we have our own green to celebrate. 

 

“May the sun shine warm upon your face

And

May the rains fall softly upon your rose beds.”

 

Try it.  You might like it.  People either love or hate this rose   It is a wonderful rose to use as a filler material in arrangements or as a landscape rose. But you will have some visitors in your garden who will say “That is the ugliest flower I’ve ever seen.  Why do you give it space?” Because it is unique and fragrant. It is also a rose and it belongs to my rose collection.

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Peace Rose for United Nations’Day – Oct. 24

peace-1  

Parentage: (‘George Dickson’ x ‘Souvenir de Claudius Pernet’) x (‘Joanna Hill’ x ‘Chas. P. Kilham’) x ‘Margaret McGredy”.

Hybridized by the French hybridizer Francis Meilland in the late 1930s, and introduced by Conard-Pyle Co., West Grove, PA in 1945.

 

The rose that is called ‘Peace’ in the United States and Great Britain is called ‘Mme Antoine Meilland’ in France, ‘Gioia’ (Joy) in Italy and ‘Gloria Dei” (The Glory of God) in Germany. ‘Peace’ is one of the most famous roses of the century if not of all times. It is one of the few modern roses surrounded by legend and myth. It was bred by Francis Meilland under the code name 3-35-40 and named it Madame A. Meilland, after his mother. Francis Meilland hybridized another lemon yellow rose with ‘Peace’ as the parent and named her ‘Grand’mere Jenny’, after his paternal grandmother.

 

One story goes that it was hybridized in France in the last years before World War II, and escaped as unnamed cuttings in the last American diplomatic bag to leave Paris as World War II began. Recognized as a winner, the rose was propagated by Conard-Pyle Co., a leading American rose nursery and released in 1945. Because it returned in peacetime to a liberated France, ‘Peace’ was the name the rose was given. Later, the ‘Peace’ rose took the world by storm after being the centerpiece on all the tables at the organizational meeting of the United Nations at San Francisco in 1945.

 

Another version of the story of ‘Peace’ is that it began in France when the Nazi invasion forced young Francis Meilland to smuggle three one-pound packages of an experimental rose into other countries. Two of the packages were confiscated, but the third made it to Robert Pyle of Conard-Pyle Co. in the United States. Ten years later, after this rose of outstanding character and quality had been tested throughout the United States, the ARS planned a special name-giving ceremony. At the Pacific Rose Society Exhibition in Pasadena, CA, Robert Pyle declared “We are persuaded that this greatest new rose of our time should be named for the world’s greatest desire – Peace.” Francis Meilland’s rose was given its American and English name ‘Peace’ on April 29, 1945, the day Berlin fell to the allies. Nine years after introduction, an American authority estimated that some thirty million ‘Peace’ were growing in gardens around the world. Nowadays, nobody seems to have kept count. With all the royalties coming from the sale of ‘Peace’, the Meillands were able to build a rose hybridizing empire on the Cap d’Antibes on the Mediterranean shores.
 

Another melodramatic story, so often told, is that the budwood of ‘Peace’ was smuggled out of the south of France by a heroic U.S. embassy official in November 1942, just hours before the German invasion. It’s a very good story, but the truth of the matter according to Francis Meilland, is that the budwood was sent to Germany, Italy and the United States via ordinary postal channels in the summer of 1939. Southern France at that time was not yet invaded. It was perfect timing. By receiving a few cuttings in 1939, Conard-Pyle was able to introduce this rose at the San Francisco conference to found the United Nations, the day Berlin fell in 1945. If these cuttings were received in November 1942 they could not have started budding until 1943, and they could not have built up enough stock of this rose in time for nationwide distribution three years later.

 

The day the war with Japan ended, ‘Peace’ was given the All American Rose Selection Award. A month later, the day the peace treaty was signed with Japan, ‘Peace’ received the American Rose Society’s supreme Award, the Gold Medal. ‘Peace’ has won most of the world’s top rose awards: Gold Medal, Portland 1944; All-American Rose Selection 1946; Gold Medal Certificate, American Rose Society 1947; Golden Rose, The Hague 1965; Hall of Fame, World Federation of Rose Societies 1976; and Award of Garden Merit, Royal Horticultural Society 1993. Today, ‘Peace’ is still the world’s favorite rose.

 

‘Peace’ is a vigorous, bushy, upright plant, 4-5 ft. tall with stiff canes covered with large, leathery, beautiful, dark green, glossy foliage with good disease-resistant quality. New growth appears light red. ‘Peace’ resents heavy pruning.

 

Buds are high-centered and cupped at opening. Blooms are double (40 to 45 petals), 5 to 6 inches across, near perfect in form and more or less continuous flowering throughout the season. Colors vary from day to day but are essentially creamy yellow edged in rose pink. It has a slight fragrance. It is a good exhibition rose and an excellent cut flower. It’s rated 8.0 on the 2017 Handbook for Selecting Roses.

 

Flowers were huge in 1940s. Somehow ‘Peace’ planted in the 1940s and still thriving today at well-maintained public gardens, war memorials, or at the homes of veteran gardeners are larger compared to the blooms on the ‘Peace’ plant you will receive from any nursery today. Even if genetic science tells you otherwise, still the ‘Peace’ sold today is just a pale imitation of the old ‘Peace’. Vita Sackville-West hated it and thought it horribly coarse.

 

Hybrid teas bred since the 1950s often have at least a little ‘Peace’ blood in them. Of the many mutations of ‘Peace’ introduced over the years, the most popular is ‘Chicago Peace’. Other sports of ‘Peace’ are ‘Berlin’, ‘Garden Party’, ‘Gold Crown’, ‘Glowing Peace’, ‘Love and Peace’ (2002 AARS Selection), ‘Perfume Delight’, ‘Pink Rose’, ‘Princesse de Monaco’, ‘Royal Highness’, ‘Speaker Sun’, ‘Sterling Silver’, and ‘Tropicana’. A Climbing form was introduced in 1950. ‘Climbing Peace’ is a climbing sport of ‘Peace’. It has shiny, deep green, almost-leathery foliage, and it has a very pleasing color, peachy pink suffused with apricot yellow. Its buds are exquisitely pointed, and they open into large, long-lasting flowers. It is so robust and healthy that you never have to spray it with pesticides. Its one real flaw is a complete lack of fragrance.

 

‘Peace’ is showcased at the following Display Gardens: Sturgeon Memorial Rose Garden, Largo, FL; Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta, GA; Julia Davis Rose Garden, Boise, ID; George L. Luthy Memorial Rose Garden, Peoria, IL; Richmond Rose Garden, Richmond, IN; City of Portland Rose Circle, Portland, ME; The Jim Buck Ross Rose Garden, Jackson, MS; and Norfolk Botanical Garden, Norfolk, VA.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

 Rosalinda Morgan, The Rose Lady

 Author of “The Wentworth Legacy”

 www.rosalindarmorgan.com