“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.” Juliet
What’s in a name? The name of a rose adds to the intrigue and delight of rose gardening. Everyone giggles when they observe Dolly Pardon on the engraved rose label and they see the lush fullness of the rose itself. Appropriately named, Dolly is a full-bodied rose that also has a delightful fragrance. Touring the rose garden, people take particular delight in the names of the roses and the engraved labeling system I use. Visualize a garden stroll at dusk, a cool breeze, and your beverage in hand. I have seen people become teary-eyed as they ponder Heaven, Uncle Joe, and Saint Patrick. Roses evoke powerful emotions and bring memories to mind as much as any song. A question I am asked time and time again is “what’s your favorite rose?” I thought I could dedicate this post to three favorites and use a system called Listly to invite your participation. My favorite roses are always changing. That’s the beauty of rose gardening. I think I have told you that I used to plant wax begonias as annuals every year and gradually I have replaced them with miniature roses. My reasoning is this, everyday roses change. Also they are perennials so they come back every year saving you the cost of re-planting annuals. The reason I really enjoy miniature roses instead of the beauty of a more formal begonia is this, even within the same day you can witness a different stage of bloom. Every day its exciting to see the changes. I know many of you are old pros at rose growing but I will just review the classifications for any one new to roses who would like to know the difference between a hybrid tea, a grandiflora and a floribunda. But for today I shall show you 3 of my all time favorites in 3 classifications:
Uncle Joe, Hybrid Tea
Hybrid tea flowers are well-formed with large high-centered buds, supported by long, straight and upright stems. Due to their color and flower form hybrid teas are the world’s most popular type of rose. Crossbreeding two types of roses, initially hybridizing hybrid perpetual with tea roses, created them. It is the oldest group classified as a modern garden rose. One of my all time favorites is Uncle Joe. It was introduced in 1973. Still rate a 7.9 by the American Rose Society Handbook for Selecting Roses formerly known as Toro its just the most magnificent granddaddy of them all. With up to 80 petals it’s a dark red great big ole sexy rose. It can be so hefty you won’t believe that you are holding a single rose in your hand. I love this rose.
Cherry Parfait, Grandiflora
Grandiflora roses are a modern hybrid similar to the hybrid tea, they are high centered and tend to bloom in clusters. Generally the blooms are larger than floribundas. For many years Love was my favorite grandiflora but it really doesn’t often produce a great center and since I planted Cherry Parfait you really only have to look at the picture to see why I love this rose. It is glorious. It produces bloom cycle after bloom cycle. It’s cheery, prolific, and the foliage is a great color and the plant is disease resistant.
Julia Child, Floribunda
Floribundas are very popular for their long lasting clusters of beautiful flowers and nearly continuous bloom cycles. The Danish hybridizer Svend Poulsen bred the first floribunda in the 1920’s but the class did not catch on until 1952. If you want to put in a showy beautiful rose garden that is in bloom most of the time, put in a rose garden that is mostly floribunda roses. The first bed I planted in Illinois was a floribunda rose garden. My current favorite floribunda is Julia Child though it’s a tough choice since Rainbow Sorbet is magnificent. A symbol of friendship and loyalty I give you Julia Child in its first year in her Illinois home.