Sunday, July 18, 2010

A little History. Part 1 - Fine Gardening

Our Blog has moved to Fine Gardening Magazine's website. Here is the link to the latest post.

A little History. Part 1 - Fine Gardening

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010

Hot Weather Rose Tips - Fine Gardening

Our blog has moved to Fine Gardening Magazine's website. Click below for the link to take you there and see our latest post.

Hot Weather Rose Tips - Fine Gardening

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer Clean Up Of Your Roses - Fine Gardening

Summer Clean Up Of Your Roses - Fine Gardening

Our blog has moved to the website of Fine Gardening Magazine.  We are thrilled to hosting their rose blog.  We'll continue to post links to the blogs here so you'll know when we publish new content.


Monday, May 31, 2010

The "Knockout" Blow to High Maintenance Roses

The first part of this century has seen a rapid decline in sales of Hybrid Tea Roses. Not necessarily because they are bad roses (a lot of newer Hybrid Teas make terrific Garden Roses) but because the decades before had built the perception they were fussy, disease prone, bore little fragrance and were of little use in the garden.

Sales of shrub roses began to rise culminating in the release of the rose Knockout.

Bred by William Radler the Knockout series of roses begin to bring us once again back to Garden Roses. They make terrific low care shrubs and their skyrocketing sales reemphasize that the desire for disease resistant, easy to grow Garden Roses is back.

Today’s breeders are meeting that demand and roses from Europe and beyond are also becoming more readily available in the U.S.

Roses are coming full circle by going back to what they were for the vast majority of their history. A great flowering shrub for the garden.  A Garden Rose.

Photo of Bill Radler courtesy of Conard Pyle

Friday, May 21, 2010

Shhhhh. Be, very, very Quietness. I'm hunting woses for west and welaxation.

I first started hearing about Quietness when I moved to South Carolina some seven years ago.  So, I did a little research and found it's a Griffith Buck rose, but wasn't introduced until 2003; twelve years after Mr. Buck's passing.

How did this happen?

The good folks at Roses Unlimited, Pat Henry and Bill Patterson, began collecting Mr. Buck's roses long ago.  Included in them were some unreleased varieties.  Pat and Bill planted them in their garden, watched them and slowly released a few.  Quietness is one of those.

By the way Pat, Bill and their rose nursery are one of the unsung rose treasures in the United States.

I first saw this rose in the garden of Carol Meyer, a dear friend who lives in Spartanburg, SC.  Carol told me it was one of the easiest keepers in her garden.  The bush was fully foliated, upright and just covered in clouds of large, soft pink blooms.  And to my delight they were fragrant!

I love a rose that rewards the olfactory in all of us!

I took some cuttings to propagate at my old nursery and never looked back.  For us this rose defined the phrase "we can't keep it in stock".  Every time we released new ones on the website they were gone in an eye blink.  As other nurseries also added this rose to their collection its fame began to spread.

A real word of mouth rose.

If you are looking for a stunning, soft pink, non stop blooming, smell-o-rama experience, than Quietness is the rose for you.

Here are the specifics
  • Buck, light pink, Zone 5 - Introduced in 2003 by Roses Unlimited - Growth Size & Characteristics are: midsize shrub (3'-5'), fragrant, repeat flowering, cutting
Here is where you can buy it

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A "Weekstime" of Rose Breeding Brilliance

Rose Breeders have to see a ten years into the future. Why? The answer is because from breeding to testing to propagating, that is how long it takes to bring a new rose to your garden.

They need to anticipate where the rose market is going long before it actually does go there. For example, who knew ten or fifteen years ago the demand in the United States was going to dramatically shift from long stem Hybrid Teas to disease resistant easy to grow shrub roses.

Tom Carruth knew.

Tom was talking about disease resistant shrub roses long before anyone realized they wanted one, and he was breeding them alongside the long stemmed Hybrid Teas that were the rage back then.

I am fortunate enough to have known Tom for close to fifteen years.  Even back then when I talked about growing roses organically or with little care, Tom never gave me one the strange looks I would get from other rose fanciers.

While I don’t even pretend to know much about rose breeding, I’ve always felt Tom thinks outside the box when it came to his work.  Roses like Scentimental, Hot Cocoa and Ebb Time show he also has a flair for stunning and unique blooms.

So next time you are in the Garden Center and you see a rose with the Week’s name on it, be aware it most likely began from the mind, hands and skill of Tom some ten years ago.  I'm sure even now Tom is peering into the future to see what kind of roses you will want ten years down the road.

A little about Tom

Tom Carruth has been breeding roses for a long time and since 1988 for Weeks Roses in California. Bringing us roses such as Cinco de Mayo, Strike it Rich, Julia Child, Wild Blue Yonder, About Face, Memorial Day, Betty Boop, Fourth of July, Home Run and to name just a few.

I asked Tom to name me his five favorite roses he bred. Here they are (with his notes) and he did say to mention this list may change tomorrow!  

(Photos from the Weeks' Website)

FOURTH OF JULY - very novel, one of few climbers with good performance over the broad spectrum of US climates.

JULIA CHILD - looks the sames everywhere it goes, my only seedling to be accepted and introduced into every country it's gone into

HOME RUN - takes the better qualities of its father, Knock Out, and steps up the game with a better red color, tidier habit and adds powdery mildew resistance to the list

EBB TIDE - a color breakthrough in the purples.

CINCO DE MAYO - takes floriferousness to the next level, almost looking azalea-like in the landscape

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spring Flowering Rose Lovers Unite!

Boy, I hate the term "once blooming" roses.  It sounds as if you are not home that day you miss the whole show.

"Hi Honey, I'm home.  Anything exciting happen today?"

"Sally got an A on her test, the plumber came and oh yes, Mme Plantier bloomed.  Sorry you missed it but there's always next year"

"Spring Flowering" is what what they really are.  Often for weeks.  Glorious, in your face, fragrant weeks.

No repeat flowering rose I know can rival a Cardinal de Richelieu in full war cry.  Or any other Spring Flowering Rose for that matter.

To all those who say they don't grow "once blooming" roses because they want color all year, I say then assassinate your azaleas, rip up your rhododendrons and fell the forsythia!  After all, they only bloom "once".  Why take up all the space the other months of the season with something only green.

Or here's an idea.  Plant other plants that bloom during other parts of the season in with the spring flowering roses.  It's why Graham Stuart Thomas titled his book The Art of Gardening With Roses.

There is an old saying that goes "absence makes the heart grow fonder".  That's why the spring flowering roses have a special place in mine.

How about you?

Top white rose is Mme. Plantier
Mauve rose is Cardinal de Richelieu

Available From Among Others
Rogue Valley Roses
Roses Unlimited
Vintage Gardens
Northland Rosarium

Monday, April 19, 2010

Meanwhile in Europe...

 (Photo names at bottom)

Many European rose breeding firms continued to keep their Garden Rose and Exhibition/Cut Flower lines very separate. They bred roses for the cut flower industry and a totally separate line of Garden Roses. The German firm of Kordes and Söhne is a prime example as is the French firm of Delbard.  And some like Peter Beales Roses in the UK simply bred only Garden Roses. But these Garden Roses were mostly confined to Europe where the line between them and Cut Flower/Exhibition Varieties was kept fairly distinct. In addition Europe and most of the rest of the world has always had an aversion to chemicals for the home market.

In the latter part of the 20th century as the U.S. became more environmentally aware, many chemicals were thankfully being taken off the market. While some fine Hybrid Teas were able to thrive without them, many that up to now could only be grown with cheap, but now disappearing chemicals, began to flounder. Since those roses had been marketed and sold at the expense of the true Garden Roses it meant many a home gardener was suddenly faced with a plant that was difficult to grow, wouldn’t flourish and in many instances died off within a few years.  Sound familiar!

Roses began to get the reputation as being fussy, weak and needing a great deal of care. Suddenly June Cleaver in her pearls was our grandmothers slaving over her roses and we didn’t want to have to work that hard!

That gardeners were beginning to look for easier to grow roses is evidenced in the resurgent interest in the Old Garden Roses during this time. Old Garden Roses had a reputation for being disease resistant and easy to grow. Something they had earned because over time because the poor ones had disappeared and the stronger ones survived. I would suspect in 100 years the Hybrid Tea class will have gone through the same process and someone reading this will wonder what the fuss is all about!

In the 1990s the David Austin Roses took flight in this country. They not only had an old-fashioned look and could be planted amongst other plants but they also had fragrance. They were marketed as Garden Roses and once again the line between Garden Roses and Cut Flower/Exhibition Roses began to strongly emerge once again in the U.S.

Photos From the Top
Alfred Sisly - Delbard Rose
Cardinal de Richelieu - Old Garden Rose - Gallica
Sir John Mills - Beales Rose
Graham Thomas - David Austin Rose

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Godspeed Professor Fineschi

Last Sunday a lover of roses was called by God to come to Heaven’s Rose Garden. The Garden he left behind is a piece of Heaven on Earth perched on a hillside in Tuscany.

“Come into my garden. I would like my roses to see you” is one of the plaques that hang along an old stone wall in the midst of the garden. We were the lucky ones, for to visit and spend time in that garden is an experience like nothing else. It is overwhelming to the mind to stand in the middle of that sun drenched spot and see what the Professor accomplished. It is even more overwhelming to think the Professor saw it in his Mind’s Eye some 50 plus years ago – long before the first rose was planted.

It is a collection like no other, organized and planted like no other. The old roses are grouped by class but the modern roses are grouped by hybridizer. It is like being in a museum of roses with each wing dedicated to a individual rose breeder.

In this garden you see the genius of their work as it developed and changed through their hybridizing career. It is nothing short of a living history of the people who bred roses.

And the work of a true genius and lover of roses.

The Professor is at home now being welcomed by many of those “Maker’s Of Heavenly Roses”. They and all of us who love roses owe the Professor so much.

I have been lucky enough to visit the garden twice for a period of three days each time. And on one of those days to be invited to sit in the garden and have lunch and a bottle of wine made by his daughter with the Professor and Friends.

Truly Heaven on Earth.

The Roseto

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Real "Winshoten" Of A Rose

Who doesn't love red roses?  More than that who doesn't love fragrant red roses?  Even more than that who doesn't love red, fragrant, easy to grow red roses?!

I can't count the number of times I've stuck my nose into a luscious red rose only to be rewarded by...


That's right no scent.  Nada, zippo - an olfactory black hole.

Yet, thanks to Cliff Orent of EuroDesert Roses, American Rose Growers can now purchase just such a rose.

Named for the town of Winschoten in The Netherlands (the Country my Parents come from!) this Shrub Rose was bred by the French Nursery firm of Meilland in 1999.  It won five awards in European Trials including 3 fragrance awards and the silver medal in the trials at Baden-Baden Germany.  I've been to some of those trials and the Europeans take their fragrance real seriously.

If you've been yearning for the big ol stinky red rose that you can also cut and bring in the house look no further.  In the United States you can purchase Winschoten only from EuroDesert Roses.  Cliff also carries lots of other great roses and in many cases he is the only place in the United States you can buy them from.

Happy sniffing!

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Rose Gets Fussy

Rose growing while still popular in the early part of the 20th century, was no longer set against the backdrop of the leisure time of the Victorian Era. Two wars, a great depression and the movement to the cities meant attention was elsewhere.

However, after World War II the United States in particular entered an era of unprecedented prosperity. The Marshall plan in Europe meant they too would join in although it would take longer. In addition chemicals were suddenly cheap, popular and naively considered safe to use. The vision of Leave it To Beaver’s Mother June Cleaver tending roses in her skirt, pearls and quaffed hair had arrived.

Hybrid Teas were the rage and as mentioned the flower form of the Peace rose set the standard to be built upon. Cheap chemicals meant disease resistance was not an issue. Many families had only one working parent, the Soccer Mom had yet to arrive on the scene and homes in the suburbs meant space for gardening.

The demand was for high centered Hybrid Teas on long stems and the rose industry complied. Fragrance began to lose importance as did disease resistance and vigor. Why worry about it when you could hop down to your local hardware store and buy DDT! Form was everything. What did happen is that many roses really meant for the cut flower/exhibition market were now being sold as Garden Roses which for the most part they were not.

But meanwhile in Europe.....
(stay tuned!)

Monday, March 29, 2010

The World's Oldest Rose Breeder

Now here’s something I’ve never figured out. We buy all kinds of things based on their being created by a “favorite”. A favorite author, musician, artist, designer: so why not buy roses that way? Modern roses are bred by very talented artists and like many of our other “favorites” their work possesses a common thread.

If you like one book by an author it stands to reason you’ll probably like the others. And so it is with roses.

The late Jack Harkness wrote a book on rose breeders called "The Makers of Heavenly Roses"

I’ve always loved that title and in the spirit of that I thought I’d introduce you to some rose breeders. If you recognize some of their work as growing in your garden, I urge you try their other roses. Help Me Find Roses is a great place to explore roses organized by breeder.

So who is the World’s Oldest Rose Breeder? Was it someone who worked in the mountains of China thousands of years ago, or maybe in the Mid-East? Or perhaps a great naturalist dubbed Pliny the Pollinator?

Nope. The World’s Oldest Rose Breeder is still with us today. Don’t believe me? Get up from your computer and look out your window. There you will meet the World’s Oldest Rose Breeder. Nature herself. Long before Men and Women turned their hand towards breeding plants, Nature was hard at work using simple tools like birds, bees and butterflies.

So before we start talking about human rose breeders we will take a moment to thank Nature for giving us so many Heavenly Roses since time began.

After all, it’s not nice to diss Mother Nature.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Take a Chance - A Bon Chance That is!

Is it possible for a rose to be fragrant, winter hardy and disease resistant?  The answer in short is yes, it is.  Thanks to the late Malcom "Mike" Lowe we are blessed to have such a rose available to us.

Formerly known as "Mike's Old Fashioned Pink", Bon Chance is a one tough shrub rose.  I first met it in Mike's garden in Nashua, New Hampshire where Mike bred and tested roses he bred.  The soft pink blooms were perching on arching canes and begging for a nose to be put in them.  Always one to oblige, I did so.  And was greeted with sweet fragrance that lingered like a fine Bordeaux in a Riedel wine glass.

I asked Mike about it and he told me it was one of the latest ones he'd bred and there was a bed of them on the grounds of the Nashua City Hall.  There, like so many hardy New Hampshirites, they thrived and bloomed from spring to fall all season and simply shrugged off winter during the cold months only to emerge unscathed the following spring.

Always unsure how roses bred up north would do in the south I propagated Bon Chance and planted it here in the upstate of South Carolina.  It thrived.  In our no-spray garden the same blooms, healthy foliage and tidy arching habit were revealed.  And a test of the nose again plumbed the depths of a Riedel glass.  Plant one of these roses in your garden and take a moment to drink of the same glass.

Here are the specifics.  Shrub, light pink, Zone 5 - Introduced in 1999 by Lowe, Mike - Growth Size & Characteristics are: midsize shrub (3'-5'), fragrant, repeat flowering.

Here is where you can buy it - Rogue Valley Roses.

Friday, March 12, 2010

How low should you go?

There seems to be a competition among some rose folks as to how short they prune their roses.

"I pruned mine to 12 inches this year" is usually quickly raised by, "Oh yeah, I cut mine down to 6" - "That's nothing, I pruned mine to the below the soil level!".  I would be remiss in not mentioning these talks also usually involve the wearing of some form of rose print clothing.

Hey, if someone wants to cut their roses down to nothing and then wait all year for them to get large only to do it again then that's their business.

Me?  I like a full, shrubby, plant right from the get go so I don't prune that way.  In fact I leave my shrub roses tall - like three to four feet.  I also leave lots of canes because that also gives me a full shrubby plant.  And more importantly lots and lots of flowers.  So many you can smell them from across the yard.

If a picture is worth a thousand words than I figure a video might really do the trick.  Here are two videos on pruning.  The first introduces you to my thoughts on pruning - with a shout out to Jeri Jennings who suggested the two basic growth habits and methods.  The second is about pruning a shrub rose to give you that full look as taught to me by David Stone at Mottisfont Abbey.

Introduction to rose pruning.

Pruning a Rose That Grows From the Base

See, I told you it wasn't that hard!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What of Garden Roses?

The arrival of the Hybrid Tea upon the scene coupled with the start of rose shows might lead some to believe Garden Roses were being neglected during this time.  Not so.  

Many Hybrid Teas, particularly the early ones, made excellent Garden Roses. In addition three of the finest Garden Rose classes we have were introduced during this early era of Hybrid Teas.

The Hybrid Musks were developed by the Rev Joseph Pemberton in England during the early twentieth century.  Roses such as Penelope (white rose right), Daybreak (yellow rose left), Francesca, Prosperity and more, still to this day make outstanding Garden Roses.  Even now visionary rose breeders such as Paul Barden continue the work with roses such as the new Hybrid Musk Jeri Jennings, bred by Mr. Barden.

The Polyanthas came into being in the late 1880s and continued to flourish for some time. They are thankfully seeing a revival today as gardeners begin to finally "discover" this tough, rewarding class of roses.  Jim Delahanty in Southern California has not only put together one of the largest collections of Polyanthas ever assembled, his constant championing of the class is largely responsible for their resurgence.  (Marie Pavie, blush rose left)

Floribunda roses were born and began to fully realize their potential under the visionary eye of the rose breeder Gene Boerner also known as “Papa Floribunda”. Many great Garden Roses from these classes are still with us today.  (Gruss An Aachen, blush rose right)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Rose To Know. Kathleen Harrop.

Back in the early 1990s Wayside Gardens put a climbing Bourbon Rose by the name of Zepherine Drouhin on the cover of its catalogue.  From that moment on Zepherine has consistently been one of the more popular Old Garden Climbing Roses around.  The fact that its also thornless certainly also helped it achieve that status.

Oh, I've grown it over the years - and never really fallen in love with it.  The blooms are a little too hot pink for my taste and for me it blackspots consistently.  Even if I leave it alone to let it try to build its own immunities, come summer I can still count on its foliage looking like the face of a coal miner just finishing a 12 hour shift.

Kathleen Harrop is a sport of Zepherine Drouhin.  What is a sport?  Simple.  Every now and then a rose throws off a cane bearing a different colored bloom or a different growth habit.  If one is observant, you take propagation material from the cane and see if the sport remains consistent as you continue to propagate it.  If you propagate a few generations and it does, then indeed you have a stable sport.

I planted my first Kathleen Harrop at our farm some 15 years ago.  I've never regretted it.  The blooms are a softer pink, it is also thornless but best of all it rarely gets disease for me.  I grow her as a large free standing shrub and year in and year out she covers herself with undulations of shell pink, fragrant blooms.  A real standout in our garden.  Why not give her a home in your garden.
Here is some more information;

Bourbon, light pink, Zone 6 - Introduced in 1919 by Dickson, Colin - Growth Size & Characteristics are: large shrub (5'+), short climber (under 10'), fragrant, repeat flowering, thornless.

Pruning technique.  Depending on if you want to grow her as a shrub or a climber we have two videos on our You Tube Channel for you to look at.
  1. As a Shrub.  Pruning Roses That Grow From The Base 
  2. As a Climber.  Pruning and Controlling A Climbing Rose 

You can purchase Kathleen Harrop from these fine Independent Rose Nurseries.

Rogue Valley Roses - United States
Peter Beales Roses - United Kingdom
Vintage Gardens - United States
Northland Rosarium - United States
Pickering Nurseries - Canada

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

You Were Probably Taught To Prune Like This...

You purchased your first rose, planted it, tended it; worried if it would live and then came pruning time.  You consulted the books, maybe went to a demonstration or maybe asked a neighbor.  More than likely you were taught to prune this way

That's okay, nothing wrong with it.

If your objective is long stem cut flowers. 

As I wrote about in a previous post this method was developed for that and it works beautifully.  My point here is that over the next few weeks while I introduce you to other methods of pruning roses, don't think this method is incorrect and I'll be teaching you the "correct" method.

I'll be teaching you some other methods to give you the ability to get different things from your rose bushes.  And what you want from your rose bushes depends on only one person - You.  After all it's your garden isn't it?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Enter The Hybrid Tea Rose

The introduction of the first Hybrid Tea in the late 1800s was by most markers an improvement upon the Hybrid Perpetuals, a class becoming known for being difficult and finicky to grow – sound familiar?

The same Mr. Henry Bennett is considered by many to be the Father of the Hybrid Tea and achieved his success by deliberately crossing Hybrid Perpetuals with Tea Roses. From the Hybrid Perpetuals they took the long stems and the large blooms appearing solely on the stem. From the Teas they took their continual flowering and long petals which gradually became the high centered Hybrid Tea bloom of today.

Many rose historians consider there to be three distinct eras of Hybrid Teas and they are separated by the two World Wars of the 20th Century. Those bred before the war were still closely related to their Tea cousins in that the shrubs were rounded and their stems still did not quite achieve the length of today’s Hybrid Teas. Between the wars saw great progress in both form, stem length and disease resistance. At the time the latter was still a consideration as chemical controls were not yet widely used. At the end of World War II one of the most popular Hybrid Teas of all time was released the rose “Peace”.  (Picture is Chicago Peace a sport of the original Peace Rose.)

Peace was arguably one of the first roses to truly look like today’s Hybrid Tea roses. Long stems, high pointed center and single flowers per stem set the benchmark for Hybrid Teas to come.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Enigma That is Darlow

We've talked about what a garden rose is, we've begun talking about caring for them and now it's time for the roots to hit the hole and recommend some garden roses.

The first is easy.  Darlow's Enigma.  I first became aware of this rose when I lived and gardened in Los Angeles, CA.  Quite a few people I knew grew it, raved about how easy and how versatile it is.  When I moved to South Carolina I was finally able to plant one at the old nursery property and boy are they right.

Rarely getting disease for me and constantly in flower Darlow, is a great Garden Rose for those who aren't sure what they are.  I group it with what I call "Starter Roses".  Starter Roses are ones I recommend for the gardener who has given up on roses or simply stopped growing them, because I know these roses will make them successful.

Darlow mounds itself into a shrub about 5' x 5' and can get larger if you let it.  I know many who grow it as a climber along a fence.  I can easily see Darlow growing as a hedge stretching out in a drift of white blossoms perched atop its lovely green foliage.  This is a very versatile rose so let your imagination run with it.

Here are some details and where to buy it.

Darlow's Enigma. Hybrid Musk, white, Zone 5 - Introduced in 1991, Hybridizer Unknown - Growth Size & Characteristics are: large shrub (5'+), moderate climber (10'-15'), fragrant, repeat flowering, single petalled, shade tolerant.

Purchase From
Rogue Valley Roses - United States
Rozenkwekerij de Bierkreek - The Netherlands
Roses Unlimited - United States
Burlington Rose Nursery - United States

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Dreaded "P" Word!

And that word is;


A word that usually sends any rose gardener running for the smelling salts, oxygen and their favorite copy of "The Over Bloated, Incredibly Complicated Book of Rose Care".  In that substantial tome they will find strict rules of rose pruning etiquette that must be followed at all costs or else their roses will die a severe and painful death and life will cease to exist as we know it.  And you thought global warming was a threat!

Hogwash to all of that I say!  As we talked about in the introduction of this blog, a Garden Rose is nothing more than a shrub with flowers on it.  That's it, over and out, thank you very much.  So treat them as such and that applies to pruning.

Understand this.  The current method of severe pruning has one purpose in mind.  To produce long stem cut flowers for the florist industry, for exhibiting or bringing into your house.  And it works great - for that purpose.  Many dedicated and talented Rose Folks have raised this way of growing roses to an art form all its own.

But is it the best way to prune if you want a nice full bush, producing lots of flowers and blends in with all your other plants in the garden?  In my opinion, no.

So in between the rose history parts of this blog we are now going to start talking about how to take care of Garden Roses.  And since a picture is worth a thousand words, here is a video from our Roses Are Plants Too series over on You Tube that gives you a short introduction to pruning.  More details to follow in future posts so stay tuned for a little pruning lesson over the next month.

By the way.  The Bloated Book of Rose Care makes great compost.  After all it's full of......

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The two camps begin to emerge

As roses continued to be crossed, there emerged a class of roses known as Hybrid Perpetuals (like John Hopper to the right). They are a result of taking the first generation spring flowering offspring of the old European roses crossed with China roses, and then crossing them with the Portland Roses (also known as Damask Perpetuals).

The intent was to get the repeat blooming and hardy re-blooming qualities of the Damask Perpetuals to combine with the ranges of color and the constant flowering qualities found in the Chinas. What emerged were typically roses with huge cabbagey blossoms perched atop what were then long stems.

As with anything new these became the rage and within a short time there were thousands of Hybrid Perpetuals in commerce. They were also developed simultaneously with the rise of the popularity of rose shows. In 1876 the Rev Dean Hole began the Royal National Rose Society in England and promoted rose shows as a way of drawing in new members and educating the public about roses.

As the popularity of roses shows increased the breeding of Hybrid Perpetuals became refined to achieve roses whose value lay more in their ability to produce great cut flowers for Exhibition than to be a great garden plant. Long stem, length of time the cut flower was held on the stem and form were valued over ease of growth.  (Sound familiar!)

The Victorian era was a time of great wealth, large greenhouses on country estates and huge staffs of gardeners both in the U.S. and abroad. This meant time and money were of no object in the pursuit of “perfection”. Roses were now also becoming grown solely for the beauty of the flower.  (Mons. Boncenne is the red rose to the left)

This meant some rose growers grew roses for their garden value and some for their cut flower/exhibition value. Both hard-working dedicated groups but the result was two different types of roses began to emerge based on what they used for. Cut flower/exhibition Roses on the one hand and Garden Roses on the other.