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.


  1. Great sounding rose for my zone 5 garden...I'll be looking for it! Thanks

  2. Hi Gin, You can buy it currently from Rogue Valley Roses in Oregon. There is a link at the bottom of the post to their website.

  3. Thank you for posting about 'Bon Chance', sounds great. And thankfully also available in Europe!