Old Garden Roses

Some of the old roses are charming, and others are mildewy old wrecks. This list of the choicest rejects sentiment in favour of performance. The average height is around 4 ft. and the traditional class follows each description.

Blanche Moreau Creamy white. Calyx has brown mossy covering, flowers are double, confused, appear summer only. Upright grower, likely to mildew; flower stems arise from last year’s wood so do not prune it all off. Above average height.

Raised by Moreau-Robert (France) 1880. Moss.

Camaieux Purple pink with white marks, fades grey and white, the white marks prominent. Double flowers, in summer only, arising from previous year’s wood. Fragrant. Some mildew. Below average height. Raised by Vibert (France) 1830. Gallica.

Old Garden Roses

Capitaine John Ingram Dark crimson. Only slightly mossed calyx. Flowers small, very double, with button eye which is paler. Blooms summer only, from previous year’s wood. Some mildew likely. Average height. Raised by Laffay (France) 1855. Moss.

Cardinal de Richelieu Purple. Double flowers, small, colour nicely varied in flower. Blooms in summer only, from previous year’s wood. Average height. Raised by Laffay (France) 1840. Gallica Cede Brunner Light pink. Clusters of miniature rose buds; a young flower would go in a thimble, most appealing; flowers summer to autumn, either from old or current season’s wood. About half average height. Raised by Ducher (France) 1880. China.

Cede Brunner, Climbing Light pink. Vigorous climbing form of the foregoing, good to cover 20 ft. or so once it gets going. Some repeat bloom, abundant foliage. Raised by Hosp (USA) 1894. China.

Celestial Soft pale rose. The flowers are fairly large, of delicately lovely form, and set a perfect picture against grey-green leaves. Fragrant. Flowers in summer only, from previous year’s wood. Average height or more. Origin unknown, probably France 1780-1836. Alba.

Charles de Mills Crimson purple. The buds look as if their tops were cut off, but open to full, fragrant blooms, in red, purple and maroon shades. Flowers in summer only, from previous year’s wood. Mildew likely. Average height or more. Origin unknown, probably France 1820— 1840. Gallica.

Commandant Beaurepaire Pink with red and purple stripes, all splashed together and marbled white. Large double flowers in summer, and perhaps a few later, mainly from wood of previous years; fragrant. Keep an eye on it for rust. Fairly spreading habit. Average height. Raised by Moreau-Robert (France) 1874. Bourbon.

Common Moss Pink. Calyx bears green mossy covering. Smallish double pink flowers, fragrant, in summer only, from previous year’s wood. Upright habit, liable to mildew. Average height. Origin unknown, possibly Holland early 1700s. Moss.

Crested Moss Pink. Calyx has a wavy frill, hence its popular name Chapeau de Napoleon. Small double pink flowers, summer only, from previous year’s wood. Average height. Found growing in a convent in Fribourg, introduced in France 1827. Centifolia.

De Meaux Rose pink. Small flat flowers, ring upon ring of little petals. Fragrant. Flowers in summer only, from previous year’s wood. Blackspot likely. Below average height. Raised by Sweet (England) 1814. Centifolia.

Felicite et Perpetue Creamy white. An old climber, with pink buds, opening to white pompon flowers, small, but perfectly formed by many tiny petals. Foliage stays on late in winter. Flowers in summer, may be a few later; good wall plant, better still if it can be given its head. Vigorous climber. Raised by Jacques (France) 1827. Sempervirens.

Gallica Versicolor Red striped blush white. The semi-double flowers open wide and flat, thus showing the stripes clearly. The traditional name is Rosa mundi. May revert to its all-red original. Flowers summer only, on wood of previous years. Usually gets mildew after flowering. Compact growth. Below average height. Origin unknown. Gallica.

Lady Penzance Coppery pink, yellow centre. The flowers are small and fleeting; the sweet briar scent from the foliage is the object of growing this, and the small dark leaves provide it beautifully on a still summer evening. Some blackspot risk, however. Above average height. Raised by Lord Penzance (England) 1894. Sweet briar.

Laneii Purple. Large flowers, flat, with many petals and a remarkable rich colour. Flowers summer only, from wood of previous years. Although called a moss rose, there is next to no moss to be seen. Average height. Raised by Laffay (France) 1846. Moss. (Alleged to be William Lobb which came from the same raiser in 1855. But Laneii appears to be more compact in growth and richer in colour.)

La Reine Victoria Pink. The petals open out into the shape of a bowl. Fragrant. Upright grower, flowering in summer, with some in autumn, mainly from wood of previous years. May get blackspot. Average height or a little over. Raised by Schwartz (France) 1872. Bourbon.

Little White Pet White. Rare and difficult to get. Double flowers, just like those of Felicite et Perpetue, except that on this little bush they keep flowering into the autumn. Half average size. Raised by Henderson (USA) 1879. Sempervirens. Lord Penzance Fawn yellow; apart from which all that is said for Lady Penzance applies.

Maiden’s Blush Light blush. A handsome shrub, with grey-green leaves, and lovely unsophisticated flowers which are pale yet colourful, and very fragrant. Blooms in summer only, from wood of previous years. Above average height. The only difference between the great and small forms of this rose is a relatively minor one of growth. The origin of the former is unknown, and the latter is attributed to Kew Gardens (England) 1797. Alba. Mine Hardy White. Pale green leaves, untidy sort of plant, but the flowers are marvellous. They open wide and flat, with what appear to be hundreds of small petals in meticulous array, with old-fashioned quartering and green centre. Flowers in summer only, from wood of previous years. Fragrant. Above average height. Raised by Hardy (France) 1832. Damask.

Mine Pierre Oger Cream, heavily shaded rose pink. Has the same fascinating bowl shape as La Reine Victoria, and the colour is perhaps more interesting. The description of La Reine Victoria otherwise fits this. Raised by Oger (France) 1878. Bourbon.

Nuits de Young Dark purplish red. Small, flat flowers, double, but showing golden stamens. Not much mossy growth. Flowers in summer only, from wood of previous years. Average height. Raised by Laffay (France) 1845. Moss.

Old Blush Cheerful pink. This is the old Monthly Rose, with small, bright pink, semi-double flowers on an open bush. Flowers from new and old wood, summer to late autumn intermittently. Small bright leaves. Below average height. Origin uncertain, recorded in Europe in 18th century. China.

Petite de Hollande Pink. Small double flowers, of attractive pompon form. Flowers in summer only, from wood of previous years. Likely to get mildew. Average height. Origin unknown, said to be Holland before 1800. Centifolia.

Pompon de Paris, Climbing Pink. This is in effect a climbing miniature rose, with small bright pink flowers and tiny leaves. Very charming, but not easy to find. Flowers in summer, with a few odd blooms later. Grows 4 to 6 ft., ideal for a terrace wall. Origin unknown. China.

President de Size Purple red with tinted white areas mostly at the petal tips. Double, quartered flowers in summer only, from wood of the previous years. Apt to get mildew. Average height. Origin unknown; was grown in France in 1836. Galilea.

Souvenir de la Malmaison Blush. Has something of the delicacy of the alba roses about its large, pale, quartered flowers. Blooms in summer, with a few later, mainly from wood of previous years. Fragrant. Average height. Raised by Beluze (France) 1843. Bourbon.

Spong Pink Small pompon flowers in generous clusters on a compact plant. Attractive neat flower form, pleasant scent. Blooms from wood of previous years, and in summer only. Apt to get mildew. Below average height. Origin unknown, introduced 1805. Centifolia. Stanwell Perpetual White shaded blush. Double, fragrant flowers in early summer, and intermittently afterwards. Useful in floral arrangements to give an informal, old-fashioned effect. Growth rather lax, plants thorny, leaves small. Below average height usually. Raised by Lee (England) 1838. Scotch.

Tuscany Superb Dark crimson purple. Double flowers, opening flat, a telling deep colour. (The original Tuscany has fewer petals, and therefore shows more of its stamens). Flowers in summer only, from wood of previous years. Growth upright, rather a narrow plant, with large leaves. Average height. Origin unknown, before 1848. Gallica.

Zephirine Droubin Deep pink. Flowers of medium size, quartered, fragrant ; produced in summer and quite a few later, from both new and old wood. Usually grown as a climber, but suitable also as a shrub or hedge. Some mildew susceptibility. Well known as the thornless rose, which it is — almost. Above average height. Raised by Bizot (France) 1868. Bourbon.

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