Bourbons were the roses of Victorian England and probably originated from a natural cross between Old Blush (China Rose) and Quatre Saisons (Damask), two roses which were used as hedge material on the island of Bourbon (now Reunion). They produce beautiful, large, full old rose, crepe-like blooms on vigorous growing bushes. These blooms have a wonderful, heady fragrance and many Bourbons repeat bloom.
One of my favorite Bourbons is Queen of Bourbons (sometimes called Bourbon Queen) although it does not repeat bloom for me in my Zone 5b garden–when she blooms, she BLOOMS!
Last year I sent a picture of the Queen of Bourbons to The American Rose Society and she was chosen to be in the 2013 calendar. So, you could say my Queen of Bourbons is a calendar girl.
I think she took her calendar girl status to heart and upped her game because she went from beautiful last year to magnificent this year. I may have to send another picture or two to ARS.
Peter and the Old Beauties
I often say that I have never met a rose I didn’t want. And, though that may be true, it is the old roses like the Bourbons that legendary rosarian, Peter Beales’, referred to as the Old Beauties—they are my very favorites.
Old Beauties are survivors.
Old Beauties are beautiful.
Old Beauties are enchanting.
Old Beauties are incredibly fragrant.
Old Beauties have a rich history.
As I write today in my Potting Shed, I have on my desk a bucket of Old Beauties. Yes, I think Peter had them aptly named.
Purchasing Bourbons and other Old Beauties….
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