Rose Buzz: Sally and Me

I planted my first Sally Holmes last year. This is a rose that I have wanted for a very long time. When you see pictures of Sally Holmes like this one on the Jackson and Perkins’ Website, it is hard not to fall in love—am I right?


Heirloom Roses will temp you with this lovely pic…


My rose came to me via Nashville, Tennessee, when I spoke at the Tenarky District Meeting last February. They had this rose for sale. On that particular day we were encased in an ice storm. The lovely Sally beckoned me. Note … this was in February! She was bare root and it was far from planting time in Indiana. I brought Sally home in a large black plastic bag, her roots were wrapped in wet newspaper for the ride. Once we were home, she and her wet newspaper and black plastic bag were placed in my “extra” refrigerator in the garage. I periodically checked on Sally to see that her roots were still moist.

In early April she was released from her shroud of black and planted. She grew, but has not yet flourished. With most climbers, it takes 3 years for them to be their best self. I am not discouraged. I can be patient. (sometimes😉) I want more.

Sally Holmes was hybridized in 1976 by Robert A. Holmes, an amateur hybridizer in the United Kingdom, and it was introduced by Fryer’s Roses. Was she named for his wife, daughter, friend … I wish I knew the rest of the story. Regardless, he gave us a beautiful gift and we can write our own stories about her!

The flowers are large and come in clusters. The color is a rich white with a touch of pink or apricot—depending on location and time of year. Each cluster is a stunning bokay. The petals look delicate but this shrub is far from delicate … thrives in most temperatures and is resistant to many pests and diseases. ANOTHER BONUS: This rose has very few thorns so can be used in high traffic areas!


Last week at the Tenarky District meeting (this time in Bowling Green) they tempted me with more Sally Holmes roses. I am weak. I purchased 3. One will be a gift and two will find homes in my garden.

Could you have resisted? 

Maybe/maybe not ..  She’s a crowd pleaser. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Rose Buzz: Sally and Me

  1. Oh, Teresa! Just when I think my rose list is complete for the season, here are these photos of beautiful Sally Holmes. I have long admired her, but have limited places for climbers. I need another garden!

  2. Lovely story Teresa, and this puts a name to a face of one the roses I have painted. I enjoyed painting a particular cluster of open-faced blooms with their beautiful stamens and I never knew what the name of the rose was, I now think they might have been Sally Holmes!

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