Bloom Thyme Friday: Penelope’s Story

Between winter, these cold snaps and “shelter in place”, I have had too much time on my hands. Keep looking at online catalogs etc. I have added – let’s just say SEVERAL roses to the family.

Just when I told myself I was officially DONE and truly had all the roses I need at this time, this happened… I was chatting with Mike Shoup of Antique Rose Emporium about his upcoming Rose Chat Podcast. (Release date May 24. Don’t miss it — Mike is amazing and you will be inspired. When he speaks about roses it is though he is reciting poetry!

As we talked I noted one of his favorite roses is Penelope and he told me all the great things about it (and there are many). I was doing okay and still good with my decision for NO MORE ROSES THIS YEAR… until I saw their Facebook post of a picture of an entire shrub line of Penelope roses in full bloom at the Antique Rose Emporium. 😳

I tried to get my good friend Linda Kimmel to talk me out of it – but alas she was no help. At the mere mention of Penelope, she launched into a story of how her Penelope was so beautiful and such a good rebloomer than it won an award in a rose show and beat out some very prestigious contenders and on and on she went. No. Help. At. All. 🙄

I caved. 🤦‍♀️ Wouldn’t you? Do you grow this rose? Do you ever “cave” when it comes to plants? If so, please leave me a comment. Safety in numbers. 👊🏻

Penelope now lives in Brownsburg in a prime spot where I will see her constantly. I keep apologizing to her for all the cold. It must be a shock coming from Texas to Indiana where it is even colder than usual for this time of year. 🥶


Image of Penelope courtesy of Antique Rose Emporium Website.

Penelope is a fragrant Hybrid Musk Shrub Rose bred by a historical favorite, Rev. Joseph Hardwich Pemberton in 1924.

David Austin’s website says it is deliciously fragrant and ideal for hips. Link.

High Country Roses website says it is known for its healthy vigor and shade tolerance!  Link

Note: HELP ME FIND says resist the urge to prune this rose too heavily – it doesn’t like it. Hopefully, winters won’t do that either. More info here.



Early this week we had record low temperatures. For the first time I can remember we had a FREEZE (not frost) WARNING in May (26 degrees). I turned my garden into a POT AND TENT CITY. Was so very thankful for all the pots I have kept on hand. Almost got rid of them last fall!!!

My garden is way too large to cover everything. So I went with the veggies, peonies and as many roses as I could.

  • The sergeant crabapple suffered greatly.
  • The hostas and lilies suffered greatly.
  • Tips of roses not covered suffered too.

Time will tell how much other damage we had. Each day I am seeing more signs. I’ll keep you posted on how the recovery goes. A big surprise was how well the clematis did. I have a ton of clematis and many of them are covered in buds.

Yes, time will tell.

So, while the temps prevented outside fun, we went in to enjoy hot soup and homemade bread…


Handsome Fred (the frog) is back out and conversing with the goldfish so all is well for spring!


Bloomerang lilacs …


Pansies and violas are still bright spots. They like cool weather.

First lettuce picking! Always a great day.


And, then there’s this guy — the dream maker. Mr. G is busy making furniture for my new and improved potting area! More pics to come!! It is soooo fun. I can’t wait to show you. He is the very best. #swoon

The weather app is giving out better news for the days to come – if our tender plants can survive the downpours of rain. Happy Days!


On the Rose Chat podcast, we are featuring stories from those in our garden community on what it is like WHEN GARDENERS SHELTER IN PLACE. Listen in to these short, insightful stories told by the gardeners themselves… LINK

Friends, wishing you safety, health, and fun in the garden. 

10 thoughts on “Bloom Thyme Friday: Penelope’s Story

  1. Well, why not more roses?! My husband is the gardener here. I just get to laze about and enjoy the fruits of his labor! He is indeed very weak in a nursery, but, again I say, why not?!

    This post is absolutely delightful…beginning to end.

    Glad you’ve got yourself a Mr. G!

  2. Yours is the only gardening blog I read w/o fail. It is superb. I live in North Louisiana (z 8A), so different climate, but same ideas about growing roses and their friends. Here, I grow ‘Penelope’ and other musk roses as small climbers on trellis and on the posts of of a pergola. ‘Buff Beauty’ with clematis ‘Rooguchi’ on a pillar or arch is a summer-long delight. Both bloom w/o stop all summer here. Enjoy ‘Penelope’ and thank you for your fine, fine posts.

  3. I always look forward to Fridays and reading your gardening blog. Your beautiful photos make it even better. It is HOT here in VA today with 85 degrees. I received a new rose for Mother’s Day this year, and its name is Oh My! I wanted to let you know that Turkey Hill has the BEST COLOMBIAN COFFEE ICE CREAM if your grocery carries Turkey Hill. My friend and I traded off a Penelope rose and a Bridal Pink rose several years ago. I love my Bridal Pink rose! We have bluebirds in our backyard this spring (first time ever), and my roses are blooming their little hearts out for me. Did you and Mr. G see the Super Moon 2020 recently? It is also known as the ‘Flower Moon’ because of all the May flowers in bloom, an ode to spring. It was awesome!

  4. Hi Teresa, I planted a Penelope rose in September 2018, it made it through my 5a winter and did very little last summer. We had very little snow this last winter and I thought it was dead (as someone told me that Penelope wouldn’t survive in my zone). Low and behold, don’t ever give up the ship! Penelope is maybe 2″ tall, small but mighty! Looking forward to seeing what she can do this year. Love your blog, I find inspiration on here everytime I read it. And you garden in 5b! Thank you!

  5. My Gourmet Popcorn rose looks a lot like the Penelope rose. And Gourmet Popcorn has been in full bloom with lots of clusters of the small white roses with yellow centers. It is done rather well this spring due to our mild winter. I noticed the resemblance on Sunday as I was watering it.

Leave a Reply