La France. First. Fragrant. Fabulous.

Someone had to be first and in the case of hybrid teas, it was La France. When you hear the terms Old Garden Roses and Modern Roses do you ever wonder how to know which is which? Old Garden Roses are roses bred before 1867 …. when the first Hybrid Tea was named and that first Hybrid Tea — La France. This pretty, fragrant rose was found in France by the Rosarian, Andre’ Guillot. Parents of this rose are said to be Hybrid Perpetual “Madame Victor Verdier” and tea rose “Madame Bravy” —giving us a new classification of roses—Hybrid Teas! (Note: Her parentage is sometimes debated!😉)

While most old garden roses are one time bloomers, this new hybrid gave us blooms throughout the growing season. Hybrid Teas are said to be the most popular class of roses, much of that popularity comes from their being commonly used as “florist” roses with their long stems and high centers.

La France is a large shrub that would NOT be considered disease resistant–black spot and other fungal disease find her very attractive! She grows best in warmer climates. As a hybrid tea she has been surpassed in beauty, form and is no longer welcome in many gardens, however, few can surpass her in fragrance! As the first, she has historical significance, making her a sentimental favorite with a warm place in my heart. Yes, she blazed the trail that led us to the amazing repeat bloomers we have now.

LA FRANCE AND THE BILTMORE

The most beautiful bed of La France roses I have ever seen is in the Biltmore garden and what a perfect place for her. She is in the company of many other historical giants in the rose world like Blush Noisette. You cannot walk by La France without stopping to take in the damask fragrance and delicate features of this rose. The pictures show that this first hybrid tea does not have the growth habit of the more modern hybrid teas but a growth habit more like that of her historical parents with delicate stems that bow in the breeze — just adding to her charm.

La France is the beauty on the right.
La France is the beauty on the right.

LA FRANCE AND FRIENDS

My time at the Biltmore is filled with beautiful roses of course, but also rose friend reunions. Friends like Jim Wilson. Jim is a wealth of rose knowledge and in particular La France. In fact, he says the rose world is sometimes confused on which rose is La France (that parentage debate I mentioned!). At the end of this post is a video interview I did with Jim last year where he talks about this debate.

Fast forward to this year when Jim presented me with my very own La France! He grew a lovely plant for me to take home! This rose is over-wintering in my potting shed and has already given me several blooms with that amazing damask fragrance it is known for.

La France blooming in the Potting Shed.
La France blooming in the Potting Shed.

Fingers crossed that she can be happy all winter long in less than perfect conditions—dry, dim light. 😳 I am excited to see what she can do next year in a large pot in my garden. She’s a “diva” for sure and will require extra care but I’m up for it.

Jim’s thoughts on La France…

Bloom Thyme Friday: The Ritual Begins

It is that time when the weather is UP and DOWN. We have been close to frost on more than one occasion already. It comes quickly!

THE RITUAL: Bring them in!

For as long as I can remember, I have overwintered plants and cuttings of favorite plants in the potting shed. While the potting shed is my happy place, it is a tiny place and believe me, I sometimes feel like I am working a jigsaw puzzle to fit everyone in and have room for me!

This week I took the first inhabitants into the potting shed. A pot of this, a snip of that and the overcrowding has begun.

Hudson’s single African Violet leaf is growing! Exciting!
Mint in my grandmother’s pitcher–a prized possession.
One of the new kids on the block. Too small to be thrown out into an Indiana winter!
This simple verse always reminds me that gardening was God’s idea first.
The neighborhood.

The geraniums and pot of mint, a bay tree, some succulents and a couple of roses are still outside looking in — wondering if she is going to forget about them or give their space to some of the new kids on the block like those cute little Perle d’Or roses. Hummmm I still believe there will be room for all of them. 😳

Don’t forget about us!

I am rushing to get some of the plants in this week, due to the fact that we are leaving tomorrow to lead a mission trip to the Navajo Nation in Arizona.

Please remember our team in your thoughts and prayers as we go to serve and show love to those who have so little by the world’s standards. We have not been to this area before but those preparing us have told us to think 3rd world conditions.

We intend to bloom where we are planted this week and hope you do too.

Happy Bloom Thyme Friday

Hey speaking of blooms…. this carpet rose and  Señorita Mi Amor Cleome will not stop. Blooming machines! I would highly recommend growing them in your garden next year!

Bloom Thyme Friday: Hello Beautiful

While I was at the Biltmore Rose Trials my neighbor called and said there is a big box on my front porch — it might be roses. YIKES! That week the temps in our area were in the mid 90s. She took them home for me and took great care of them while I was away. Big shout out to my special friend Z! A trip to the Biltmore winery unearthed the perfect gift to reward her for her quick response! 💪🏻 👊🏻

I returned home to a beautiful box of strong, healthy Jackson and Perkins roses to test in my garden. Savannah,  Belinda’s Dream and Jasmine! Gorgeous all.

SO MUCH PINKNESS! Be still my heart!

Savannah: A lovely, fragrant Hybrid Tea was a big winner at the 2015 Biltmore International Rose Trials … Best Hybrid Tea, Most Fragrant, and Most Outstanding Rose of the Trial (Best in Show). Read more here.

From Jackson and Perkins website: Savannah™ Sunbelt ® boasts silky petals that go from powder pink to deep salmon. Their large flowerheads rest against a handsome backdrop of glossy dark green foliage that holds its tidy and shapely form quite well. Punishing heat and high humidity do nothing to diminish the extravagant beauty. Not even diseases like Black Spot and Powdery Mildew dare challenge this sweetest of roses.

Last year I added one Savannah. It is doing very well and I look forward to having more to test for this area.

Savannah

Belinda’s Dream: An Earth Kind shrub rose that I have grown, but never had out in the garden. I have grown this rose in a container on the deck.

From Jackson and Perkins website: The romantic, arching  habit of grandmother’s cottage garden rose, plus modern vigor. You owe it to your gardening forebearers to take a look at this charming rose. Bred by a mathematics professor(Dr. Robert Basye) who spent his life trying to knock out blackspot in the roses he bred (with a good bit of success, we might add!), ‘Belinda’s Dream’ is a lavish, over-the-top fragrant beauty of soft pink with an old-fashioned habit, petal-packed hybrid tea bloom form, and disease-resistant foliage that stands up to the worst summer heat and humidity.

Time will tell! I am expecting GREAT things. More information here on Earth Kind roses…. here.

Belinda’s Dream

Jasmina: I have wanted this climbing rose ever since I saw Bill Kozemchak’s pictures on Facebook!

From the Jackson and Perkins website: Jasmine is part of the Arborose® series, which means it is not your average climbing rose! The flowers are bigger and come in greater numbers. The canes are softer, making them easier to train onto any structure. The plant has fantastic own-root vigor and resistance to the biggest rose killers: cold, powdery mildew, and blackspot

Thanks to its flexible canes and fantastic performance, Jasmina™ is a dream to grow near practically any garden structure. Plant it this season and enjoy its soft beauty and rich, fruity fragrance for years to come! Zones 5 to 9.

 

Jasmina in Bill Kozemchak’s Garden. Check out his Facebook page here.

Hey, Annie,  here’s Savannah getting her first drink of Moo Poo Tea just like all the other roses in my garden.

Savannah’s Christening…

And, to my friends at Jackson and Perkins … a big Thank You!

 

Fall is here. Spring is 166 days away.

Regardless of the season, let’s bloom wherever we are planted!

 

Happy Bloom Thyme Friday!