A Rose A Day: The Portlands

Portland roses make up a small, repeat blooming class of old garden roses. There is some question about their parentage but they are most commonly thought to be a chance crossing of Damasks and China Roses.

I have two Portlands in my garden…

Rose de Rescht

Rose de Rescht is a lovely deep pink Portland Rose with a rich damask fragrance that dates back to before 1900. She is hardy in zones 4b through 9b.

This is the second year for Rose de Rescht in my garden, so we are just getting to know each other. To date she hasn’t grown very large, but we did have a nice flush of bloom. And, if she is like my other Portland, Comte de Chambord, I can expect a few more blooms through out the season.

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Comte de Chambord

Comte de Chambord is a Portland that dates back to 1860. I’ve had this rose in my garden several years and it is one of my favorites! Maybe it is the amazing Damask fragrance that is not to be missed. Maybe it’s the beautiful pink color with just a tinge of violet. Or, maybe it is the large, full-petalled old rose flowers that win me over … but win me it does — even though I have to keep my eye on this one for Black Spot.

These pictures give you a good glimpse of what I’m talking about…

Comte de Chambord
Large, flat, quartered old rose loveliness!

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Yes, I’m willing to forgive a little Black Spot for this one. 🙂

Especially when they look so yummy in a mixed rose bokay!

Old Beauties

A Rose A Day: Celsiana

Here is the enchanting and very fragrant Celsiana blooming in my garden. Many of you were aghast when you saw this picture on Twitter very early in the season given that I garden in Zone 5b. The truth is, Celsiana was adopted this year from Guinivere Wiley of Roses of Yesterday and Today. She’s a Cali girl–thus the early start!

Celsiana_2I have drooled over this rose in catalogs for years and decided this was the year to adopt one… actually I adopted two. 🙂

Guinivere sent me the most beautiful plants and I protected them through some very cold days and nights.

Here’s what the Roses of Yesterday and Today online catalog says of Celsiana

Damask
Prior to 1750
4-5 feet
One annual flowering
Zones 4-9

The subject of one of Redoute’s most beautiful rose portraits, and a rose to inspire any artist. Leigh Barr Stamler, St. Louis, MO, says, “Celsiana is incredibly beautiful –
arching canes loaded with soft, lovely roses in the most perfect shade of pink! I sit on the grass in front of her for long minutes every spring, drinking in her beauty.”

A graceful plant with smooth, grey-green foliage and clusters of 4 inch warm pink flowers . . . which open wide with a special crisp twirl of crinkled petals showing tall yellow stamens.  True damask fragrance . . . if you plan to make potpourri, this rose should be included in your order.

I would highly recommend you adopt at least one Celsiana for your garden!

How can you resist….

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A Rose A Day: Madame Hardy

Now you are getting to see one of the roses that truly gets to me. I absolutely love this rose. Madame Hardy is a Damask rose dating back to 1832. She has beautiful white classic formed flowers with a tiny green button eye.

All Damask roses are known for their rich perfume and she is no exception … lovely old rose fragrance with a hint of lemon. This rose grows to about 5′ in my garden.

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History Lesson: Madame Hardy is named for the wife of the head gardener in Empress Josephine’s (first wife of Napoleon) Malmaison garden. Empress Josephine was a zealous rose collector. (She had to keep busy while the hubs was out fighting the wars.) Her collection of roses was the world’s largest at that time.

IMG_2050IMG_4703Ahhhhh…. isn’t she a beauty…