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: Beauty at Every Turn

We are on the road to see roses in a place where there is beauty at every turn.
The mountains. The Inn. The Food. The Friends. The Roses.

Isn’t Mr. G just the cutest thing!!!!

This weekend is the Biltmore International Rose Trials. The history of roses at the Biltmore dates back to the very beginning. You can read about their 120-year love affair with roses here.

Since 2011, hybridizers, both professional and amateur, send their best of the best to live for two years in one of the most beautiful rose gardens in the world. These roses are judged 4 times each year by a local permanent jury and judged annually by additional jurors from around the world. Roses in the Biltmore garden receive minimal care — little water and no chemicals. Good luck to all of the hard working hybridizers who are hoping for one or more of the 12 coveted awards.

There could not be a more perfect place for a rose trial.

This garden is not only steeped in history, but is so very vital to today’s rose world as the trial brings to the public’s attention so many amazing roses.

Just walking through the entrances is an experience and once inside … Stone Walls, Pergolas, May Poles, Arbors, the Conservatory—all work together to create an enchanting place where beautiful roses and their flower companions flourish. Add to that the opportunity for rose friends from all over the country to renew friendships, to share lovely food and wine and to don our hats, grab our clipboards and get to the serious business of finding the best of the best roses for your backyard.

I believe George and Edith Vanderbilt would be proud of the valuable work being done in this garden that meant so much to both of them. A huge thanks to Paul Zimmerman for his vision, commitment and leadership in bringing us the Biltmore International Rose Trials.

MORE TO COME…

Pictures, videos and mini interviews will be posted on Facebook and Instagram.  The Rose Chat Crew interviews will be available at RoseChatPodcast.com a bit later. We are also going to interview Jeff Plack about the Biltmore Wines! Did you know they were also famous for their wines?? Well they are. 🍷🥂🍷

Duty calls and I must go…  Wink. Wink. Seriously, somebody pinch me! 😉

The above picture is from two years ago. This year the hat will be different, but the happiness level is the same! 🙂

Happy Bloom Thyme Friday!

 

ROSE BUZZ: A Redneck Rosarian. A Campaign. An Endorsement.

There is definitely a buzz taking place in the rose world. 2018 will be the American Rose Society’s election year. If you are a full member, you have a vote!

Every three years we elect a Vice President who will serve three years and then advance to President for another three years.

THE AMERICAN ROSE SOCIETY…

The ARS was founded in 1892, making it the oldest single plant horticultural society in America. The ARS is an educational, nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to the cultivation and enjoyment of roses. ARS supports its members by providing educational programs, resourceful publications, and continuing research.

A CANDIDATE…
From his social media bio you will learn that my friend, Chris VanCleave, the Redneck Rosarian, is a “tireless advocate of the rose.” No one knows that better than I. Five years ago I received a call asking what I thought about doing a Twitter chat and then a podcast to be called—Rose Chat. The rest is history. Chris and I have worked together to encourage the rose community and rose growers in all phases of rose culture through Rose Chat. The podcast alone now has more than 750,000 downloads.

Add together his tireless advocacy and love of the rose, his progressive thinking, his leadership, his energy and you have an excellent candidate. But, it doesn’t stop there, one of the qualities that makes him an extraordinary candidate is his tireless advocacy and love of all people.

In his own words, “they’re no people like rose people” and I believe there is no one more qualified to assume leadership in the American Rose Society. The American Rose Society will be in very good hands. He enthusiastically has my vote and I hope he has yours!

Go to iGrowRose.org to learn what this excellent candidate has been up to! Grab a cup of coffee, he’s been busy!

 

 


MEMBERSHIP…
Since only members can vote in the election, this is an excellent time to join the American Rose Society.

  • Trial membership is ONLY $10 (Can’t vote but this is a great bargain with great benefits.)
  • Full membership is $49 (Gives you voter rights!)
  • E-Membership (This one is free and a great way to check us out!)
 You’ll find all the details here.

LOCAL…
While I love most plants and shrubs, roses are at the top of the list. History teaches us I am not alone. Roses have been at the top of many plant lists and have become the world’s most beloved flower. The rose is steeped in history. I have roses that date back to the 1500s in my garden and they have some stories to tell! The rose is also our National Floral Emblem. See, there is so much to love and learn!

Personally, I think everyone would be happier to have roses to pick from their own gardens or patio containers! We are always encouraged to “stop and smell the roses” for our health!

I serve as Vice President and am Chairman for website and social media for the Indianapolis Rose Society and you have my personal invitation to come join us.

In this organization I have met wonderful people of all ages. We are all at different stages of the gardening experience and have different passions. Some are into just growing while others with the competitive spirit, enter the most amazing blooms and arrangements in competitions! Some members have 1 rose and some have 500 roses. One of the greatest perks is getting to visit member’s gardens. This group has some amazing gardens!

But it is so much more

We spend time enjoying all things “rose” together. We learn, we laugh, we celebrate successes and we deal with failures & issues together. It’s not just roses that keep us together, over the years–we have become family and you are welcome to join our family anytime!

This year we have members coming from as far as Marion, Kokomo, Bloomington, and most of the surrounding burgs!

You can keep up with what’s going on by subscribing to our blog at INDIANAPOLISROSESOCIETY.COM. Most of our meetings are the second Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm at the Sullivan Munce Center in charming Zionsville. Here’s what 2017 looked like for us. I you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask!