Today I am going to ramble on about old garden roses and roses acquired through serendipity. Some of the remaining roses in my yard are gifts from other rosarians. Old Garden Rose enthusiasts are a fervent bunch. They want to keep the old roses going.
The large Centifolia next to the garage came as a single stick, about 2 feet high, from a 17 year old rose enthusiast. He was by far the youngest full member of the Rose Society in our city. Today, when it blooms, it is approx 8' wide x 8' tall.
The very gorgeous Monsieur Pelisson (and the rose whose name is lost to me) came from the oldest member of the local rose society and a world renowned shepherd of old garden roses. Monsieur is amazing. Its buds start out a hot pink, it blooms as a medium pink and finishes as a dusty lavender. Sometimes all the colors can be seen at the same time on the bush.
For the most part, OGR only bloom in the spring. The one exception in my collection (and there are several other OGR on the market which do re-bloom in a season) is La Reine Victoria. LRV is a bourbon rose and is a little too tender to do its best in this region. The bush tends toward curved canes with the roses blooming across the top of the canes.
La Reine Victoria and Rosa Mundi are two roses I purchased and which have continued on, despite harsh winters. Rosa Mundi has always been a favorite of mine. It is incredibly fragrant. My bush was a slow starter, but as the years wore on, it did spread nicely and it has even sported back to Rosa Gallica Officinalis. Rosarians live to see a rose sport. It doesn't happen that often and is quite a treat and a source of bragging rights. Rosa Mundi now measures approx. 10' wide x 3' high.
Erfurt is technically a shrub rose, but also quite beautiful and a repeat bloomer. I list Erfurt as an alley rose. I added that bit because Erfurt's name is so ugly for a rose. (Rosa Centifolia and Mssr. Pelisson are also alley roses, but they have lovely names.) Measurements 4' wide x 3' high.
I include a picture of the unknown rose because it has its moments of incredible beauty. It is a very old species rose (that much I remember), but it grows on an unsightly bush and its blooms are often not fully formed, so sometimes they are 'lopsided'. I have never had the heart to remove the bush because of its moments of glory and the fact that the roses are very fragrant.
I include some photos of 'unplanned' roses. These are the roses that sometimes appear when the original grafted rose that one purchased, froze out over the winter. If you are a softy like me and will keep the rootstock, choose roses grafted onto Dr. Huey. I have two Dr. Huey specimens, one alongside the house and the second growing among the clematis behind the garage. The rosa multiflora rootstock is rampant and can prove too much for a small yard. I kept mine because it has allowed me to prune it into a lollipop shape (well, it was actually a gentleman who went by the name of Junk Daddy Jim who first pruned it to a lollipop, but that's another story) and it has spectacular hips.
When I take photos of roses, I try to show their 'personality'. The type of growth, the abundance of bloom or lack of it, their individual beauty. I hope I have been able to convey some of that in these various groupings, so that you will recognize them when you meet them in person.