Give someone a rose, and the first thing they do is smell it, right? More often than not these days, they don’t smell thanks to our quest for perfection. We have been able to breed varieties of roses with large heads, perfect blooms, and thornless straight stems. And amazing as that all is, in this quest for perfection we have sacrificed the very thing that makes a rose so special.
For those of you who value a beautifully scented rose, a garden rose is the way to go.
They tend to have shorter stems that may grow crooked, an imperfect bloom, which may have blemishes (generally only present on the outer barrier petals) and watch out, because there can be some pretty serious thorns! But the fragrance! Oh My! Some have perfumes so intense and intoxicating, you can literally taste them on your tongue!
Here are some of our favourites:
Named by Joseph Pernet-Ducher after the daughter of rose grower Ulrich Brunner, a senior colleague and rival, in 1881.
Sweet Cecile Brunner is a soft pink, lightly frangranced bloom, that grows in sprays on a short bush. This one has a special place for me, as one of my best friends introduced me to her magic many moons ago. Cecile Brunner is one of the best loved roses, and is a popular choice for bridal arrangements. I think we may feel confident that Cecile herself carried these blooms on her own wedding day!
Named after Julia Clements, ‘the high priestess of flower arrangement’ according to the British media, Julia’s rose is a hybrid tea rose with latte tinted mauve blooms. It has a soft fragrance and is best throughout Spring and Autumn.
Clements began her mission of popularising flower arranging after attending a meeting at a Women’s Institute, where she spoke of the joy that flowers could bring, uniting women like herself, whose lives had been torn apart by the war. Through her lectures, her books, flower shows, and flower arrangement socieites, Clements did exactly that.
She has three roses named for her in dedication; “Julia’s Rose”, “Julia Clements”, a red floribunda, and “Lady Seton” a scented warm pink named after her marriage to Sir Alexander Seton.
Julia’s roses, is my absolute favourite rose in all of the world, and has been from the moment I lay eyes on her. I love that the bloom opens all the way up and I love the unique colour tone, which shows the most beautiful variations from latte to antique mauve depending on the time of year. Julia’s rose featured heavily throughout my own wedding.
Named after the wife of the raiser, Joanne Pawsey, Just Joey is a large apricot hybrid tea, with an excellent fragrance. If this rose was named some years ago, it would more likely have been named “Mrs Roger Pawsey” but at the time it was named, formality like this was seen as old fashion. Joanne was know to those close to her as Joey, but somehow “Joey Pawsey” just didn’t sound right.
“Why not just ‘Joey’?” was uttered over breakfast one morning…..and ‘Just Joey’ stuck.
Just Joey’s colour varies throughout the season, from peach to rich apricot ruffled petals. It was voted the ‘world’s favourite’ rose in 1994 by the World Federation of Rose Societies and it is easy to see why which such a gorgeous autumnal tone, and beautiful shaped bloom.
I remember being a young florist and first experiencing the intensity and beauty of My Lincoln, a hybrid tea rose with the most intense damask fragrance. It has very large dark crimson blooms, a long stem and comes from a tall bush.
The dedication marked the centenary of the death of Abraham Lincoln (1809-65). Rumour had it, America’s most widely revered president hated to be addressed as ‘President Lincoln’, so in naming this rose, Herbert Swim has honoured his wish that he be known simply as Mister Lincoln.
Another rose, ‘Honest Abe’, is also named in his honour, bearing his nickname. It is a dark red miniature rose with mossy buds.
Now is the perfect time to experience the beauty of a local rose, with them readily available and in store now. Take a bunch home and enjoy their old world beauty, and beautiful fragrance.
Featured picture credit: Hedgerow Rose