Wild Species or Botanical Roses

Species or Botanical Roses are the original roses, which grew all over the Northern Hemisphere from Europe to the Middle East and Asia, as well as North America. I will be discussing species from all areas, but first a quick note about the other subgenera.

Hulthemia, or Simplicifoliae (meaning simple leaves), is the oldest of the subgenera and has been classified outside the Rosa genus by some authorities. Its growth habit, behaviour and general appearance are very rose-like, but the foliage is different, being simple leaves with no stipules. They are the only roses without compound leaves or stipules. The flowers are single with five petals and the stems are angular with many thorns. It originated in SW Asia, mainly Iran, hence the name ‘Persian Rose’, R. persica.

R. stellata, the Gooseberry Rose, belongs to the subgenus, Hesperhodos (Greek for Western Rose) and it looks and behaves very much like a small gooseberry bush with very prickly stems; small, light green, gooseberry-like foliage; and buds and fruit covered with soft spines. It hails from SW North America, while the third subgenus Platyrhodon (Greek for Flaky Rose, referring to its bark) only has one species: R. roxburghii, the Burr or Chestnut Rose, which originated in China. This tall shrub has tawny-brown angular stems with flaky peeling bark on the older wood; long, stout, paired thorns; light green compound leaves with 15 small leaflets; a small crop of single clear pink flowers; and spiny yellow-orange fruit.

Now I will focus on the largest subgenus, Rosa, which has 11 sections. I have repeated this section from last week’s post for easier reading:

1. Pimpinellifoliae (including R. foetida, R. spinosissima, R. hugonis, R.ecae)

2. Gallicanae (including R. gallica, R. damascena, R. centifolia, R. centifolia muscosa, R. richardii, Portlands)

3. Caninae (including R. alba, R. canina, R. eglanteria, R. glauca and R. villosa)

4. Carolinae (including R. carolina, R. nitida, R.palustris, R. virginiana, R. foliolosa)

5. Cassiorhodon (Cinnamomaea :  including R. moyesii, R. rugosa, R. blanda, R. fedschenkoana, R. kordesii, and Boursaults)

6. Synstylae (including R. arvensis, R. brunonii, R. dupontii, R. filipes, R. moschata, R. multiflora, R. phoenicia, R. sempervirens, R. setigera, R. wichuriana and Hybrid Musks, Polyanthas, Floribundas, Multiflora Ramblers, Modern Climbing Roses and Modern Shrub Roses)

7. Chinensis (including R. chinensis, R. odorata, R. gigantea, Bourbons, Noisettes, Teas, Hybrid Perpetuals and Hybrid Teas)

8. Banksianae (including R. banksiae and R. fortuniana)

9. Laevigatae (R. laevigata)

10. Bracteata (R. bracteata)

11. Gymnocarpae (R. gymnocarpa)

The photos below are of Species Roses: R. wilmottiae (photo 1); R. webbiana (photos 2 and 3); and R. roxburghii plena (photo 4).blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-12-52-17blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-10-29blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-10-57blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-04-46However, I think it is easier to understand all these species by dividing them up into their original habitats and because our forefathers came from Europe, bringing their roses with them, I will start with Europe.

Dog Roses, R. canina, are the commonest wild roses, often growing in hedgerows, in Britain and Northern Europe. They have hardy, stiff twiggy bushes; single, sweetly-scented, pale pink flowers borne in small groups; and bright orange hips, which are very rich in Vitamin C and are used to make rosehip syrup, jam, tea and even wine. One cup of rosehip tea provides the minimum daily adult requirement of Vitamin C. Apparently, during the Second World War, the British relied on rosehips and hops for their source of  Vitamins A and C , hence the common (and very quaint!) wartime expression ‘we are getting by on our hips and our hops’! In the past, they were used as a medicine to treat bites from mad dogs, hence the name, the Dog Rose. Here are photos of the hips and the flowers:blogspeciesrosesreszd50image-192blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-11-14-20 Sweet Briar, R. eglanteria, also known as R. rubiginosa, is closely related to and very similar in appearance to R. canina, except that it has apple-scented foliage and a higher density of prickles. Its oval bright orange red hips in late Summer and  Autumn are also used to make rosehip syrup. It has a number of cultivars, though many have since disappeared, and include the Penzance Briars of the 1890s. I saw both Lord Penzance 1890 and Lady Penzance 1894 at the Mt Lofty Botanic Garden. I loved their tiny golden blooms. Lord Penzance is a cross between R. eglanteria and R. harisonii, while Lady Penzance is a cross between R. eglanteria and R. foetida bicolor and has the strongest scented foliage. Both R. canina and R. rubiginosa have been fully naturalized in Australia from the days of early settlement. The Dog Rose was used as a root stock for modern roses in Europe until superseded by Rosa laxa, though it is still used as an understock for standard roses. This is a photo of Lord Penzance :blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-09-47The Apple Rose and the Field Rose also hail from Northern and Central Europe. The Apple Rose, R. villosa or R. pomifera, hailing from the same area as R. canina and R. eglanteria, also has fragrant leaves; clear pink, fragrant, single flowers; and large, orange, apple-shaped fruit, covered in bristles. It is related to R. glauca, another European rose from 1830, which has glaucous purple stems, soft mauve-pink flowers and oval red-purple hips. The Field Rose, R. arvensis, a natural climber which wends its way through hedgerows, has wide open creamy flowers with gold stamens and has been used to breed Ayrshire Roses, which are very hardy, vigorous, white-flowered climbers.blogspeciesrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-15-28-51Scotch Briars, R. pimpinellifolia, also known as R. spinosissima, prefer colder and less fertile areas like the coast. They are very hardy and not fussy about soil, reproduce easily from cuttings and sucker freely on their own roots. They have very prickly bushy growth, attractive fern-like Autumn foliage and single and double blooms of white, pink, yellow or red, often being the first roses to flower in Summer. Spinosissima Single Purple (photo above) is an example.They were very popular at the beginning of the 19th century and were the dominant cluster-flowered rose in 1824, until they were superseded by longer-flowering roses, but only a few cultivars are left. Harison’s Double Yellow, R. harisonii, photographed below, is a very double yellow form, which we also saw at the Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-12-52-41blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-31-26 The German breeder, Kordes, used R. pimpinellifolia to breed Fruhlinsgold 1937 (photos 2 and 3), Fruhlingsmorgen 1942, Fruhlingstag 1949 and Maigold 1953 (photo 1).blogspeciesrosesreszd20img_9505blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-30-29blogspeciesrosesreszd50image-259 But my favourite of all the Scotch Roses (and in fact, one of my favourite roses of all, for its refined scent and long continuous flowering, often being the first and last rose of the season to bloom – see photo below) is Stanwell Perpetual 1838, a cross between the Autumn Damask, R. damascena bifera, and R. pimpinellifolia. It is tall and straggly, with long, incredibly prickly, arching canes; grey-green, ferny leaves; and fully double, quartered, soft blush-pink scented flowers.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2016-11-10-09-19-11In Southern Europe, R. gallica  is the dominant rose and will be discussed in my post on Gallicas next month. R. sempervirens and its hybrids are healthy ramblers and scramblers, which originated in the Mediterranean area and were known as the Evergreen Roses in Victorian times, as they retain their foliage in Winter. They include Adelaide d’Orleans 1826 (photo below) and Félicité Perpétue 1827. The Musk Rose, R.moschata, also grows in Mediterranean regions and may have been introduced from the East early on in the history of the rose.blogspeciesrosesreszd20img_9330The roses which grow in the Middle East: R.foetida, R. ecae and R. hemisphaerica: also belong to the Pimpinellifolia subgenus. The Austrian Briar or Austrian Yellow, R. foetida (‘foetida‘ referring to the slightly unpleasant smell of the flowers), has large single golden-yellow flowers with prominent stamens in early Summer. See photo below:blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-27-18

I used to grow Austrian Copper, R. foetida bicolor, a sport of R. foetida. Its single blooms are copper orange inside and yellow on the outside (see photo 2 below), occasionally reverting to the original yellow or sometimes both colours occurring on the plant at the same time (see photo 1 below). Both are vigorous shrubs and can be used as climbers.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-27-55blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-27-58 R. foetida persiana (photo below) has double, globular, rich  golden yellow blooms. The golden colours of R.foetida and the latter have been used extensively in the breeding of the modern rose, but unfortunately these roses have also passed on their propensity to black spot.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-28-55 The Sulphur Rose, R. hemisphaerica, is also a tall, fully double, sulphur-yellow rose, while R.ecae is a small prickly shrub with reddish-brown twigs; small ferny leaves; and single, buttercup-sized, deep yellow blooms with pronounced stamens.blogspeciesrosesreszd50nov-2010-259

I used to grow Geranium 1938, a seedling of R. moyesii (photo below). Geranium, photographed above, has light green leaves; single, orange-red blooms with creamy anthers; and a large crop of pendulous, orange-red, flagon-shaped hips each year.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-12-57-55I have never grown any of the American species, so I don’t know much about them, but they include : R. virginiana; R. carolina; R. nitida (photo below); the Swamp Rose R. palustris; the Meadow Rose R. blanda and  R. gymnocarpa, the latter two the American equivalent of Europe’s Dog Rose; and R. foliolosa. All have good Autumn foliage, but have less fragrance and colour variation then the European species. The Prairie Rose, R. setigera, is the only native climbing rose in the USA and is a hardy trailing shrub with long arching branches, good Autumn foliage, clusters of single pink flowers with no fragrance, and small globular red hips. Baltimore Belle 1843 is a famous Setigera hybrid, resulting from a cross with a Gallica hybrid. R. gymnocarpa is the most distinctive rose in California and is known as the Bald Hip Rose, because it loses the sepals off its hips earlier than in other species.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-12-53-07The Cherokee Rose ( R. laevigata ) and the Macartney Rose ( R. bracteata ) are both Asian roses, which naturalized very quickly in the warm South of USA.  They are both climbers with glossy nearly evergreen leaves, large vicious barbs along their stems, and very large, white, single flowers with pronounced gold stamens. R. laevigata (photo below) was discovered in China in 1759 and reached America by the end of the 19th century, where it adapted so readily that it became known as the Cherokee Rose.blogspeciesrosesreszd20img_9262 In 1895, R. laevigata was crossed with a Tea Rose in Germany to produce the light pink Anemone Rose, R. anemonoides, which later sported Ramona, the Red Cherokee Rose. R. bracteata (photo below) was discovered in the Shangtun and Kian regions of China in 1792 during a plant collecting expedition led by Lord Macartney, after whom the rose is named. It was a bit tender in Europe, but on reaching America by the early 19th century, it thrived, naturalizing in the hedgerows, then escaping into the fields, where its strong underground runners are now used to prevent erosion. Crossing R. bracteata with a double yellow Tea Rose in 1917 produced a famous and beautiful evergreen climber, with lemon-yellow single flowers, called Mermaid.blogspeciesrosesreszd20img_9264Asia has by far the greatest diversity in Rosa species. Since it is one of the first roses to flower for the season, I will start with the Banksianae Roses. Banksia Roses are vigorous climbers with few thorns; smooth, light green foliage with 5 to 7 leaflets; large clusters of small, rosette-like, white or yellow flowers; and small hips.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-38-30 I have two types : the double white R.banksiae alba plena 1803 (photo above) on the bottom fence in the future chook yard, intermingled with jasmine, Jasminum polyanthum, both of which I grew from cuttings in the same polystyrene box. Their roots were so intertwined that I planted them both together and they  both flowered at the same time in Spring, as did our huge old bush of the double pale yellow Lady Banks Rose, R. banksia lutea 1825. See photos below:blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-09-11-39-16blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1904blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0289Lady Banks was the wife of Joseph Banks, the botanist on the Endeavour during Captain Cook’s exploratory trip to Australia, and later the President of the Royal Horticultural Society, when these roses were discovered in China. It is such a spectacular sight over our outdoor eating area and was one of the contributory factors for our purchase of the house. We also used to grow it over the outside toilet in our old garden in Armidale.blogspeciesrosesreszd50image-224

Both banksias have single forms too – R. banksiae normalis 1877 has single white blooms, which are borne singly rather than in clusters, while R. banksiae lutescens 1870 has single pale yellow flowers, which are slightly larger than R. banskiae lutea. See photo below:blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-38-09 R. fortuniana, thought to be a cross between R. laevigata and  a white R. banksiae, has larger scented double creamy-white flowers, which are borne singly in each leaf axil, rather than in clusters, an identification aid, differentiating it from R. banksiae alba plena. It also has slightly darker green foliage and stems and is even easier to propagate, so is often used as a rose understock, especially in sandy soils. It was introduced from China to the West in 1850. It flowers once only in early Spring.

On my neighbour’s fence line, I am growing three Rugosa hybrids. R. rugosa hails from Japan and West Asia and originally only had two forms with a wine-red or a white single bloom, but extensive hybridization since the 1890s has produced at least 46 different hybrids of single, semi-double and double forms and a wide colour range from white to pink, red, purple and even yellow, as in the case of Agnes, which I saw at Walter Duncan’s Heritage Rose Garden in Clare, South Australia (photo below).blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-32-32 Rugosas are tough hardy shrubs which tolerate poor and sandy soils, pollution and salty winds, so can be grown in coastal situations. They are even grown in the middle of the French autoroutes, an inspired decision, as their beautiful colourful blooms are very fragrant and bloom almost continuously. The purple-red blooms of Roseraie de l’Hay (photo below) are particularly fragrant. It is one of my favourite roses!blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2016-11-15-13-41-50 Madame Georges Bruant (photos below) also has a lovely scent and elegant, semi-double, pure white blooms.blogspeciesrosesreszd50image-233bloghxroses20reszd2016-11-11-16-23-13It is a cross between R. rugosa and Tea Rose, Sombreuil, photographed below.blogspeciesrosesreszd20img_0189 In between, I have planted the slightly smaller Fru Dagmar Hastrup, also known as Frau Dagmar Hartopp, which has silvery-pink, scented, single blooms (photo below) with pronounced gold stamens and tomato-like hips.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-12-34 All rugosas are incredibly prickly and make good impenetrable hedges. They also have deep veined, coarse, textured rugose (wrinkled) leaves, hence their name and their ability to withstand tough climatic conditions. They provide good Autumn color, as do their large, globular, red hips.They are also incredibly disease-resistant and drought- and shade-tolerant.blogspeciesrosesreszd50april-028 In the past, I have also grown Scabrosa, which has large, fragrant, single, cerise blooms and gold stamens and prominent hips (photos below);blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-11-35blogspeciesrosesreszd50april-032 R. rugosa alba (photo below) with its single, pure-white, fragrant flowers;blogspeciesrosesreszd70image-159 Fimbriata, a cross between R. rugosa and Noisette rose, Mme Alfred Carrière, with small white/ blushing pale-pink, dianthus-like blooms (photo below) with a frilled edge (as if they had been cut with pinking shears), but unfortunately no fragrance;blogspeciesrosesreszd50image-171 Pink Grootendorst, its pink equivalent; See photo below:blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-14-46 and the enormous Vanguard, with equally gigantic, salmon-pink, semi-double blooms, which I probably would never have ordered had I realized how large it grew (which is also why I am NOT growing it now!). See photos below:blogspeciesrosesreszd50image-213image-178 Vanguard was developed in 1932 from a cross between Eldorado and a hybrid Rugosa alba-Wichuraiana cross, which brings me to the next type of rose, the Wichuraiana Ramblers.

R. wichuraiana was introduced to the West in the 1890s from China and was crossed with Polyanthas and China roses to produce many exceedingly healthy and vigorous ramblers and climbers with cluster flowers and glossy green foliage like Dorothy Perkins 1902; Excelsa 1909; Sanders White 1912; Dr W. Van Fleet 1910; and Paul Transom 1900 (photo).blogspeciesrosesreszd20img_9247

I have three hybrids in my current garden. Albéric Barbier 1900 is a cross between R. wichuraiana and ‘Shirley Hibbard’ and has long pliable stems, glossy green foliage and creamy white flowers in Summer. I grew it from cuttings and have 2 bushes in pots, ready to clamber over the future chook pen! I also raised three plants of Albertine and one plant of New Dawn from cuttings. Albertine 1921 is a favourite, despite its wicked, sharp-hooked thorns. It is a cross between R. wichuraiana and ‘Mrs Arthur Robert Waddell’ and has glossy coppery-red leaves and beautifully scented, muddled warm-pink blooms in Summer only (photos 2 and 3 below). I have planted them along the back of the shed, where their blooms will complement the colour of the old shed wall perfectly. We plan to construct a framework behind them, so they can be kept under control to a certain degree, otherwise they could well take over the entire area! In my old garden, they covered the entrance pergola, as can be seen in photo 1 below:blogspeciesrosesreszd50image-227blogspeciesrosesreszd50image-187blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2016-11-16-09-47-07 New Dawn 1930, a sport of Dr Van Fleet, has soft blush-pink scented blooms (see photos below), glossy dark green foliage and thorny stems. I am growing it up the front of the main pergola on the bottom side. New Dawn was the first perpetual flowering climber, opening up a new era for climbing roses.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2016-11-22-17-03-43blogspeciesrosesreszd20img_0456Another rose species with large hooked thorns is R. sericea from the Himalayas and Western China. In fact, R. sericea pteracantha (photos below) is often grown specifically for its young red thorns, which are quite spectacular when the sun shines through them! They have small, single, white flowers with only four petals and delicate ferny foliage.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-06-24blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-06-30 R. xanthina, the parent of bright yellow Canary Bird 1908, photographed below, also has ferny foliage and hails from China. It is a member of the Pimpinellifolia subgenus.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-12-56-44blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-12-56-56Rosa brunonii is also from the Himalayas , hence its name, the Himalayan Musk Rose, as well as its previous scientific name, R. moschata nepalensis. It is a very vigorous climber with downy grey-green, drooping leaves; hooked thorns; and single, white, tissue-thin flowers in clusters in Summer. See photo below:blogspeciesrosesreszd20img_9332 It is now seen as a distinct species, separate from R. moschata, the Musk Rose, which looks very similar and has a pleasant musk scent. The latter is a very old rose and is thought to have been introduced during the reign of King Henry XIII. R. moschata was crossed with R. gallica to produce R. dupontii, one of my favourite tall shrubs (2m) with single, white, scented flowers and gold stamens. Here is a photo of Dupontii: blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-12-55-11

Rosa multiflora hails from East Asia and has had a great influence in the development of modern roses. Seeds were sent from Japan to the French rose breeder, Guillot, in 1862, who then used it to develop Floribundas, which I will be discussing later in the year, and at least 27 once-flowering Multiflora Ramblers, most of which still exist today.

I am growing three plants of Russelliana 1840, a cross between R. multiflora and R. setigera, which I raised from cuttings, along my neighbour’s fence at the back of the future chook yard. Also called the Old Spanish Rose, as it was thought to have originally come from Spain, this ancient rose has very double, quartered, fragrant, crimson-purple, fading to lilac/ mauve, flowers with a green eye, borne in clusters; very thorny stems; and blue-green leaves with a resinous (pine-like) fragrance. It is a tough rose, tolerating poor soils and full shade, so it hopefully should be able to handle its proximity to the white mulberry tree. It propagates easily and was once used as a root stock. Here is one of my young seedlings:blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2016-11-08-10-27-30 Seagull and Rambling Rector are two more famous examples of the latter rose type.

Rosa multiflora, photographed below, is very floriferous, even though it is only a short flowering season, with clusters of small, single, creamy-white flowers with gold stamens, borne on thornless stems produced in the previous season and smooth light green leaves. Because it strikes readily from seeds and cuttings, it was used as an understock in the early 20th century. Other forms of R. multiflora include: R. multiflora carnea (fully double globular white flowers tinged with pink); R. multiflora cathayensis (larger single pink flowers) and the unusual Seven Sisters Rose, R. multiflora platyphylla 1816, with huge trusses of large double flowers, often with seven different colours within the one truss. Colours vary from soft to deep pink, lilac and even deep red.blogspeciesrosesreszd70image-163And finally, the most famous Chinese species of all, without which the modern rose would never have developed: The China Rose, R. chinensis, previously called R. indica and R. sinica. The China, photographed below, is one of the Stud Chinas, called Slaters Crimson China.bloghxroses20reszd2014-10-19-13-14-31 It is a member of the subgenus Chinensis, along with other Chinese species R. gigantea (photo below) and Rosa X odorata, and I will reserve discussion of this important subgenus till later in the year. Its main contribution to the modern rose gene pool is its remontancy, as well as its warm colour range.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-19-13-24-37  Before the introduction of the Chinas to the West, Old European Roses were only white, pink or red and flowered only once, except for the Autumn Damask, which flowered twice. The basic rose groups were : Gallicas, Albas, Damasks, Centifolias and Mosses, so next month, I will start with an in-depth look at the Gallicas, then progress through the other rose types in order.

Rose Websites

A shorter post this week with plenty of information for you to chase up and digest! These are my favourite rose websites!

  1. Heritage Roses in Australia Inc.    http://www.heritage.rose.org.au/

This is the Number 1 website for Australian Old Rose growers! Formed in 1979 for lovers and collectors of Old Roses, its aim is to preserve, cultivate, distribute and study Old Roses, including roses no longer in general cultivation, roses of historical importance, and species roses and their hybrids. There was also a particular interest in finding and conserving Australian bred roses, for example those of Alister Clark, Frank Riethmuller and Mrs Fitzhardinge.

There are regional groups in New South Wales (Blue Mountains, Illawarra-Southern Highlands, Orange-Central Tablelands, Sydney, Riverina), Queensland (Brisbane, Darling Downs), Tasmania (Northern Region, Southern Region), South Australia (Adelaide, Barossa & Beyond), ACT (Canberra), Victoria (Goldfields and Beyond, Greater Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula, State Rose Garden, Western Districts) and Western Australia (Perth, Great Southern, South West).

The website includes tabs for :

News and Events around the world and in Australia;

Membership : Benefits include garden visits and lectures by renowned speakers about Old Roses and their visits to Old Rose gardens around the world and attendance of national (every two years) and international conferences;

Quarterly Journal: Informative and interesting articles from renowned experts, details of coming events and regional reports;

Articles: Index and Gallery of roses; Rose breeding/ propagation/ pruning; History of Rose: General/ Australian breeders: Alister Clark; and Videos.

Links Page: http://www.heritage.rose.org.au/links : particularly useful for more rose websites.

  1. National Rose Society of Australia      http://www.rose.org.au/

Another important website for Australian rose growers, though it encompasses modern roses as well.

This national body was formed in 1972 with representatives from all the state societies. It is also a member of the World Federation of Rose Societies. Its aim is to encourage, improve and increase the cultivation of the rose in Australia by means of exhibitions, publications and the co-ordination of all State Rose Societies.

Each state society has its own website, each of which is quite comprehensive with details of shows and meetings; articles on rose care, choice, breeding and pruning; a rose care calendar, videos and publications and a query forum; a list of public rose gardens and rose growers and suppliers and most importantly, more links to reference sites; other rose and garden societies; gardens to visit and vendors’ web sites. Here are the links to the state societies:

Victoria:  http://www.rosesocietyvic.org.au/

NSW: http://www.nsw.rose.org.au/

SA:  http://sarose.org.au/

WA:  http://www.wa.rose.org.au/

QLD: http://www.qld.rose.org.au/

There is also information about the latest rose conventions around the world. For example, the 18th  World Rose Convention: A Fairytale of Roses : to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark from 28 June to 4 July in 2018 : http://www.wrc2018.dk/.

The above website also has as a list of Australian Bred Roses: http://www.rose.org.au/ausroses.html. In fact, if these are your particular interest, there is also a specific site for Australian Bred roses:

  1. Australian Rose Breeders’ Association Inc : http://www.arba.rose.org.au/. It includes articles on Australian roses and their breeders; hybridizing and propagating roses and more links : http://www.arba.rose.org.au/links.html.
  1. World Federation of Rose Societies http://www.worldrose.org/.

The umbrella organization for all the rose societies of the world, this site includes a Heritage Rose Newsletter and a Rose Conservation Data Base and all the news and events from around the world. They also have a world rose directory : http://www.worldrose.org/rosedirectory/directory.asp

  1. Heritage Rose New Zealand Inc http://www.heritageroses.org.nz/

Well worth looking at for Australian growers, as New Zealand is part of our region and grows beautiful roses. Features include: a Rose Register and lists of fragrant Old Roses; gardens to visit in New Zealand; and local rose suppliers and growers, not to mention some great recipes for rose water and rose vinegar (See: http://www.heritageroses.org.nz/pdfs/RoseWater.pdf) ; rose petal yoghurt and rose petal sugar and rose hip syrup, which I have yet to try! I remember making rosehip jelly as a teenager and removing all the irritating hairy seeds from the small dog rose hips was a very time-consuming job, as the tiny amount of remaining flesh necessitated the use of a huge number of hips! Heritage Rose New Zealand also produce a rather luscious-looking quarterly journal!

6. There is also another website called The Rose Garden on New Zealand Roses Online in NZ : http://www.netlist.co.nz/Gardens/rosegarden/, which is worth investigating. It has articles on the different rose groups; photos of roses and rose gardens and links to other websites, mail order suppliers and special garden events.

7.The American Rose Society : http://www.ars.org/ is the equivalent of the National Rose Society of Australia and is worth consulting for its resources : http://www.rose.org/resources/.

8. Heritage Rose Foundation :  http://www.heritagerosefoundation.org/ is an American organization, established in 1986, for the preservation of Old Roses, as well as ongoing research and education. They have a monthly newsletter, as well as a biannual journal Rosa Mundi, which has some wonderful articles on Old Roses and gardens. For example: La Bonne Maison : http://media.wix.com/ugd/e6654e_3e8ede54ba3df1d99c601b1e9032417b.pdf and The Roses of the Ardennes Region in France: http://media.wix.com/ugd/e6654e_61393f7cd851087d3baedc0e917a40ec.pdf.

9. Roses Anciennes en Francehttp://www.rosesanciennesenfrance.org/ is the French equivalent, but does require a fluid grasp of written French! It is a very active group with lots of activities, articles and photo galleries and links to French rose gardens, associations and suppliers like : Pépinières Les Rosiers des Merles : http://www.roseraie-de-berty.com, Roses Anciennes André Eve : http://www.roses-anciennes-eve.com and the Loubert Rose Garden : http://www.rosesloubert.com/ . Note that Roses Loubert does sell these roses at : http://www.pepiniere-rosesloubert.com/.

Rose Anciennes en France also has an English version of The History of the Rose in Lyon : http://www.rosesanciennesenfrance.org/en/history_of_the_rose.htm.

10. Another French organization devoted to Old Roses is Rosa Gallica: http://www.rosagallica.org , and while mainly written in French, it includes an English newsletter for its foreign English-speaking members: http://www.rosagallica.org/page11/page11.html.html.

11. England has the Royal National Rose Society : http://www.rnrs.org.uk. Established in 1876, it is the world’s oldest specialist plant society. It is best known for its flagship Gardens of the Rose at Chiswell Green in Hertfordshire, on the outskirts of St Albans: http://www.rnrs.org.uk/visit-us/.

12. Rogers Roses : http://www.rogersroses.com/ is the website written by Roger Philips and Martyn Rix, British authors of two books in my rose library, which I discussed early in the month: ‘The Quest for the Rose’ and  ‘The Rose’, part of their Garden Series, which also includes a host of books on other garden plants. The website features almost 5,000 varieties of roses and around 6,000 photos, providing a perfect reference for rose identification. There are also details of the nurseries around the world stocking particular rose varieties.

13. Help Me Find : http://www.helpmefind.com/rose/index.php is also a very useful site, not just for roses, but clematis and peonies as well. Their catalogue includes over 44,000 roses and has more than 160,000 photos, along with thousands of rose nurseries, public and private gardens, rose societies, authors, breeders, hybridizers and publications from all over the world. They also have a huge number of links covering anatomy, care, pests and diseases, hardiness, rose trials, species roses and a category titled: ‘Other’, which encompasses so much, I will leave it to you to explore at your leisure!

14. For dreamy reflections on roses, I cannot go past Rose Gathering : http://www.rosegathering.com/ , which is a delightful site with articles on all the rose classes, as well as on the symbolism of the rose; recommendations about books on roses, general gardening, specific plants and rarer books like the Wilhelm Keller rare rose catalogues of 1828, 1829 and 1833. There is also a list of artworks featuring roses, including postage stamps, and a list of rose societies and references to specific rose gardens. The Links section is also enormous and well worth exploring! See: http://www.rosegathering.com/links.html.

15. Paul Barden has written a website called Old Garden Roses and Beyond : http://paulbardenroses.com/main.html. It is devoted to Old Roses of the 19th Century and before, but also discusses the best modern roses of the 20th and 21st Centuries, as well as David Austin’s English Roses. He also provides lots of information about the growing, pruning, propagating and breeding of the rose, as well as another large resource section. A breeder and rose hybridizer himself, Paul also writes a blog called A Hybridizer’s Journal : http://paulbarden.blogspot.com.au/.

16. The Antique Rose Emporium is a name, which often comes up in the links : https://www.antiqueroseemporium.com/. It is an American mail order rose company, with a lovely mail order catalogue.

17. Botanical.com: A Modern Herbal , written by Mrs M Grieve (http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/r/roses-18.html) has plenty of information about rose history, rose types and the uses of roses throughout the world in medicine and cooking. She includes recipes for potpourri, crystallized roses and even rose petal sandwiches!

18. Brent C Dickerson has written a number of articles on Old Roses : http://web.csulb.edu/~odinthor/oldrose.html.

19. There are also many websites written by rose specialists:

Peter Boyd is an expert on Scots and other Pimpinellifolia roses : http://www.peterboyd.com/scotsroses.htm.

Jerry Haynes has an article on Tea Roses : http://www.rose.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/History-of-Roses-Tea-Roses.pdf.

20. And finally, there are the countless rose nursery websites. For example: Peter Beales: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/ and David Austin : https://www.davidaustinroses.com/.

Happy Reading !!!

Heritage Rose Gardens

Wandering around heritage rose gardens is an excellent way to appreciate not only the wide variety of roses, but also to learn about their history and development. Two wonderful examples are the Victorian State Rose Garden at Werribee Park, Victoria, and the relatively new Heritage Rose Garden at Saumarez Homestead, Armidale, in country New South Wales.

Victorian State Rose Garden

Werribee Park, K Road, Werribee, Victoria 3030

April to September 9.30am – 5pm; October to April 9.30am – 6.30pm weekdays; Open every day. Free.


This place is a must for anyone interested in roses, especially their history and development, as well as their huge diversity. Officially opened on the 9th November 1986, the 4.75 hectare garden contains more than  5 500 rose bushes.blogvsrg20reszd2014-10-19-13-58-48blogvsrg50reszdaprilmay-047 The initial design was based on a stylized traditional Tudor rose with 5 petals, each with 25 beds of modern roses: Hybrid Teas, Floribundas and 11 standard or pillar roses on tripods. Here is a map of the design from the official brochure.blogvsrg80reszdimage-198 The outer edge of each petal is delineated by chain and wire festoons and swags of rambling and climbing roses, interspersed with 20 tall weeping standards. blogvsrg50reszdaprilmay-045blogvsrg50reszdnov-2010-270blogvsrg50reszdnov-2010-268blogvsrg50reszdnov-2010-267blogvsrg50reszdnov-2010-269Separating each petal are 5 avenues of standard modern roses (Brass Band, Bridal Pink, La Sevillana (photo 2), Memoire and Perfume Perfection), each leading to an archway of climbing roses (Tradition, High Hopes, Golden Gate, Mme Alfred Carrière (photo 4) and Rusticana).blogvsrg20reszd2014-10-19-14-00-53blogvsrg50reszdnov-2010-271blogvsrg20reszd2014-10-19-14-02-10blogvsrg50reszdaprilmay-053From 1997 to 2000, a 450 m long, 3 m wide Heritage Rose border was added on two sides of the rose garden to show the origins of the modern rose. The photos below show in order: The Provence Rose (Centifolia), R. fedtschenkoana (Species) and Duchesse de Brabant (Tea Rose), also known as Countess Bertha.blogvsrg20reszd2014-10-19-13-12-12blogvsrg20reszd2014-10-19-13-33-00blogvsrg20reszd2014-10-19-13-22-57 The heritage rose border has 500 plants of 250 different types of Old and Species roses and separates the Victorian State Rose Garden from the formal gardens of Werribee Park. The photos below show Geranium (Species: R. moyesii); and the China roses: Viridiflora and Slater’s Crimson China.blogvsrg50reszdnov-2010-259blogvsrg20reszd2014-10-19-13-44-18bloghxroses20reszd2014-10-19-13-14-31 The roses are generally planted in family groups, but the main emphasis is on visual appeal. While I cannot remember the names of the white roses in Box 1 below :

Box 2 includes Fortune’s Double Yellow (China Rose 1845: photos 1 and 4); and  R. fedtschenkoana (Species Rose from Asia, 1876: Photo 2).

Box 3 features: The Provence Rose (Centifolia, Pre 1600s); Morletti (Boursault, 1883); Archiduc Joseph (Tea, 1872) and Nancy Hayward (Gigantea hybrid, Alister Clark, Australia, 1937).

The names of the roses, as well as their variety, breeder, country of origin and date of discovery or introduction, are engraved on bricks in the garden edging. The best time to appreciate these once-flowering roses in full bloom and scent is late October to mid November.blogvsrg50reszdnov-2010-253blogvsrg50reszdnov-2010-254The Federation Leaf, planted in November 2000 to commemorate the Centenary of Federation, has 56 beds (and 8 tripods) of 64 different Australian-bred cultivars, which were introduced in the last 100 years (1901 to 2001).  The earliest Australian-bred rose in the collection is Penelope Tea, bred by John Williams, Queensland, 1906. Other breeders include: Eric Welsh and Frank Riethmuller of NSW; Fred Armbrust, John Williams and Eric Long of Qld; George Thomson in SA and R. Watson in Tasmania; Alister Clark, Ron Bell, Bill Allender, Jim Priestley, Ian Spriggs, Bruce Brundrett, George Dawson and Laurie Newman in Vic and Peter Gibson in WA. There is also a trial bed in Leaf B, where six lots of three cultivars are grown for a two-year trial period to assess their suitability to the Victorian climate.blogvsrg20reszd2014-10-19-13-55-27blogvsrg20reszd2014-10-19-13-55-33A David Austin Bud, added in 2001, has 267 roses of 58 cultivars of English Roses, bred by David Austin. The leaf and rosebud are connected to the Tudor rose beds by a stem, created by pathways.blogvsrg50reszdnov-2010-262blogvsrg20reszd2014-10-19-13-51-39blogvsrg20reszd2014-10-19-13-51-26 The viewing mounds are also a wonderful spot for children to roll down and the central gazebo a focal point for weddings.blogvsrg50reszdnov-2010-272blogvsrg50reszdnov-2010-263blogvsrg50reszdaprilmay-059 Victoria Gold, bred by Eric Walsh, Australia in 1999  to celebrate the centenary of the Victorian Rose Society, graces the gazebo, as well as featuring in the Federation Leaf.blogvsrg20reszd2014-10-19-14-00-12blogvsrg20reszd2014-10-19-14-00-26blogvsrg20reszd2014-10-19-14-00-19The garden received the International Garden of Excellence Award from the World Federation of Rose Societies in 2003, the first rose garden outside of Europe to receive this award and the only one at that time cared for by volunteers.blogvsrg50reszdaprilmay-048blogvsrg50reszdaprilmay-052blogvsrg50reszdaprilmay-058 Today, over 120 Victorian State Rose Garden Supporters prune, feed, spray, deadhead and weed the rose beds on a Wednesday and a Saturday and the grounds are managed by Parks Victoria. The recent State Rose and Garden Show, on the 19th and 20th November 2016, had 12 500 visitors over the two days. For more wonderful photos of this garden, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMzVuq1PR6M&feature=youtu.be.

For more about Werribee Park, see my post on Historic Homes and Gardens on: https://candeloblooms.com/2016/02/09/favourite-gardens-regularly-open-to-the-public-historic-homes-and-gardens.

Heritage Rose Garden

Saumarez Homestead, 230 Saumarez Rd. Armidale, NSW 2350  Ph: (02) 6772 3616

Open every day of the week, 10 am-5 pm, except Christmas Day and Good Friday .

Grounds only: Adult $7; Concessions $5 (Seniors and Student cards accepted); Children 5 to 12 years $5 (Under 5 years free); Family ticket $15 (2 Adults & 2 Children); National Trust Members Free Entry to Grounds

House tours Weekends and Public Holidays from early September to the middle of June at 10.30 am, 2 pm and 3.30 pm. (3.9.2016 – 12.6.2017). Closed mid June to the end of August.

House tour and grounds – Adult $12, Concession $8; Pre-booked tours & group house tours $8; School groups $6


Created over four years by volunteers from the Northern branch of the Australian Garden History Society (AGHS), after a generous donation of 850 Old Roses in 2011 by passionate rosarian, Miss Catherine Maclean (who grew over 1000 roses on her small city block in Armidale),  Stage One of the Heritage Rose garden was officially opened on the 1st November 2015.blogvsrg20reszdimg_0563It is situated on the old orchard site of Saumarez Homestead, on the outskirts of Armidale, right next to the Armidale Airport- in fact, the road to Saumarez is accessed from the airport. This photo below is of the original grand driveway.blogvsrg20reszdimg_0938 The homestead is a beautiful old Late Victorian-Edwardian house, built in 1888 and extended to a second storey in 1906. It was the original family home of the F.J.White Family and was donated to the National Trust in 1984.blogvsrg20reszdimg_0937blogvsrg20reszdimg_0561 It is one of my favourite National Trust NSW country properties, with much of the original furniture and fittings, and if you are visiting the Heritage Rose Garden for the day, it is well worth taking a guided tour of the old house at the same time.blogvsrg20reszdimg_0945blogvsrg20reszdimg_0944 We were fortunate to visit Saumarez many times during our Armidale years, as well as participating in a ‘Below the Stairs’ tour, experiencing the life of a servant and viewing areas, not often seen by the general public. There are many intact farm outbuildings, quintessential to an old working country property, to visit as well : workers’ cottages, an office, a store, a meat house, a slaughterhouse and boiling-down vat, a poultry yard, stables, a wagon shed and blacksmith’s shop, a hay shed and engine room, a bull stall, a milking shed and an ensilage pit! This is one of the old glasshouses:blogvsrg20reszdimg_0941It is also well worth exploring the old garden (2 hectares; 4.4 acres), as seen in the map from the official brochure:


For more detailed information about the Saumarez Garden, see: https://www.nationaltrust.org.au/places/saumarez-homestead-gardens/. It has 9 distinct areas. I loved the aviary and glasshouses of the Front West section; the geometric parterre beds, so typical of the time period, and shrubbery of the Front East section; and the formal lawn and mature deciduous trees on the old tennis court of the Front South section. My favourite part of the original garden was Mary’s Garden, rescued from blackberry oblivion, and containing annuals and perennials, winding stone paths, an artificial stream and bridge and a delightfully quaint garden shed.blogvsrg20reszdimg_0568blogvsrg20reszdimg_0569blogvsrg20reszdimg_0918 I was introduced to the notion of a Picking Garden at Saumarez, inspiring my long-desired Cutting Garden.blogvsrg20reszdimg_0926 There is also a vegetable garden, a long avenue of mature pines, planted in 1898, and a service area for the clothes line, wood and tool sheds, meat room, dairy, outdoor toilet and even the old school room.blogvsrg20reszdimg_0541Saumarez has a fascinating history and to my mind is the perfect setting for the new Heritage Rose Garden. Supported financially and physically by the National Trust, the Australian Garden History Society, the Armidale/ Dumaresq Council (mulching and watering) and many local organizations and individuals, it is the only public rose garden north of the Hunter Valley, in NSW, and will ultimately be part of a nationwide rose trail, starting in the South at Woolmers, Tasmania and including all the significant public rose gardens from Adelaide and Renmark to Melbourne (Werribee will definitely be on the trail!), Canberra, Sydney and Parramatta, Cessnock and Maitland (the Hunter Valley Garden at Pokolbin) and finally the Newtown State Rose Garden in Toowoomba, Queensland, in the north. I suspect we may have already visited a number of these gardens, which I will be writing about in my blog this year!blogvsrg20reszdimg_0532blogvsrg20reszdimg_0531blogvsrg20reszdimg_0856But back to the Heritage Rose Garden! We visited Stage One of this new garden in Autumn 2016, so it was not the ideal time, except for rose hips like the rugosa hips (1st 2 photos above) and those of Bourbon rose Gypsy Boy  (3rd photo), but we look forward to watching its progress and development and revisiting in peak old rose blooming time next November. The full collection, when completed, will include over 500 (some sources say 600, others 800!) roses from each of the major rose cultivar groups, the majority from before 1930 (mainly pre-1900!). Here are some photos of the garden from our Autumn visit.blogvsrg20reszdimg_0548blogvsrg20reszdimg_0538blogvsrg20reszdimg_0543blogvsrg20reszdimg_0537 44 rose beds are laid out in concentric circles. divided radially and concentrically by gravel paths, in the pattern of a Tudor English rose, designed by Ian Telford. Here is a map of the design from the official brochure : blogvsrg30reszdimage-199This garden has an different approach to the Victorian State Rose Garden for rose labelling and identification for the visitor, using a code method, which is quite ingenious, though it does rely on your possession of the Garden Plant and Rose Finder brochure, which is given to you on payment of the entry fee. The garden is divided into quadrants A B C and D, with each rose bed allocated a code, indicating its quadrant and bed number, as well as each rose having its own individual code, name and year. For example, B6-2 is Rose Number 2 in Bed Number 6 in Quadrant B, so it is Madame Louis Lévêque, 1898. Alfred de Dalmas, 1855, is coded B6-10. ie: Rose Number 10 in the same Moss bed. Rose numbers are allocated left to right, starting on the internal edge of the bed, facing the central timber structure and continuing anti-clockwise around each bed. Roses in the middle of large beds have an extra M in their code. The code ‘tbi’ means ‘to be identified’.blogvsrg20reszdimg_0535Stage Two of the rose garden will be adjacent to the Formal Garden of Saumarez and will contain a series of beds relating the history of the rose, as well as featuring the rose progeny of prominent Australian rose breeders, including Alister Clark (1864-1949), Frank Reithmuller (1884-1964) and Olive Fitzhardinge (1881-1926). It will also include beds of Hybrid Musks, bred by Joseph Pemberton (1852-1926), because of their enduring popularity. Here are some more photos:blogvsrg20reszdimg_0533blogvsrg20reszdimg_0545blogvsrg20reszdimg_0544blogvsrg20reszdimg_0540blogvsrg20reszdimg_0542 We popped in for a second visit last week to see the garden in high Summer this year and were happy to see more roses in bloom, especially the Teas, Hybrid Teas and Hybrid Musks.blogvsrg20reszdimg_0855blogvsrg20reszdimg_0916The photo below is the Hybrid Musk bed, dominated by the hot pink blooms of Vanity 1920.blogvsrg20reszdimg_0911Some of the roses in bloom included in order: Duke of York (China rose; 1894); Stanwell Perpetual (Scots rose bed; 1838); Baronne Prévost (Hybrid Perpetual; 1842); Schoener’s Nutkana (Species Rose; 1930); Irish Elegance (Hybrid Tea; 1905); and Gruss an Aachen (Floribunda; 1909) in the Floribunda Bed with Lamarque (photo 7) and Crépuscule (photo 8) on the arch at the back of the bed.blogvsrg20reszdimg_0862blogvsrg20reszdimg_0912blogvsrg20reszdimg_0886blogvsrg20reszdimg_0905blogvsrg20reszdimg_0884blogvsrg20reszdimg_0887blogvsrg20reszdimg_0885blogvsrg20reszdimg_0890For more information about the development of this garden, see:http://newengland.focusmag.com.au/heritage-rose-gardens/.

Their blog is: http://saumarezheritagerosegarden.blogspot.com.au/ and their Facebook site is : https://www.facebook.com/Heritage-Rose-Garden-at-Saumarez-889531854478905/. Next month, we will be exploring the public rose gardens of South Australia: the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden and the Adelaide Botanic Garden!

Fabulous Rose Books

Since roses, and particularly Old Roses, are the major focus of my blog this year, I thought it would be useful to discuss a few of my favourite rose books, as a start to my monthly posts on books this year, as well as to provide a reference point and future reading material for those readers, who share my passion or whose interest is piqued! Note: The name Old Roses refer to Heritage or Old-Fashioned  Roses, mostly hailing from the pre-1900s, rather than chronologically old or new bushes!   First up,

 ‘Classic Roses’ by Peter Beales 1985 and 1997

This thick heavy book is THE Old Rose bible and if you can only ever get one rose book, this is it! I could not manage without it! In fact, I actually have two copies: My much-battered original 1st edition hardback from 1985 (photo 1) and an updated, revised and enlarged 2nd edition paperback (photo 2) given to me by my Mum, from whom I inherited my passion for roses (passing it on in turn to my daughter Caro!) in 1997. The first edition includes chapters titled: the History and Evolution of the Rose; Roses in the Landscape; the Cultivation of Roses and a detailed Dictionary of all the major rose cultivar groups and their members; as well as having an appendix of all the major rose gardens in the world at that time.blogrosebooks25reszdimage-208

The 2nd edition is very similar in content, but includes different photographs, more roses including ground-cover or procumbent roses and extra information. For example: the Early Development of the Modern Rose; the Mystery Roses of Bermuda; and Rustling Roses, as well as a World Climatic Map, Height and Colour Charts and lists of Rose Societies and Rose Producers and Suppliers throughout the world in the back.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-218

I consult these books constantly when planning new rose gardens or ordering new roses, though do be aware that Peter’s height and width specifications are for the cooler British and Northern European climate. I find my roses are often much taller and wider here in sunny warm Australia. For example, Mutabilis, my ‘butterfly’ China rose is specified in Peter’s book as 90 cm tall and 60cm wide, whereas I have seen huge shrubs of it here in Australia. Walter Duncan has a bush at least 2 m tall and 2 m wide in his Heritage Garden (photo below).blogrosebooks20reszdimg_9737blogrosebooks20reszdimg_9512 Having said that, Peter Beales (1936 – 2013) was, and still is (through his books), THE  Old Rose authority in the United Kingdom, having grown them from the age of 16 years. He has a wonderful nursery in Attleborough, Norfolk and has been awarded 23 Gold Medals by the RHS Chelsea Flower Show from 1989 to 2016. See: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/ . Even if you (like me!) cannot visit the nursery, it is well worth exploring this site for its wealth of information on roses and their cultivation. I would have loved to wander round his beautiful, romantic display gardens, but I do have a delightful old VHS video produced by Peter Beales called ‘A Celebration of Old Roses’ , set to the dreamy music of Elgar. While no longer available, the Peter Beales website does sell a DVD called ‘Growing Roses with Peter Beales’, which is out of stock at the moment.blogrosebooks50reszdimage-232 Peter also wrote a lovely large coffee-table book titled ‘Visions of Roses 1996, which explores a large number of exquisite rose gardens in the world, including La Bonne Maison in France; Helmingham Hall and Nymans in England; and Ninfa in Italy (see photos below of its front and back cover). The photography by Vivian Russell is superb and there are boxed descriptions of specific roses. It is a beautiful inspiring book with some wonderful ideas and of course, stunning roses! I would dearly love to purchase his autobiography, ‘Rose Petals and Muddy Footprints’, published in 2008.blogrosebooks25reszdimage-219blogrosebooks25reszdimage-222

David Austin is the other BIG name in roses in the United Kingdom and is possibly even better known to the general public than Peter Beales through his breeding of English Roses, beautiful constantly- flowering roses with all the best attributes of Old Roses. Fortunately, he is still with us, now the ripe old age of 90 (born 1926)! He too has his own nursery on the other side of the country at Albrighton, Wolverhampton in Shropshire, and has won 22 Gold Medals from the Chelsea Flower Show. See: http://www.davidaustinroses.co.uk/. I have two of his books :

David Austin’s English Roses: Australian Edition 1996 by David Austin

The English Roses: Classic Favourites and New Selections 2009 by David Austin.

I love these books for their photography alone, as well as background information about the different varieties. blogrosebooks25reszdimage-209

They are such beautiful roses and form the basis of my Moon Bed. I would love to visit his display gardens one day, but in the meantime can enjoy a taster through his wonderful photographs in the 2009 book !blogrosebooks25reszdimage-216

Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix are also very well-known authorities on all things to do with the garden. In fact, they have produced a wonderfully informative series of books on garden plants from shrubs to perennials and bulbs and … roses!

Roses: The Garden Plant Series by Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix 1994

The Quest for the Rose by Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix 1993

A more compact rose encyclopaedia than Classic Roses, the Rose guide contains colour photographs of the cut flowers, as well as rose shrubs and their landscapes. I also find this book useful, as it has a large section on the more modern roses : Hybrid Teas, Floribundas and Miniature Roses.blogrosebooks25reszdimage-213

The Quest for the Rose is a BBC book, which was made into a film, about their research into the history and origins of the rose, including their journey to the foothills of the Himalayas in Western China to find wild relations of China and Tea roses. It also has interesting snippets about all the important rose breeders, an area about which my knowledge is fairly sketchy!blogrosebooks25reszdimage-217

The other rose encyclopaedia, which I should, but do not have in my rose library is : the RHS Encyclopedia of Roses by Charles and Brigid Quest-Ritson 2011, described as: ‘the definitive A-Z guide to over 2,000 species’. For a look at the cover, see : https://www.dk.com/uk/9781405373852-rhs-encyclopedia-of-roses/. I have borrowed this book from the library, but as the number of new rose breeds increases exponentially every year, I suspect this five year old publication is already outdated and since my major interest is Old Roses, I feel I have it adequately covered by the books that I already have!  Maybe, I will access the online version, found at : http://www.b-alexander.com/encyclopedia-of-roses.pdf.

My next book hails from across the English Channel in Lyon, France :

La Bonne Maison: Jardin de Roses Anciennes by Odile Masquelier 2001

La Bonne Maison is a beautiful old rose garden, developed by Odile Masquelier, a French authority on heritage roses , over the past 50 years. As she recounts in her book, she spent the first six years of her life toddling after her mother in this old orchard and vegetable garden high on a Lyons hillside, before rediscovering it and buying the old property in 1966 as the mother of two young children.  Over the years, the city has expanded and it is now a residential area, dwarfed by a huge block of flats behind.blogrosebooks25reszdp1190564 While it is highly unlikely, I will get to visit her garden in the physical sense, my daughter Jen acted as my proxy on her first European trip in the Spring of 2012.blogrosebooks25reszdp1190543 Unfortunately, it was a little too early for the roses, but she did get to see some beautiful Spring blossom and bulbs (mainly tulips, narcissi and early peonies) and the bones of the garden, as well as meet the charming Odile with her 13 year old grand-daughter, who did speak English and gave Jen a guided tour of the garden.blogrosebooks25reszdp1190593 She bought me her book as a much-desired and hinted-for birthday present. Unfortunately, unless you are fluent in French or can get it translated, this beautiful book is for French readers only! I spent a wonderful week translating it all and it was well worth the effort! Fortunately, Odile does have a website with an English version. See: http://www.labonnemaison.org/  and click on the English Version link.blogrosebooks25reszdimage-223

This wonderful garden is also described in The Secret Gardens of France by Mirabel Osler 1992, along with a chapter dedicated to the rose garden of Andre Eve, a very prominent French rose breeder in Pithiviers, SW of Paris, famous for ‘Les Roses Anciennes de Andre Eve’. See French website: http://www.roses-anciennes-eve.com/epages/rosesanciennes.sf .blogrosebooks30reszdimage-235

While on the subject of French rose writers, Eléonore Cruse has a beautiful wild rose garden called ‘La Roseraie de Berty’ in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, Southern France, and has  written a number of books including: Roses Anciennes and Les Roses Sauvages. For information about these books and Eleanor’s garden,  see : http://www.roseraie-de-berty.com.

And now to a number of books by Australian collector, Susan Irvine, who used to own Bleak House, a Victorian nursery from which I sourced many of my old roses in our old garden at ‘Creekside’ in Armidale.

Garden of a Thousand Roses: Making a Rose Garden in Australia 1992

A Hillside of Roses 1994

Susan Irvine’s Rose Gardens : Garden of a Thousand Roses with A Hillside of Roses 1998

Fragrant Roses 1996

Rose Gardens of Australia 1997

The Garden at Forest Hall 2002

Rosehips and Crabapples: A Rose-Lover’s Diary 2007

These are all delightful books, in which Susan writes about her long-term love affair with roses! The first book describes the garden she developed at Bleak House, Malmsbury, Victoria, while its sequel  ‘A Hillside of Roses’ follows the formation of her second garden at ‘Erinvale’, Gisborne, Victoria, which also housed her collection of Alister Clark roses (photos and description in the appendix).blogrosebooks30reszdimage-227

In 1998, both titles were published in the one book: ‘Susan Irvine’s Rose Gardens : Garden of a Thousand Roses with A Hillside of Roses ‘.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-233

In ‘Fragrant Roses’, Susan discusses 62 of her favourite roses (including modern roses), many of which I also love. It is always interesting comparing notes about favourite roses with other rose lovers and wonderful when you meet people with a similar taste and selection of favourites!*blogrosebooks50reszdimage-225‘Rose Gardens of Australia’ is a particular favourite, as it has formed the basis of many of our Australian pilgrimages like David Ruston’s Garden in Renmark; Red Cow Farm in the Southern Highlands (https://candeloblooms.com/2016/12/20/a-garden-weekend-in-the-southern-highlands-part-1/); Carrick Hill and Heide (https://candeloblooms.com/2016/02/09/favourite-gardens-regularly-open-to-the-public-historic-homes-and-gardens/) ; and Bolobek and Cruden Farm (https://candeloblooms.com/2016/08/02/part-2-favourite-private-gardens-historic-gardens-part-2/), as well as Walter Duncan’s Hughes Park, though by the time we visited him, he was living in his new garden at the Heritage Garden, near Clare. We still have plenty more places in the book to visit like Ruth Irving’s Al-Ru Farm at One Tree Hill in South Australia and Heather Cant’s florist garden at Gowan Brae, near Bowral, NSW !  All in all, it is a lovely browsy coffee-table book like Peter Beales’ ‘Visions of Roses’. There is even a Select List of Roses for Australian Gardens  with landscaping suggestions, descriptions and comments for each rose in the back.blogrosebooks20reszdimage-229

By the time Susan wrote ‘The Garden at Forest Hall ‘ (1996), she had moved to a beautiful old derelict Georgian sandstone mansion at Elizabeth Town, near Deloraine, Northern Tasmania, where she restored the house and revived the neglected  garden, the experience documented in her diaries from 2003 to 2005, the basis of her book ‘Rosehips and Crabapples’. She collaborated with photographer Simon Griffiths for her last three books and his photographs are superb.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-228 In 1994,  Susan received the Australian Rose Award from the National Rose Society of Australia and in 2001, became a Life Member of Heritage Roses Australia. She even had a rose named after her in 1996 : the Hybrid Gigantea rose called ‘Susan Irvine‘, which is very fitting given that she has had so much to do with the collection and conservation of Alister Clark roses, many of which involved R. gigantea in their parentage. While it is unlikely any more books will be forthcoming (Susan is in her late 80s), she has certainly left a legacy of beauty in both her gardens and her writings. I particularly loved the antique-looking thick paper and presentation of her final diary.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-226*With reference to the preferences of different rose lovers, especially when it comes to favourite roses, I really enjoyed reading Roses: A Celebration by Wayne Winterwood 2003, in which  34 gardeners and rose lovers write about their favourite rose. Contributors include: Peter Beales, Graham Stuart Thomas, David Austin, Christopher Lloyd, Mirabel Osler, Ken Druse and Dan Hinkley.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-211

Growing Old-Fashioned Roses in Australia and New Zealand by Trevor Nottle 1983

This was one of my first rose books- in fact, it was published the year we were married (so it’s a very old book now!), but it did the job and was very well-thumbed at the start of the increased popularity of Old Roses in the 1980s, before all the luscious rose books came into print.


Trevor Nottle is a South Australian rosarian, garden historian and heritage consultant, who has written 17 gardening books, many about old roses and Mediterranean and dry-climate gardening, including another book we own : ‘Plants for a Changing Climate’. See his blog at : https://trevornottle.wordpress.com/.blogrosebooks25reszdimage-234

Two more definitive influences in the development of my rose passion and knowledge were : Gardening with Old Roses: An Australasian Guide by Alan Sinclair and Rosemary Thodey  1993   and  Climbing and Rambling Roses: A Guide for Cultivation, Selection and Care by Sally Allison 1993.

The authors of both books hail from New Zealand, a country well-known for its beautiful rose gardens. Alan Sinclair has a huge private rose garden and nursery ‘Roseneath’ , north of Auckland in the North Island, while Sally Allison has been  a past President of Heritage Roses NZ and has a 10 acre country garden Lyddington, near Rangiora, 27 km north of Christchurch on the South Island. Alan’s book is a very useful reference on landscaping with Old Roses, as well as their care and history and has lovely photographs by Rosemary Thodey.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-205 Sally’s book is an excellent guide to climbing roses and ramblers with good notes on their history, cultivation and care, and support and display, and has a terrific dictionary, backed up with her photos, as well as a list of rose gardens to visit in New Zealand.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-204Another early guide (and somewhat soiled copy!) was The Book of Old-Fashioned Roses by Dr. Judyth A. McLeod 1984, a very simple  publication, which relies solely on its written descriptions to entice the reader and is more like a catalogue than an illustrated guide. Judyth is a passionate garden historian, who has written a number of books on Old Roses, lavender and heirloom and cottage garden plants and also had a nursery at Grosevale, in the Lower Blue Mountains, near Richmond called Honeysuckle Cottage, from which we bought some of our old Armidale roses, unavailable through Bleak House, back in the 1990s. Unfortunately, the nursery has now closed, but you can see a video clip about the nursery from 2012 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQm1rlhG_Hk.blogrosebooks25reszdimage-214

Through the Rose Arbour: Notes From a Gardening Life 2001 by Rosemary Houseman is a delightful little book, into which to delve headlong, her prose rambling amongst stunning photos, which document her journey into the world of Old Roses. She started her own nursery The Rose Arbour in Melbourne, Victoria in 1982.blogrosebooks50reszdimage-212An even tinier rose guide is the pocket-sized  A Little Guide to Old Roses by Hazel le Rougetel 1992. It is a sweet little book with hand-coloured illustrations of 28 iconic and favourite Old Roses. Hazel le Rougetel (1917 – 2010) wrote and lectured about old roses and was a founding member of the Historic Roses Group. Ros Wallinger wrote a piece about Hazel’s life on Page 4 of the Spring/ Summer No. 4 Newsletter for the Hampshire Garden Trust. See: http://www.hgt.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Spring-Summer-newsletter.pdf.blogrosebooks50reszdimage-202blogrosebooks25reszd2017-01-14-17-00-09The Old Rose world is a close-knit community and it was not surprising to learn that Hazel was good friends with Peter Beales and Graham Stuart Thomas, another foremost authority on Old Roses in England. He wrote the foreword to her book  A Heritage of Roses 1988, as seen in the photo above. Graham Stuart Thomas himself wrote the definitive Shrub Roses of Today back in 1962 , reprinted in 1963, 1967, 1974, 1980 and 1985. He has written a further 13 books on Old Roses and gardens and can lay credit to being responsible for the revival of interest in Old Roses. Graham Stuart Thomas (1909 – 2003) was heavily involved in the restoration of National Trust properties like Hidcote Manor and Sissinghurst Castle and their gardens, his pièce de résistance being the establishment of the National Collection of Old-Fashioned Roses at Montisfont Abbey : see https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont  and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/5819075/Graham-Stuart-Thomas-and-the-Mottisfont-old-roses.html.blogrosebooks50reszdimage-220 He actually met the renowned Arts and Crafts garden designer Gertrude Jekyll (1843 – 1932), revising her 1902 book Roses for English Gardens by Gertrude Jekyll and Edward Mawley in 1983. While bought more for its historical interest, it is still a worthy addition to my rose library, representing a very different era in the late 1800s and early 1900s, when old roses were merely the garden roses of the day and Hybrid Teas were just starting their ascendancy to world domination.blogrosebooks50reszdimage-201-copy Famous writer and gardener, Vita Sackville-West (1892 – 1962), was also a passionate admirer of Old Roses, planting 194 different types of old roses in her garden at Sissinghurst Castle by 1953, and while she did not publish any specific rose books, she does refer to them in her more general garden musings like my copy of V. Sackville-West’s Garden Book 1968.  See : https://sissinghurstcastle.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/roses-are-blooming-part-1-2/  and  http://www.gardensillustrated.com/article/plants/15-roses-sissinghhurst-castle.blogrosebooks50reszdimage-203Two more English books on Old Roses with beautiful photography are:

Designing With Roses by Tony Lord 1999, a sumptuous book with stunning photographs of roses and their gardens and

The Rose Gardens of England by Michael Gibson 1988 

Michael Gibson (1918 – 2000) was a well-known author and passionate rosarian, who specialized in roses and rose history and even though a little out-of-date, many of the rose gardens mentioned still exist and are open to the public, so it is definitely worth consulting if you are planning a tour of English Old Rose gardens in June and then googling your choices on the internet to confirm their continued existence and opening hours.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-221 He also wrote The Book of the Rose 1980, another great find from the secondhand bookstore with an excellent section on rose history and lovely illustrated plates. He once described the rose Fantin Latour, which was rediscovered and named by Graham Stuart Thomas, as “ one of the most beautiful roses of all”.blogrosebooks25reszdimage-206

See: https://www.countrygardenroses.co.uk/about-us/rose-gardener/2011-03-04-rose-of-the-week-7/, a link which leads me very neatly to the books of Antonia Ridge (1895 – 1981),  specifically  The Man Who Painted Roses about the life of French artist Fantin Latour (1836 – 1904), who painted many still-lifes featuring roses (see: https://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Painted-Roses-Pierre-Joseph/dp/0571105548  ), and my very favourite  For Love of a Rose, a delightfully written, slightly old-fashioned and quaint story of the creation of the Peace Rose and the Meilland and Paolino families behind it. It is a lovely happy read- everyone is decent and hard-working and it just makes you feel good!blogrosebooks50reszdimage-201I could not finish this blog without referring to one of the most famous French rose painters of all, ‘the Raphael of Flowers’, commissioned by Empress Josephine between 1817 and 1824, to paint all the roses in her famous rose collection at her chateau at Malmaison : Pierre- Joseph Redoute (1759 – 1840). Redoubte’s Roses is one of the largest books in our library and contains full-page  reproductions of colour plates of 167 roses with a brief description of each rose and its history.blogrosebooks20reszdimage-231

And finally, Naming of the Rose : Discovering Who Roses are Named For by Roger Mann 2008  is a fascinating read and gives more insight into the romance behind this beautiful flower.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-224

Next week, I will be discussing my favourite Old Rose websites. Till then…!

Postscript: I am adding in The Rose by David Austin 2012, a belated Christmas gift and the most beautiful and comprehensive book with chapters on Species Roses; the Old European Roses; Hybrid Teas and Floribundas; Polyanthas, Patio Roses and Miniatures; Shrub Roses and Ground-Covers; Climbers and Ramblers; and his own English Roses (with details and photos of 18 new roses), as well as information on how to grow these roses in the garden, companion plants for roses; maintenance of roses; and flower-arranging in the home. The photographs are so sumptuous and would be enough to convert any rose sassenach into a true believer!


The History of the Rose

This year, I am focusing on my most favourite flower of all, the rose, and in particular Old or Heritage Roses, whose scent, form and softer colours are far superior in my eyes to the modern rose. Each month, I will feature a particular rose group one week and a favourite rose garden on another week. The rose in the photograph below is a species rose: Sempervirens rose Adélaide d’Orléans.bloghxroses20reszdimg_9330 There are so many reasons that I love old roses : I love their variety of form from single to double, cupped and globular, quartered, quilled, ruffled, pinked, mossed and even button-eyed; their softer muted colours; their superb fragrance, which varies from damask and myrrh to the scents of clove, apple, lemon, nasturtium, orris and violet; their toughness, Old Roses resisting many of the modern rose ailments like black spot and mildew; their adaptability and versatility, allowing a multitude of uses in any part of the garden; their low maintenance, requiring little or no pruning; and their fascinating history, of which I will now proceed to give you a taster!bloghxroses20reszd2014-10-27-12-54-53bloghxroses20reszd2016-11-11-10-02-56Roses belong to the Family Rosaceae, so are closely related to apples and crab apples, pears and quinces, plums and cherries, nectarines and peaches, hawthorns and rowans and even blackberries and strawberries. The photos of rambling rose Rosa rubus (photo 1) and Rosa canina (photo 2) above are excellent examples, showing the similarity of the simple five-petalled rose flowers and leaves to their botanic cousins. The genus Rosa has 150 species, which have been divided into 4 subgenera: Hulthemia (Simplicifoliae, including R. persica); Hesperhodos (R. stellata); Platyrhodon (R. roxburhii) and Rosa, which has 11 sections :

1. Pimpinellifoliae (including R. foetida, R. spinosissima, R. hugonis, and R.ecae)

  1. Gallicanae (including R. gallica, R. damascena, R. centifolia, R. centifolia muscosa, R. richardii, and the Portlands)
  2. Caninae (including R. alba, R. canina, R. eglanteria, R. glauca and R. villosa)
  3. Carolinae (including R. carolina, R. nitida, R.palustris and R. virginiana)
  4. Cassiorhodon ( Cinnamomeae : including R. moyesii, R. rugosa, R. blanda, R. fedtschenkoana, R. kordesii, and the Boursaults)
  5. Synstylae (including R. arvensis, R. brunonii, R. dupontii, R. filipes, R. moschata, R. multiflora, R. phoenicia, R. sempervirens, R. setigera, R. wichuriana and the Hybrid Musks, Polyanthas, Floribundas, Multiflora Ramblers, Modern Climbing roses and Modern Shrub roses)
  6. Chinensis (including R. chinensis, R. odorata, R. gigantea and the Bourbons, Noisettes, Teas, Hybrid Perpetuals and Hybrid Teas)
  7. Banksianae (including R. banksiae and R. fortuniana)
  8. Laevigatae (R. laevigata)
  9. Bracteata (R. bracteata)

11. Gymnocarpae (including R. gymnocarpa and R. wilmottiae)

Here are some more photos of Species Roses:

Box 1 : Canary Bird (Rosa xanthina); Rosa foetida bicolor; R. webbiana and Geranium (R. moyesii)  

And in Box 2 below: one of my favourite species roses, the Rugosa Roses: Madame Georges Bruant; Scabrosa; Frau Dagmar Hastrup; and the divinely-scented Roseraie de l’Haie.

Roses are endemic to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, including North America (Alaska to Mexico), Europe, the Middle East and Asia, with the greatest diversity of species in Western China. I will be discussing the wild Species or Botanical Roses next month, but basically these were the original roses before humans started cultivating roses. See this link for a complete list of species: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Rosa_species. The photo below shows a late rose, covered in early Winter frost in our old garden in Armidale!bloghxroses50reszdimage-260 There are three major historical periods in the development of the rose as we know it today. The first is early rose cultivation up until the 1800s. Rose breeding exploded during the 19th century, with the introduction of oriental roses to the West and finally, the age of the Hybrid Teas and Floribundas of today, with further breeding to combine the best features of the old and the new, as well as to enhance production.

Fossil evidence dates the rose back to the Oligocene Period, 35 Million years ago. Fossilized leaves were found in North America (Oregon, Colorado and Alaska), France, Germany, Czechoslovakia and Japan. Garden cultivation of the rose began 5000 years ago, probably in China. The rose was grown in the gardens of the early Chinese dynasties of 3000 BC and roses of considerable hybridity are depicted in Chinese paintings from the 10th century on. Roses were frequently mentioned in records from the Middle East 2000 to 3000 years ago. The Mediterranean place names ‘Syria’ and ‘Rhodes’ both translate to the word ‘rose’. The Minoan frescoes (1800 BC) at Knossos, Crete, depict the blooms of Rosa richardii, thought to be one of the oldest cultivated garden roses. Gold rose pins were also found in the Mochlos tombs on Crete. Wreaths of the Damask-like rose, the Holy Rose, Rosa sancta, were found in Egyptian tombs. To the Ancient Greeks and Romans, the rose was a symbol of love, beauty and youth and it was frequently mentioned in their literature and mythology. They used the rose petals for confetti at festivals and celebrations, as we still do at our modern weddings, as well as in the production of rosewater and attar of roses for the perfume industry, potpourri and herbal medicine. In Ancient Greece, Herodotus described double roses, thought to have been Rosa damascena, growing in the gardens of Midas in 445 BC and Theophrastus (372-287 BC), the father of botany, gives detailed descriptions of their propagation from cuttings rather than seed and the benefits of pruning to encourage more flowering. Roman nobility extensively cultivated the rose in large public rose gardens, south of Rome, as well as in heated greenhouses to force blooms. It is thought they mainly grew Rosa damascena (Summer Damask) and Rosa damascena bifera (Autumn Damask), as well as a form of Gallica. The poet Martial (40-102 AD) laments the high price of roses in Winter, when the Romans imported the Autumn Damask, also known as Quatre Saisons (photo below), a cross between R.gallica and R. moschata, which flowers twice. They imported huge amounts of these roses from Egypt and the Middle East to maintain their Winter supply.bloghxroses20reszdimg_9496 The Arabs also loved the rose, spreading it from Syria to Spain and India and depicting it in Persian art, including tiles, porcelain, tapestries and carpets. Damask roses are still extensively grown today in Kazanlik, Bulgaria and Turkey for the perfumery industry and for the production of rose oil and potpourri. The rose below is Ispahan from Turkey.bloghxroses20reszdimg_9259 After the fall of Rome, roses continued to be grown in monastery gardens for Christian holy festivals and medicinal purposes. The rose became an emblem of Christianity, its five petals associated with Christ’s five wounds and the red rose symbolizing the blood of Christian martyrs. Rosary beads were developed in the 13th century for use in prayer and were originally made of dried rose petals, ground into a paste and slowly hardened. Roses were also depicted in the borders of illuminated books and stained glass church windows of the time, as well as in Renaissance art, like Botticelli’s ‘Primavera’.

Rosa gallica officinalis is known as the Apothecary’s Rose and it was the major rose used for medicine and as a source of rose oil in England before the introduction of the Damasks by the Crusaders in 1254, who brought this rose back from Damascus, hence its name. The red Gallica Rose was also the symbol of the House of Lancaster, while the White Rose, Rosa alba, was that of the House of York, in the War of Roses in England in the 15th century. After the war, the fusing of these symbols of the Houses of York and Lancaster resulted in the Tudor Rose, the emblem of England today. I will be discussing the Gallica roses in more depth later, but here are photos of two very famous historic Gallicas: Rosa Mundi, a striped sport (or mutation) of R. gallica officinalis and the velvety red Tuscany Superb.bloghxroses50reszdimage-240bloghxroses50reszdimage-205 By the end of the Middle Ages, the rise of the merchant class and the development of horticultural commerce in the Netherlands had a major impact on the development of the rose. Up until this time, roses were propagated by cuttings, suckers, runners and a small amount of grafting and there were only some tens of rose cultivars. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the Dutch started growing roses from seed, sexual reproduction allowing for much greater variation. In 1596, Gerard’s catalogue listed 16 roses, as compared to 225 carnations and 437 tulips. Between 1580 and 1710, there were over 200 new rose cultivars and a whole new group of roses, the Centifolias (photo below is R. centifolia), whose lush fragrant blooms were frequently depicted in the paintings of the Dutch Masters, alongside equally lush voluptuous women! In the 17th century, roses were in such high demand that their blooms, and rosewater itself, were considered legal tender and used as barter or payment.bloghxroses20reszd2014-10-19-13-11-08 Mosses, a mutation of Centifolias, which resulted in the stems and sepals being covered with a fine moss, also developed. A famous example is the Crested Moss, also known as Chapeau de Napoléon, because of the similarity of its heavily-mossed sepals to Emperor Napoléon’s tricorn hat. See the section below on Empress Josephine. Mossing is also seen in other class roses like Quatre Saisons Blanc Mousseux, a sport of Damask rose Quatre Saisons, seen below.bloghxroses20reszd2014-10-19-13-09-08By the 18th century, there were approximately 100 different types of roses in basically five broad classes of Old European Roses: Gallicas, Albas (1st photo below is Alba Maxima), Damasks, Centifolias and Mosses, all of them sharing the following characteristics: hardy and cold resistant; once flowering in Spring (the exception being the Autumn Damask, which flowered twice); fragrant, double or single flowers, with a muted and limited colour range of white, pink and red; generally deciduous; and resistant to black spot and rust, though some get mildew in warmer climates. There were also the Species Roses, also known as Wild or Botanical Roses, but more about them later. The 2nd photo below is another favourite Species Rose belonging to the Wichuriana Ramblers: Albertine.bloghxroses50reszdimage-211bloghxroses20reszd2016-11-16-09-47-07By 1800, the French had become interested in rose breeding, fuelled by Empress Josephine at her chateau at Malmaison. She aimed to collect all the available roses of the time (she grew 250 different roses) and encouraged breeding and hybridization by French breeders, especially Dupont and Descemet, who developed several hundred new cultivars. Josephine commissioned Pierre Joseph Redouté to paint her roses in watercolour and he published ‘Les Roses’ in 1824. The 19th century was the golden age of rose breeding in France. By the 1820s, there was a huge range of roses: every species had its own unique array of cultivars. Another prominent French rosarian was Jeanne Pierre Vibert, who inherited Descemet’s nursery stock, 10 000 seedlings and hybridizing records and went on to produce hundreds of new roses between 1816 and 1851. By the 1850s, there were 1800 different types of roses.The photo below is Chapeau de Napoléon.bloghxroses20reszd2014-11-22-14-26-37And then the whole situation exploded with the introduction to the west of the China (R. chinensis, previously known as R. indica) and Tea Roses (a cross between R. chinensis and R. gigantea) from the East. The four Stud Chinas, as they came to be known, were :

Old Blush, later known as Parson’s Pink, a pink form of R.chinensis, planted in Holland in 1781 and England in 1793;

Slater’s Crimson China (photo below), also called the Bengal Rose, a red form of R. chinensis, transported to England in 1792 from Calcutta by the ships of the East India Company, which also carried tea, a possible reason for the name ‘Tea Rose’;

Hume’s Blush Tea Scented China, R. indica odorata, named after Sir Abraham Hume, who sent the rose to England from the Fa Tee Nurseries in Canton in 1810;   and

Parks Yellow Tea Scented China, collected by John Parkes on an expedition to China for the Royal Horticultural Society in 1824.bloghxroses20reszd2014-10-19-13-14-31Hermosa below is a small continuous-blooming China Rose, bred in 1840.bloghxroses20reszd2014-10-19-13-45-51The introduction of the oriental roses set the rose breeding scene into a frenzy. Not only were these new roses repeat or continuous flowering, but they also had glossy green foliage and blooms with bright distinct colours and a supposedly slight tea fragrance, another reason for the future rose class ‘Tea Rose‘, which developed from them. The Chinas quickly became fashionable in the warmer parts of Europe, but unfortunately, they were not very robust in the colder Northern European zones, where they often had to be grown in glass houses. Mutabilis below is a classic example: Peter Beales describes its size reaching 90cm by 60cm wide in the United Kingdom, but I have seen bushes over 2 m high and wide in Australia’s warmer climate. bloghxroses50reszdnov-2010-253bloghxroses20reszdimg_1983 The first crosses between the once blooming Old European roses and repeat blooming roses also only bloom once, but once crossed with each other, then back to Chinas and Teas, they produce repeat blooming hybrids. Suddenly, there were lots of new classes of roses, which flowered two to three times in a season, but were hardier and more compact than the Chinas. The new rose types included:

Bourbon Roses, from the island of Réunion, once Isle de Bourbon, in the Indian Ocean, resulted from natural crosses between Parson’s Pink (China) and Quatre Saisons (Autumn Damask), both division hedges on the island. Seedlings and cuttings were sent to Paris in 1819 and 1821 and gained immediate popularity (their heyday was 1830-1850), with their strong arching growth and lush, fragrant, reblooming flowers. Up until the mid 19th century, there were few good climbers, so the Bourbons filled this niche, as well as being the most continuously flowering shrub rose of the time. I love their cupped globular blooms, opening out flat and quartered, and their fragrance is superb! Two very famous examples below are Madame Isaac Pereire (one of the strongest rose scents) and Souvenir de la Malmaison, both growing in my old and new gardens and both of which I could not do without!bloghxroses50reszdimage-236bloghxroses20reszd2016-11-07-10-50-42: The continuous flowering Portland Roses developed at the end of the 18th century from a cross between R. gallica officinalis and the Autumn Damask, R. damascena bifera, and were named after the 2nd Duchess of Portland (1715-1785).blogvsrg20reszd2014-10-19-13-12-50: The Boursaults, an evolutionary dead end, of which only a few types survive, was thought to have developed during the Napoleonic Era (1799-1815 ) from a cross between an early China and R. pendulina, the Alpine Rose, but studies of its chromosomal count, have disputed this. The rose above is Morletti, bred by Morlet in France in 1883. It is one of the few Boursaults to survive.bloghxroses50reszdimage-201: The Noisettes are one of my favourite rose groups, hence my header tab photo of one of my favourite Noisette roses Desprez à Fleurs Jaunes (photo above). They developed at the same time as the Portlands and Bourbons. John Champney of Charleston, Carolina, crossed Parson’s Pink (China) with R. moschata, to produce a large sturdy shrub with clusters of lightly fragrant pink blooms, which he called Champney’s Pink Cluster. His neighbour, Philippe Noisette, grew some of the seeds, producing a smaller plant with larger clusters of double flowers, which he called Blush Noisette, then sent seeds and seedlings to his Parisian brother, who used them extensively in hybridization in 1815. Within 10 years, French catalogues listed hundreds of Noisettes with repeat and continuous flowering blooms of a colour range from white to crimson and purple. The Victorians used Noisette roses extensively to cover walls and pergolas until the turn of the century, when newer hardier climbers from different backgrounds superseded them. Another favourite Noisette is Madame Alfred Carrière, which we grew over our front entrance arch in our old garden (photo 1), as well as the main pergola in our new garden (photo 2).bloghxroses50reszdimage-246bloghxroses20reszd2016-11-17-09-56-40 A cross between Noisettes and Parks Yellow Tea Scented China produced the Tea-Noisettes with a tendency to climb and smaller clusters of larger yellow and near-yellow blooms. Lamarque 1830 was one of the first of this type. bloghxroses20reszdimg_0413 I love the golden yellow Noisettes. We have yet to build an arch for Alister Stella Gray and Rêve d’Or, seen in the photos below.bloghxroses20reszd2016-11-16-09-46-38bloghxroses20reszd2016-11-08-15-21-14 : Tea Roses, closely related to Chinas (possibly an early cross between R. chinensis and R. gigantea) and also hailing from the Orient, became very popular with the Victorians as well, but were not totally hardy in the cooler climate, being far more vigorous in the warmer Australian climate. They have slender weak stalks, so their heads often nod, and high pointed centres in bud. Adam and Devoniensis are both Teas, growing on our main pergola.bloghxroses20reszdimg_1848bloghxroses20reszdimg_0731Between 1920 and 1940, Australian breeder Alister Clark (1864–1949) used R. gigantea in his breeding program to produce many Teas, which were ideally suited to Australia’s sunny dry climate. See photos below of Cicely Lascelles 1937 , Baxter Beauty 1924 and Nancy Hayward 1937. bloghxroses20reszdimg_9468bloghxroses20reszdimg_4796bloghxroses20reszd2014-10-19-13-17-23: Hybrid Perpetuals were developed from crosses between hybrids of Chinas, Bourbons and Noisettes with Autumn Damasks. The huge recurrent fragrant blooms had a full colour range, except for pure white or yellow, but had a tendency to fungal disease. Thousands were released over the next 60 years, until they were replaced by hardier Hybrid Teas in the 1890s and only the best Hybrid Perpetuals survive.bloghxroses20reszd2016-11-18-19-35-08Hybrid Teas are a cross between Hybrid Perpetuals and Tea Roses. The photo above is Heaven Scent and has a typical high-pointed bud, frilled petals and a divine scent! M. Guillot bred the first hybrid tea rose, ‘La France’, in 1865, while Henry Bennett, was working along similar lines in the UK with ‘Lady Mary Fitzwilliam’, the second Hybrid Tea. These new roses were bushier plants with more beautiful foliage and more abundant blooming of better shaped flowers. They had a high pointed bud and the warmer, though muted, colour range of the Teas, but they were tender, with their flower heads nodding on the stems like Teas. In 1900, Pernet-Ducher crossed the deep yellow R. foetida persiana with Antoine Ducher, a purple red Hybrid Perpetual, then recrossed the resultant seedling with R. foetida bicolour, producing Soleil d’Or, a gold Tea, the first of the Pernetianas, now classified as Hybrid Teas. The Pernetianas were combined with Hybrid Teas to produce the hybrid Hybrid Teas of today. The use of R. foetida gave these roses their sturdy growth and improved health and glossy leaves, though unfortunately also their susceptibility to black spot. Lolita below is a typical Hybrid Tea with a high pointed bud and beautiful warm orange-gold tones.bloghxroses20reszd2016-10-29-17-12-24bloghxroses20reszdmidmar-2014-136 Further crosses between Hybrid Teas and R. wichuriana have rectified this situation to a certain extent, though it is still a problem for many Hybrid Teas. Since then, Hybrid Teas have been selected for reliable recurrent blooming, a high centred bud, multi-petalled flower forms, a long cutting stem with a strong neck and disease resistance. Just Joey below is one of the world’s favourite roses, inducted into the Rose Hall of Fame in 1994.bloghxroses20reszd2016-11-23-15-13-08Today, there are at least 29 groups / classes of cultivated roses and over 30 000 cultivars, with Hybrid Teas and Floribundas being the most common rose type of the 20th century and 3000 new cultivars being registered each year. Floribundas started as Dwarf Polyanthas. In 1862, the cluster-flowering R. multiflora ‘Polyantha’ was introduced from Japan and in 1869, in Lyons, France , Guillot fils crossed an unknown hybrid China with seed from a low-growing, semi-double form of this Multiflora to produce the first Polyantha, Paquerette 1875 with its many clusters of small perfect buds. These small compact bushes (1 to 3 feet) were perfect for bedding plants and were very popular in their day. Dwarf Polyanthas were crossed with Hybrid Teas by Poulsen of Denmark, in the 1920s, to produce the Hybrid Polyanthas, renamed Floribundas in the 1950s. Their flowers are half the size of those of Hybrid Teas, but the clusters are larger, with 10 or more flowers on each stem, providing massed colour throughout the Summer. Hybrid Teas and Floribundas have been interbred so much, that it is now difficult to separate them genetically. They are now called Cluster-Flowered Roses (Floribundas) and Large-Flowered Roses (Hybrid Teas). Lavinia Evans (photo 1) is a Polyantha, while Queen Mother (photo 2) is a Floribunda and a Patio Rose.bloghxroses20reszd2014-10-25-09-42-49bloghxroses50reszdapril-016 Two more groups, developed in the 20th century, are the Hybrid Musks and David Austin’s English Roses. Between 1910 and 1930, Joseph Pemberton crossed two roses of R. multiflora/ R. moschata parentage, Aglaia and Trier, with Teas, Hybrid Teas and Hybrid Perpetuals to produce Hybrid Musks, long-flowering shrub roses with clusters of flowers, equal in amount to the Polyanthas. Cornelia and Penelope are two of my favourites!bloghxroses20reszd2016-11-03-10-04-21bloghxroses20reszd2016-11-06-13-09-14David Austin has combined the best of the old and the new with beautiful cupped and quartered full old-fashioned blooms, which repeat-flower constantly. They form the basis of my Moon Bed and include Jude the Obscure, William Morris and Golden Celebration (last 2 photos) : bloghxroses20reszd2016-11-22-17-03-14bloghxroses20reszd2016-11-17-09-52-09bloghxroses20reszdimg_4487bloghxroses20reszd2016-11-01-13-27-29I also grow Alnwick and Fair Bianca in the Soho Bed.bloghxroses20reszd2016-10-29-17-08-08bloghxroses20reszdimg_0467Other modern rose groups include the Kordes (Germany) and Guillot Roses (France). Maigold and Frühlingsgold are Kordes Roses and can be bought from Treloars in Victoria.bloghxroses20reszdimg_9505bloghxroses50reszdimage-259We saw many Guillot Roses at Walter Duncan’s home, The Heritage Garden, but now Knights Roses (South Australia) are the Australian agents. I loved Walter’s rose arch (photo 1) and would dearly love to find a spot for Sonia Rykiel (photo 2).bloghxroses20reszdimg_9419bloghxroses20reszdimg_9491Today, commercial production of roses centres on providing ornamental plants for domestic and industrial landscaping, flowers for the cut flower market and the perfume industry (rose water/ attar of roses/ rose essential oil), and rose hips for food (rosehip jam and syrup) and medicine (high vitamin C content), though I think some of the Species Roses still have the best hips!bloghxroses50reszdapril-036bloghxroses50reszdimage-192bloghxroses50reszdapril-028 As florist roses are increasingly grown, then shipped from developing countries like Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda in Africa and Colombia and Ecuador in South America, post-harvest longevity is becoming increasingly important, and new varieties are being bred for longer vase life, as well as thornless stems to promote ease of handling and sorting. The ethics behind rose production in developing countries is a whole separate subject in itself, as I discovered in my floristry course and one which I may explore in a later post. For a taster, see: http://ipisresearch.be/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/160524-flowers.pdf.bloghxroses20reszdimg_1987bloghxroses20reszd2016-10-28-13-51-47But back to current breeding! Most of the work is directed towards increasing production. For example, soil-less cultivation, efficient nutrient usage and the ability of cultivars to grow on their own root stocks, a much cheaper alternative to grafting. Genetics is also playing a much more prominent role, not only to confirm ancestry, but also in genetic modification. Experiments have investigated increasing resistance to powdery mildew and other diseases, increasing resistance to temperature, increasing the shelf life of roses and resistance to shock over long transportation, increasing the adventitious rooting of cuttings and increasing fragrance, lost during conventional breeding. Experiments are also being done to control colour at a genetic level, in order to create unique colours and eliminate the need for costly dyes. And then, there is still the questionable long-held desire to produce a blue rose, the Holy Grail of rose breeders! Because there is no blue in the rose gene pool, genetic engineering has been used to introduce the blue pigment Delphinidin, found naturally in violas and delphiniums to a white rose, resulting in a lavender-mauve rose called Applause, which was released for sale to the public in Japan in 2009 and America in 2011 after more than 20 years of research by a collaboration between two companies:  Florigene, a Melbourne-based biotechnology company and the Japanese Suntory Group. See: http://phys.org/news/2005-04-gene-results-world-blue-rose.html.  I have to say that I’m happy enough with my mauve Hybrid Tea, Lady X (above) and for total originality, my obscure green China Rose, Viridiflora!bloghxroses20reszd2014-10-19-13-44-18For the rest of the year, I will be describing each of the different rose groups in depth with examples from our garden, starting with the Species or Botanical Roses, then progressing through the Old European Roses to the multitude of hybrids, which developed from them, culminating in the modern Hybrid Tea rose of today.