Hybrid Musks were developed in the first quarter of the 20th Century, so well after 1867. Consequently, they are not considered to be Old Roses, but rather Classic Roses with so many advantages that they are still very popular today.
The Hybrid Musk story starts with a German rose hybridizer, Peter Lambert, who bred a Multiflora Rambler, Aglaia, also called Yellow Rambler, in 1896 from a cross between R. multiflora and a Noisette, Rêve d’Or. Aglaia has vigorous, upright growth, 2.5 metres up to 5 metres tall and 1.8 metres wide; almost thornless stems; rich light green foliage with bronze tints when young; and small, semi-double, strongly fragrant, pale primrose yellow blooms, fading white, in Summer. Aglaia was one of the three daughters of Greek God, Zeus, and Eurynome and represented beauty. You can see a photo of this rose at: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/aglaia.
In 1904, Lambert released a self-seedling of Aglaia, Trier, a Hybrid Multiflora and the very first Hybrid Musk rose. Trier is a repeat-flowering, upright shrub or small climber, 2.5 metres tall and 1.8 metres wide, with small foliage and small sprays of small, nearly single, fragrant white flowers, tinged with cream and pink. See: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/trier.
The story then transfers to Reverend Joseph Pemberton (1852-1926) of Essex, England, who was an Anglican clergyman, but also a keen lifelong rosarian. He had an early interest in growing and showing roses, especially the then-popular Hybrid Perpetuals, and was an early member of the National Rose Society, of which he was President in 1911. On his retirement, he started to breed roses, crossing Noisettes, Polyanthas and especially Trier with Hybrid Teas, Teas and Noisettes to produce a new type of rose, the Hybrid Musks.
These new roses were long flowering, highly floriferous shrubs with clusters of fragrant flowers. His first Hybrid Musks were Daphne 1912 and Danaë and Moonlight, both released in 1913. He established the Pemberton Nursery at Romford, where he grew 35 000 to 40 000 roses for sale annually. He released 25 new roses between 1912 and 1926, with a further ten selected from his seedlings and released by his sister, Florence, after his death.
During the 1930s, his assistants, John (Jack) and Ann Bentall, continued his work, releasing several new Hybrid Musks, including Autumn Delight 1933, Ballerina 1937 and Buff Beauty 1939, released after John’s death by his widow. For more about Reverend Pemberton, see: http://www.pembertonroses.org.uk/pemberton-family-history and http://www.pembertonroses.org.uk/historical-events.
Graceful spreading shrubs, which can be trained as low climbers, pillars and cascading feature roses. They are quite large shrubs, most at least 1.5 metres to 1.8 metres tall and wide, so they require room.Very vigorous and tough, they can withstand a wide range of soil conditions, temperature and sun. They tolerate partial shade better than most roses and can be grown on south-facing walls (Australia). They have excellent disease-resistance. The photo above is Buff Beauty at the Mt Lofty Botanical Garden, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, while the photo below is Autumn Delight.They have long graceful canes, some of which are almost thornless, with large, smooth, shiny, dark green , healthy foliage. Cornelia is the rose in the photo below.Very floriferous, they bloom abundantly and rapidly in Summer and Autumn and are reliable repeat-bloomers, some producing flowers continuously. Because so many flowers are often open at the same time, their pleasing fragrance fills the air for some distance. The scent from Cornelia is superb!They have huge clusters of small to medium, soft pastel flowers in white, yellow, pink, peach and apricot, though there are a few medium reds like Will Scarlet and Robin Hood. The photo below is Kathleen.Requirements
Hybrid Musks need plenty of space and good cultivation and adequate manuring to reach their full potential. Because they repeat-flower, pruning is important to encourage new growth, prevent the shrub from becoming leggy and unkempt, and to extend its life. Prune the strong main shoots back by one third in Winter, as well as old weak wood, especially in the centre of the bush. Deadhead during the Summer to encourage new flowers. The photo below is of Penelope.Varieties
Prosperity Pemberton UK 1919
A cross between a Polyantha, Marie-Jeanne, and a Tea rose, Perle des Jardins, I grew this rose in my old Armidale garden as part of a hedge.
Tall bushy upright growth like its Tea parent and can be grown as a climber. Up to 2 metres tall and 1.5 metres wide.
Strong arching shoots, which bend due to the weight of the blooms.
Shiny dark green foliage.
Large even clusters of small double fragrant creamy white blooms, flushed with blush pink at first, then fading to an ivory white, with a lemon tinge in the centre with age.Kathleen Pemberton UK 1922
A cross between Hybrid Musk Daphne and Perle des Jeannes, I tried growing this rose as part of my Hybrid Musk hedge, but it wasn’t a healthy specimen, so I replaced it. It is still alive, but sickly, so I will wait to see if it recovers next Spring before deciding its fate!Very vigorous (2.4 metres tall and 1.2 metres wide) with greyish green stems; Sparse dark green foliage; And small to medium, fragrant, single, pale pink blooms with deeper shadings like apple blossom.Bloomfield Dainty Thomas USA 1924
A cross between Hybrid Musk, Danaë, and Bloomfield Abundance. The photo below was taken at Werribee Park and features Bloomfield Dainty in the foreground.
Spreading arching shrub 2.5 metres tall and 1.2 metres wide.Long pointed orange buds open to single yellow saucers with 5 petals, a large central boss of gold stamens and a sweet musky fragrance. The main Spring flush is followed by a lesser display in Summer and Autumn.Penelope Pemberton UK 1924
One of the most reliable and popular Hybrid Musks, this rose is a cross between Trier and Hybrid Tea, Ophelia. This would have to almost be my favourite Hybrid Musk and it thrived both in my old Armidale garden and my new Candelo hedge.Fully branching and spreading habit, 1.8 metres tall and 1.5 metres across, it can be grown as a climber or a low spreading shrub. The long canes bear large trusses of highly fragrant, semi-double, medium, frilly edged blush pink to peach blossoms, which open from coppery, salmon tinted buds, then fade to a creamy-white. The flowers reveal centres of gold stamens as they open. Continuously blooming, they set coral pink hips, which should be deadheaded to encourage more blooms.Cornelia Pemberton UK 1925 Unknown parentage
Vigorous shrub, 1.5 metres high and 1.8 metres wide, with dark brown shoots; Small bronze foliage when young; And large clusters of small , highly fragrant, pink and peach, fully double, rosette blooms with 3 to 4 layers of petals and a central boss of gold stamens. Continuously blooming, the Autumn flush is particularly good, with large sprays of deeper pink flowers produced on strong new stems from the base of the plant. I am growing this rose on one side of the chook arch opposite Tea rose, Sombreuil.
Felicia Pemberton UK 1928
Released by his sister Florence after his death, this rose is another cross between Trier and Hybrid Tea, Ophelia.A strong reliable broad shapely branching shrub, 1.5 metres tall and 2.7 metres wide, which makes a good hedge. The large, crisp, dark green leaves have crinkled edges and are more like those of Hybrid Teas than many Hybrid Musks. I am growing this rose under the apple tree, but it has much competition both from the latter, as well as the roots and shade of the White Mulberry and Cottonwood Poplar!Large sprays of small, informal, muddled, strongly fragrant, rich pink flowers with salmon shadings open from pointed apricot pink buds and fade to blush pink. Very floriferous, it blooms freely from Summer to Autumn.
Francesca Pemberton UK 1928
Another seedling released after his death, this rose is a cross between Hybrid Musk, Danaë, and Sunburst.
Large graceful shrub, 1.8 metres tall and wide, it has broad arching growth; Smooth dark stems and is well-foliated with long dark green glossy leaves with pointed ends.Well spaced sprays of large semi-double apricot yellow blooms, with a strong Tea scent, open from long, slim, pointed, elegant buds and fade to a pale yellow. The Autumn blooms are a deeper yellow.Autumn Delight Bentall UK 1933 Unknown parentage
Upright bushy shrub, 1.2 metres tall and wide, with almost thornless stems; Dark green leathery foliage; And large trusses of semi-double, soft buff yellow, continuous blooms, opening from shapely deep yellow buds. This rose graces the far end of the white Hybrid Musk hedge behind the raspberry patch.Buff Beauty Bentall UK 1939
The last of the Pemberton-Bentall Hybrid Musks, this rose is a cross between a Noisette, William Allen Richardson, and an unknown rose.
A vigorous, well-balanced, arching shrub, 1.8 metres tall and 1.5 metres wide, it can be grown as a small climber in warm climates. It was a very large shrub in my Armidale garden.Smooth stems tinted brown and large thick dark green leaves.A reliable continuous flowerer, it has small to large clusters of medium, semi-double to double, rich apricot-yellow blooms with a strong Tea fragrance. The colour varies with the weather and the soil from apricot to buff yellow and even primrose.For a full list of Hybrid Musks available commercially today, with photos, see:
In my research, I also discovered that the Pemberton Rose Garden at the St. Francis Hospice in Romford, Essex, has the largest collection of Pemberton Roses in the world. See: http://www.pembertonroses.org.uk/the-garden. What a wonderful place for the terminally ill patients and their families!
Next week, there are three posts on travel books in our library, as a lead up to my Bucket-List of Overseas Gardens, which I would love to visit one day, but for this month at least will be exploring digitally!