– Patsy Cunningham
‘Crimson Glory’ is the rose Ed and I would choose if we were only
allowed to grow one rose, as the heady damask scent and rich velvet
red-black color compensate for its faults. I have dozens of favorite
roses, though, and ‘Cherry Parfait’ is my favorite 2003
New intros, especially AARS winners, get a lot of press and often
don’t live up to their ads. Last year’s ‘Marilyn Monroe’ comes to
mind, with its weak growth and some winter tenderness around here.
So far, though, I’m impressed with ‘Cherry Parfait’, a new AARS
grandiflora bred by Meilland and introduced by Star Roses. It has a
very large, showy white bloom with extensive and well-defined
borders of bright cherry red, with a slight resemblance to ‘Double
Delight’. Unlike ‘Double Delight’, it does not have a strong
fragrance, but on the positive side, it appears to be vigorous and
very disease resistant.
Where it really shines though, is in the long lasting nature of each
bloom. During the heat spell last month, I had a beautiful bloom
stay on the bush in perfect shape for three days in ninety plus
temperatures. I cut it along with some other blooms to show people
at work some roses with unusual colors. It stayed an additional
three days in the vase, fully open, and lost no significant
substance when it was taken home by a co-worker. This kind of
staying power is worth a lot if you work during the day. I hate to
come home after work and find that a bloom has opened and fully
blown in one day, giving me no chance to enjoy it. So, my hope is
that ‘Cherry Parfait’ will winter over well here in zone 6 and
remain one of my favorites.
Dawn’ & ‘Royal Bonica’
After experiencing last winter’s zone 5 like conditions, I have a
new list of favorite roses. Old favorites, like the climber,
‘Altissimo’, had a terrible time and barely survived. Another winter
like the last and I’ll shovel prune it. Other seemingly hardy roses
like the floribunda, ‘Gruss an Aachen’ didn’t make it
at all. So here are a few new winners.
‘Traviata’: Although we don’t have many hybrid teas, this one is
spectacular. Big, glossy, dark green leaves grow on thick, thorny
canes and produce huge, long lasting blood-red blooms. The plant is
disease free and can be the centerpiece of a garden.
‘New Dawn’: After the ‘Altissimo’ experience, it was a pleasure to
see how well this climber over-wintered. Small, shiny leaves grow on
relatively thin canes but the vigorous growth is amazing. Just two
of these plants cover a large gazebo totally and another one climbs
up a 15-foot pergola with ease. It produces zillions of light pink
blooms with a very slight fragrance. Again,
fungus doesn’t appear to be a problem.
‘Royal Bonica’: This shrub is truly bullet proof. The plant is large
(4 feet high) with medium green leaves. The flowers are dark pink
and a grouping of these shrubs is quite dramatic. Black spot free,
‘Jeanne Lajoie’ &
‘Outta the Blue’
Over the years favorites have come and gone, but ‘Jeanne Lajoie’ has
been my favorite for a long time.
‘Jeanne Lajoie’ is a medium pink
climbing miniature. The first time I saw it was at the home of a
New England Rose Society member. It had climbed about 10-12 feet
from the ground to the top a deck and spread at least 6 feet wide.
I couldn’t believe that this was a miniature. At that time I said,
“Someday I’m going to have one of those.” Now we have five or six,
one being pretty much like the first one I saw in 1990.
Last year we purchased a rose called
‘Outta the Blue’, a mauve shrub and one of the most fragrant roses I
have ever had the pleasure of smelling. We grew it in a pot near
the front of the barn. The minute the door was opened or when you
walked up the driveway you could smell it without being anywhere
near the plant.
I guess my favorite rose is ‘Jeanne
Lajoie’ and my favorite fragrant rose is ‘Outta the Blue’.