‘Elina’ – Barbara Briggs
I have been awarded the opportunity of sharing with you what I believe is my favorite rose.
As I sit on my porch and watch the miracle of the different stages of bloom of the rose bushes in front of my house, I try to decide, as so many of you before me who have written for this column, what rose is my favorite? Also, like many of you, it is a tough decision. As I visit the gardens of the Chute’s, Kolis’, Silva’s, Edgar’s, Shelly’s and the Victorian Rose Garden, I ooohh and aaahh at the roses in their beds and pots and each bed seems to unveil more and more beautiful wonders of nature.
So I decided to take a chance on choosing my favorite rose for the summer of 2002. As I have watched ‘Elina’, which is perched at the end of my walkway, prolifically bloom throught this extremely hot, dry summer, I marvel at how it has given me a great show of numerous, large, very soft yellow blooms with a very slight fragrance. ‘Elina’ is a hybrid tea which grows to six feet tall no matter how severe I trim her. She has dark green, glossy foliage. ‘Elina’ is disease resistant and other than the occasional pesky Japanese beetle, I have yet to find any other insects. Oh, one other thing – ‘Elina’ has some very fierce thorns.
‘Just Peachy’ – Dorrie Nichols
Ah . . . my favorite rose. Of course for me it has to be a Brownell rose, but which one? Each summer day as I walk into my garden or my rose field and am greeted by an opening blossom, fragrant in the morning air, that is my favorite. Whether it is pure white ‘White Cap’, brilliant red ‘Red Duchess’, soft pale yellow ‘Lily Pons’, showy dark red ‘Pillar #108’, beautiful peach ‘Break O' Day’, or sparkling pink ‘Pink Bouquet’ . . . there are so many varieties, each with its own characteristics. For me, choosing a favorite is rather like choosing a favorite child in the family - impossible. Of course, they are not human beings and besides Angie asked me to choose one, so I must come back to the reality of the task at hand.
One of my favorites is an everblooming pillar, not named, but I call it ‘Peachy Yellow’ or ‘Just Peachy’. It is a wonderful plant with sturdy upright canes and grows easily to five or six feet in two years. The foliage is shiny medium green with a touch of crimson at the edge and not susceptible to black spot. The blossom, one to three on a stem, starts as deep yellow and as it opens softens to a paler yellow with peach shadings and slightly pointed recurled petals. The open blossom is three to four inches with a scent of China Tea. It flowers repeatedly from June to frost. A very satisfactory rose for any garden.
‘Ingrid Bergman’ - Linda Shamoon
I love red roses. The color attracts my eye, the contrast against the green foliage is beautiful, and the deeper red specimens hint of majesty. In my urban, vest-pocket garden of twenty or so rose bushes, nine are red-almost fifty percent! The first hybrid tea I grew was ‘Mr. Lincoln’ and the latest addition is ‘Liebeszauber’, both beautiful reds. But for vigor, color, beauty and resilience my favorite is ‘Ingrid Bergman’.
I could go on and on about her qualities, but Botanica's Roses sums them up best, so I am going to quote that description: "The high quality flowers are velvet red, fully double and very fragrant. The color holds well, and new flowering shoots appear freely after each flush of bloom. It has vigorous, upright growth and dark green leathery leaves. 'Ingrid Bergman' is a strong plant, almost entirely disease resistant and worth a place in any rose garden as it gives so much pleasure."
My post script: In my garden Ingrid gets barely six hours of sun in the summer, less in early spring and late fall, but she lives up to Botanica's description, nonetheless. This summer with the drought and heat, she was overrun with spider mites, but she withstood the onslaught better than most of my other bushes and continued to produce gorgeous blooms, a display worthy of the Nordic film star for whom she is named.
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