neyronrose (neyronrose) wrote,

matching roses with time periods

     It's too cold to garden, but not too cold to read my books on roses.  I think I have most of the more inexpensive books about Old Garden Roses that have been published in the last several decades.  There was a revival of interest in them in the 1930s, as people saw the roses of the Victorian Age disappearing with the popularity of Hybrid Teas.  I know which roses were around in which eras, from medival European roses to those around in American colonial times, to those that were bred in the nineteeth and twentieth centuries.  I've done lists of which roses would be available for Victorian gardens, depending on the year.  As I do this, I pretty much assume that the gardeners would have chosen a number of the good new roses of the time, as well as some beloved classics.  One night this past week, I did a list of which ones would be around in a garden of what would then have been modern roses, in the 1930s -- and in a much warmer climate than here, because it gave me so much greater a range to play with.  I did okay choosing some lovely, fragrant, warm-climate roses, although some of my choices were not exactly modern by the 1930s.

     Someone who was interested in old roses at the time and lived in climate zone 8 or so would have had some wonderful China and Tea roses to choose from.  I couldn't resist putting 'Mutabilis' in my imaginary rose garden.  With flowers which darken with age, from yellow buds to red when fully blown, the bush is said to look like it's covered with a variety of bright-colored butterflies.  My sources have various dates for when it was introduced to the West, although it had probably been around in Chinese gardens for centuries.  I think this is one of the only unscented roses I chose, although its looks make up for it.

     I went with some older choices for a couple of the climbing roses.  The Noisette rose 'Lamarque' was introduced in 1830 and the climbing version of 'Devoniensis' in 1858.  I haven't seen them in real life, but the photographs I've seen of them are gorgeous, and they're said to be wonderfully fragrant.  Climbing roses tend to stay in catalogs for decades if they're popular, although those two choices are stretching it.  If I had a warm climate, a big plot of land, and gardeners, I'd have as many of the good Tea-Noisettes as I could get my hands on.  The Noisettes with a considerable infusion of Tea rose into their breeding are beautiful and are said to have marvelous fragrances.

     For my other choices of climbing roses, I managed to stick a little closer to my time period.  The climbing version of 'Lady Hillingdon' was introduced in 1917, 'Climbing Ophelia' in 1920, and the climbing version of 'Mrs. Herbert Stevens' in 1922.  I got up to the thirties with 'New Dawn,' introduced in 1930; 'Climbing Etoile de Holland,' 1931; 'Climbing Mrs. Sam McGredy,' introduced in 1937; and the very dark red 'Guinee,' from 1938.  I think those are all well-scented.  I've actually seen 'New Dawn' -- they have it at Longwood Gardens.

     I went back in time with a few of the bush roses.  Who could live in a warm climate and not want to grow 'Duchesse de Brabant'?  I had it for a year or two, in a big chocolate-colored pot, and it had the most beautiful, fragrant pink blooms.  A cold winter here killed it, but I'd get it again in a second, and make sure it had more winter protection.  The 'Duchesse' was introduced in 1857.  I crept closer to the twentieth century with 'American Beauty,' from 1875; and 'Maman Cochet,' from 1893.  After that, I managed to get into the twentieth century, and mostly Hybrid Teas, with 'Radiance' (1908 -- it had a number of sports which were commonly planted, too) , 'Los Angeles' (1916, but popular for decades), 'Shot Silk' (1924), and 'Lady Sylvia' (1926).  Who could resist the Hybrid Perpetual 'Arrillaga,' from 1929?  A number of Hybrid Musks were just being introduced in the twenties and thirties -- I added 'The Fairy' (1932 -- unscented, but covers itself in lovely little flowers) and 'Buff Beauty' (1939) to my imaginary garden.  'Joanna Hill,' from 1928, was popular for a number of years.  I actually got into Hybrid Teas of the 1930s with 'McGredy's Yellow' (1933), 'Golden Melody' (1934), and 'Crimson Glory' (1935).

     I got quite a range of colors in there, from whites with touches of yellow to bright yellows; light, medium and dark pinks; and some excellent reds.  And I think all my choices were repeat-bloomers.  There were quite a number of Ramblers introduced in the earlier part of the twentieth century, but they were mostly unscented and once-blooming.  If you're going to have a warm-climate garden, you might as well take advantage of being able to grow China, Tea and Noisette roses.  Most of my choices were pleasantly fragrant, too, as that's a factor I heavily favor as I get roses or make up gardens.       
Tags: gardening, roses

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