The best roses are prolific. Don’t get me wrong – I do enjoy spotting a spindly climbing rose around the entrance to an old cottage or leaning in a corner of a graveyard as much as the next person. And I try not to judge. Tough enough, these roses give the impression that they are barely clinging on to life. Often they are red ones, throwing out a long, languidly arching stem to one side or the other that they wave around romantically in the wind, careless of their own mortality. Those are the ones that can get away with the merest peppering of tatty blooms and still provoke a genuine ‘ooh!’ or an ‘aah…”, until I pull out a camera, of course, when the ‘ooh!’ usually turns to an ‘oh!’ in an instant.
No, give me the prolific ones, where bloom competes with bloom for its moment in the full sun.
I don’t know the name of the pink rose at the top, but the second one is Rosa ‘Ballerina’, a shrub rose (technically a hybrid musk) that liberally smothers itself in flowers. The young flowers are bee targets, like fried eggs, dressed up in pink edges for a garden party. The elderly flowers lost their pink days ago, paling to white, and making a lovely contrast.
Rosa ‘Adélaide d’Orléans’ could never be accused of being parsimonious – not when given the conditions it enjoys, at least. We lack gratitude when we complain that a rambling rose doesn’t repeat flower. Some do, but in general, the ones that really blow our socks off do not.
Rosa ‘Peggy Martin’ may look delicate, but has proved to be one of the toughest rambling roses. Also known as The Katrina Rose, this old passalong plant was once nameless, shared only by cuttings passed from one devotee to another, but is now available commercially. It won its name by being the only rose from Peggy Martin’s extensive collection to survive deep floodwater for two weeks.
If you see a huge tumble of a rambling rose, covered by small, raggedy, buttery yellow blooms, the chances are it is this one. Rosa banksiae lutea is one of the earliest roses to flower each year and all the more welcome for that. Many people know it by the folk name: Lady Bank’s rose.
I like it when roses open up one colour and change to another. Rosa ‘The Garland’ is a subtle example, shown here tumbling over a garden fence. The buds are a sweet shade of apricot pink, with darker red splashes. The youngest flowers keep their wash of blush, only turning pure white when fully open. Golden stamens add a little extra cheer.
If these roses made your heart dance, don’t sit this one out:
Enveloped In Roses (another weekly challenge post from back in 2015)
Shared for this week’s photo challenge: prolific.