‘A Rose by any other name…’

I grumbled in my last post about roses that had been planted in my garden with silly names. Most of them had to go, along with all the gawky, scentless hybrid teas. But there are still lots of beautiful roses with no labels, and Shakespeare is right they smell as sweet as those with names. And yet… I cannot love them so much without knowing what to call them. All along the picket fence in the front garden there are healthy vigorous roses. I think they are Hybrid Musks called ‘Moonlight’ but I am not sure.

And  you see the little pink one, bottom right? It suckers and travels all over the front garden. If it finds a tall shrub it climbs. It is very pretty but what is it? I suspect a gallica, maybe ‘Gloire de France’ but I really need to know.

And look at this gorgeous rose which grows through a viburnum. I would love it so much more if I knew what to call it.

I have one Moss rose,  but I am not sure which. Moss roses are centifolias which have a moss-like growth on their sepals which makes their buds very attractive.  They first appeared as mutations in 1720. My favourite is ‘William Lobb’ which reminds me, I don’t have him here. I must find room for William. But meanwhile which is this one?

I think this next one is an alba as it has the typical healthy blue-green leaves. It looks like ‘Queen of Denmark’ to me. It grows tall so I give it a lobster pot support made of hazel twigs and tie it in horizontally.

I showed this one a few years ago and someone kindly identified it for me as ‘James Galway’  I love it because it is so full and frilly. It is a climber and grows into a holly. It is a David Austin rose and thank goodness the previous occupants of my garden discovered David Austin and I have quite a collection of these wonderful roses which I have added to over the years I have been here.

Rosa ‘James Galway’

Here are a few of my favourite David Austin roses.

I used to have a rose garden filled with old fashioned roses and I still grow some as they are unbeatable for scent and shape. Here are a few of them.

I love single roses too and the China rose, Rosa mutabilis blooms all summer long. Here it is with the tall spires of Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Fascination’.

Rosa mutabilis

Another single rose which blooms all summer long and has lovely glossy leaves is ‘Sally Holmes’. I grow it next to the silvery foliage of Berberis temolaica. Sally is one  of the roses that I wouldn’t be without.

Rosa ‘Sally Holmes’

Because I love single roses I like the modern series of single roses with a dark centre with ‘eyes’ in the name. So I have ‘Smiling Eyes’ even thought I think it is silly name. But then it grows not far away from Hydrangea ‘Pinkie Winkie’ and you can’t get much sillier than that.

Rosa ‘Smiling Eyes’

And never mind silly names, the name ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ is a black lie, it is not blue at all and anyway who wants a blue rose? But it is a lovely antiquey- lilac, a sort of faded purple and I love it.

Rosa ‘Rhapsody in Blue’

I grow it with Cistus ladanifer but maybe ‘Tuscany Superb’ would match the purple blotch better.

I could go on all day talking about roses but I will finish with a rambler which wasn’t out when I wrote about climbers and ramblers but it is looking stunning right now climbing up the stump of the huge cherry which I had cut down.

Rosa ‘Blush Rambler’

Oh dear, I haven’t even mentioned quite a few beauties but I have to stop somewhere. When I am too old to garden I shall just fill it all up with huge roses and let them scramble everywhere and I will be known as the ‘Mad Old Rose Woman’.  Well, I probably am already.

If you can identify some of my mystery roses I should be very grateful and then despite what Shakespeare said they will probably smell even sweeter.


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28 Responses to ‘A Rose by any other name…’

  1. bcparkison says:

    Wish I could help but no…all I can do is enjoy your beautiful photos.

  2. Tina says:

    Your roses are beautiful, named or otherwise. Are yours much effort in the garden? Do you have to fertilize, prune and/or irrigate them to excess? Or do that sort of take care of themselves?

    • Chloris says:

      I do feed them every spring with manure and blood, fish and bone. I don’t irrigate them and pruning is a hit and miss affair. The tall ones get tidied up and tied into their supports once a year. The ones growing on the house have to be trained a bit, but the ones growing up trees just do their own thing.

  3. Pauline says:

    They really are the stars of the garden at the moment. You have a wonderful selection, the previous people must have liked roses as much as you do, to plant so many old varieties, the perfume from them all must be wonderful!

    • Chloris says:

      Yes and even though I have lots, I am greedy for more. I am always looking for a spot to fit in just one more. And there are always other trees crying out for a rose.

  4. Somewhere I missed why some of your roses had to go? Was it disease? You still have quite a collection, though! I generally don’t have favorites with roses, but that one growing among the Viburnum is magic! I have several in my garden that were here before we moved in, and like you, I don’t know the names. There are so, so many hybrids, it would be impossible to assume I could correctly ID them. Sounds like you have a better idea for yours, though.

    • Chloris says:

      I got rid of all the hybrid teas, I don’t like their gawky habit, garish colours and lack of perfume. Also the ones chosen just because they commemorated a birthday or anniversary had to go. Of course you can’t plant roses in the same spot because of rose sickness, but there are plenty of other places, specially as I keep digging up the lawn.

  5. Oh I hope somebody can shed light on the mystery roses Chloris. How fortunate you were to inherit such a collection to build on. I know what you mean about ‘silly names”. I’m waiting at the moment for the new to me ‘Koko Loko’ to open it’s first flower. I’m sure that I am going to like it but the name makes me cringe with horror 😱

    • Chloris says:

      I just looked your Koko Loko up Anna and wow, what an interesting colour, you may want to eat it instead of putting it into a vase. Yummy! I might just have to get one.

  6. pbmgarden says:

    No help here on identifying roses but yours are beautiful. I share your need to know names of plants that make their homes in your garden. There’s just something missing if you can’t call it something proper. I like the strong color of ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ –antiquey- lilac describes it well.

  7. snowbird says:

    Oh my…those David Austin roses….SIGHS! I just love smiling eyes as well. I too hate the idea of a blue rose and I’m a fan of blue flowers. Mad old rose woman indeed…..mad rose woman in her early autumn years more like it!!! I love to ponder on my garden becoming a wilderness when I can’t garden any more. You do make me laugh!xxx

    • Chloris says:

      Years ago I visited a garden of a rosarian called Humphrey Brooke. He grew over 500 varieties of old roses but in extreme old age he just let them do their own thing. It was a wonderful sight and I thought then, that’s the way to grow old.

  8. tonytomeo says:

    Gads! Everyone seems to be talking about their David Austin roses! That is precisely why there are none in my garden. No matter how nice they might be, I ca not conform to such a fad. Besides, I still prefer my old hybrid tea roses. It think that next time around, I will limit my roses to only my four favorite hybrid tea roses, with maybe as many older types for fragrance and that traditional ‘rose’ look.

  9. Heyjude says:

    I’m no help in IDing roses either, but I am very impressed at your collection. Cornwall is not famed for its roses (too damp) but I do actually like them, other than all the pruning and training that they often entail. Bit there is nothing like the scent of an old rose in summer. Rosa mutabilis is delightful.

  10. Oh my! Your garden is a wonderland of roses.

  11. Your selection of roses is most impressive, and I can imagine the pleasure they give you. They are all lovely, though I’m not really sure about blue roses. Doesn’t seem right somehow. As for roses with off-putting names, can’t you just invent your own substitute names to be used only in the confines of your garden?

  12. Chloris says:

    I agree a blue rose would be awful but ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ isn’t blue at all, it is an old fashioned faded lilac. OK, I will rename Boogie Woogie and call it ‘Rosie’.

  13. bittster says:

    Oh my. I can’t even imagine.
    I don’t know how you manage to fit them all in but it looks like you did, and they look extremely happy to boot, not cramped and crowded like they would be in this garden. Outstanding, and I bet the fragrance is a whole different story.

  14. susurrus says:

    Mad old rose women are the best of all. You’ve got a wonderful collection here. I share your feeling about plant names. I’m not at all keen on the ‘Cootchy Gotcha’ style and the name ought to suit (1) the colour of the flower and (2) the character of the plant, which often they do not.

    • Chloris says:

      I agree a blue rose would be horrible. Yes, ‘mad, old rose woman’ is the way to grow old. And Boogie Woogie is really going to have to get a new name.

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