Rose de Rescht

Rose de Rescht 1

This compact Portland rose is a very reliable rebloomer.  It gives a big flush of tightly-formed rosette blooms in spring, pompon like and if you keep on deadheading it just keeps on blooming.  Fragrance is very strong.  Buds open in fuchsia-red color and fade into light lilac.  Rose de Rescht will tolerate some shade.  The only disease I find is rust but all I do is prune the stems that are affected and new healthy shoots appear.  Parentage is obscure, possibly Persian and discovery date is unknown but its recurring blooming qualities coupled with those old fashioned traits and its strong fragrance entitle this rose a place in any garden, large or small.

I planted lavender ‘Hidcote’ next ot it.  They complement each other in color and fragrance.  Since Rose de Rescht is a compact little rose, it is also a good specimen for container planting.  For history buffs, Rose de Rescht was believed to be growing at Castle Howard, in Yorkshire, England before the Second World War.

The McCartney Rose

The McCartney Rose

(‘Nirvana’ x ‘Papa Meilland’) x ‘First Prize’

Hybridizer – Meilland, France, 1991

This heavily scented rose was originally named for Paul McCartney of “The Beatles” but Paul wanted it to be named in honor of his entire family whose favourite flower is the Rose.

The bloom is a very deep pink, starts high centered and then cupped as they mature. The blooms repeat very well all through the summer and into autumn. Its petal count is about 40. It has very dark, large and glossy leaves. It is a very vigorous plant and tall – reaching about 6- 7 ft. If left untamed, it will encroach on the neighboring plant – the canes grow sideways. The best place to grow it is in the corner of a bed where it can have more elbow room. “The McCartney Rose” is a very disease resistant rose and has a strong fragrance. Below are some of its awards:

  • Bagatelle Fragrance Prize 1988
  • Geneva Gold Medal 1988
  • Madrid Fragrance Prize 1988
  • Monza Gold Medal and Fragrance Prize 1988
  • Paris Gold Medal 1988
  • Belfast Fragrance Prize 1993
  • Durbanville Fragrance Prize 1993
  • Paris Fragrance Prize 1993

Fragrant Cloud

Fragrant Cloud by Jan Haught Bingham

Rose Photo Courtesy of Jan Haught Bingham, member of Rose Gardening World.

Fragrant Cloud

Registered Name – TANellis

Syns. Duftwolke, Nuage Parfume

Tantau, Germany, 1967

Seedling x ‘Prima Ballerina’

Fragrant Cloud rose has extremely fragrant blooms and constantly winning at rose shows across the country for its fragrance. The flowers are an unusual coral-red maturing to geranium red with 30 petals and exhibition-style blooms. The high-centered blooms are borne mostly singly, averaging 5” in diameter on a vigorous upright plant of 3-5 ft in height and 2 ft in width. The large foliage is a rich, glossy dark green on a vigorous bush that is very prolific. I had Fragrant Cloud rose in my first garden in the early ‘70s and then again it was one of the first roses that were planted when we bought our next home in the ‘80s. After 30 years, it was still there when we left.

Fragrant Cloud rose is an excellent rose for bedding and for borders and cut flower. It is very susceptible to mildew in autumn and black spot during damp weather. Inspite of those problems, it still remains as one of the most popular roses in the market because of its intense fragrance. There is a climbing Fragrant Cloud propagated by Collin & Sons in England in 1973. It also has that unique coral-red bloom on the long canes, covered with dark, reddish green foliage. The climbing version can reach a height of 12 ft. Fragrant Cloud climbing rose can produce very fragrant blooms during the summer only.

Fragrant Cloud rose has won the National Rose Society President’s International Trophy in 1964, Portland Gold Medal in 1966, James Alexander Gamble for Fragrance Award in 1970 and World Favorite Rose in 1981 and still winning awards today for fragrance.


Peace 1


Parentage: (‘George Dickson’ x ‘Souvenir de Claudius Pernet’) x (‘Joanna Hill’ x ‘Chas. P. Kilham’) x ‘Margaret McGredy’.

Hybridized by the French hybridizer Francis Meilland in the late 1930s, and introduced by Conard-Pyle Co., West Grove, PA in 1945.


The rose that is called ‘Peace’ in the United States and Great Britain is called ‘Mme Antoine Meilland’ in France, ‘Gioia’ (Joy) in Italy and ‘Gloria Dei’ (The Glory of God) in Germany. ‘Peace’ is one of the most famous roses of the century if not of all times. It is one of the few modern roses surrounded by legend and myth. It was bred by Francis Meilland under the code name 3-35-40 and named it Madame A. Meilland, after his mother. Francis Meilland hybridized another lemon yellow rose with ‘Peace’ as the parent and named her Grand’mere Jenny, after his paternal grandmother.

One story goes that it was hybridized in France in the last years before World War II, and escaped as unnamed cuttings in the last American diplomatic bag to leave Paris as World War II began. Recognized as a winner, the rose was propagated by Conard-Pyle Co., a leading American rose nursery and released in 1945. Because it returned in peacetime to a liberated France, ‘Peace’ was the name the rose was given. Later, the ‘Peace’ rose took the world by storm after being the centerpiece on all the tables at the organizational meeting of the United Nations at San Francisco in 1945.

Another version of the story of ‘Peace’ is that it began in France when the Nazi invasion forced young Francis Meilland to smuggle three one-pound packages of an experimental rose into other countries. Two of the packages were confiscated, but the third made it to Robert Pyle of Conard-Pyle Co. in the United States. Ten years later, after this rose of outstanding character and quality had been tested throughout the United States, the ARS planned a special name-giving ceremony. At the Pacific Rose Society Exhibition in Pasadena, CA, Robert Pyle declared “We are persuaded that this greatest new rose of our time should be named for the world’s greatest desire – Peace.” Francis Meilland’s rose was given its American and English name ‘Peace’ on April 29, 1945, the day Berlin fell to the allies.

Nine years after introduction, an American authority estimated that some thirty million ‘Peace’ were growing in gardens around the world. Nowadays, nobody seems to have kept count. With all the royalties coming from the sale of ‘Peace’, the Meillands were able to build a rose hybridizing empire on the Cap d’Antibes on the Mediterranean shores.

The day the war with Japan ended, ‘Peace’ was given the All American Rose Selection Award. A month later, the day the peace treaty was signed with Japan, ‘Peace’ received the American Rose Society’s supreme Award, the Gold Medal. ‘Peace’ has won most of the world’s top rose awards: Gold Medal, Portland 1944, All-American Rose Selection 1946, Gold Medal Certificate, American Rose Society 1947, Golden Rose, The Hague 1965, Hall of Fame, World Federation of Rose Societies 1976, Award of Garden Merit, Royal Horticultural Society 1993. Today, ‘Peace’ is still the world’s favorite rose.

Another melodramatic story, so often told, is that the budwood of ‘Peace’ was smuggled out of the south of France by a heroic U.S. embassy official in November 1942, just hours before the German invasion. It’s a very good story, but the truth of the matter according to Francis Meilland, is that the budwood was sent to Germany, Italy and the United States via ordinary postal channels in the summer of 1939. Southern France at that time was not yet invaded. It was perfect timing. By receiving a few cuttings in 1939, Conard-Pyle was able to introduce this rose at the San Francisco conference to found the United Nations, the day Berlin fell in 1945. If these cuttings were received in November 1942 they could not have started budding until 1943, and they could not have built up enough stock of this rose in time for nationwide distribution three years later.

‘Peace’ has creamy yellow, pink-edged petals with beautiful deep green foliage. Buds are high-centered and cupped at opening. Blooms are double (40 to 45 petals), 5 to 6 inches across, near perfect in form and more or less continuous flowering throughout the season. It is a good exhibition rose and an excellent cut flower. It’s rated 8.0 on the 2015 Handbook for Selecting Roses. Vita Sackville-West hated it and thought it horribly coarse.

‘Peace’ is a vigorous, bushy, upright plant, 4-5 ft. tall with stiff canes covered with large, leathery, dark green, glossy foliage with good disease-resistant quality. New growth appears light red. ‘Peace’ resents heavy pruning. Colors vary from day to day but are essentially golden yellow edged in rose pink. Flowers were huge in 1940s. Somehow ‘Peace’ planted in the 1940s and still thriving today at a well-maintained public gardens, war memorials, or at the homes of veteran gardeners are larger compared to the blooms on the ‘Peace’ plant you will receive from any nursery today. Even if genetic science tells you otherwise, still the ‘Peace’ sold today is just a pale imitation of the old ‘Peace’.

Hybrid teas bred since the 1950s often have at least a little ‘Peace’ blood in them. Of the many mutations of ‘Peace’ introduced over the years, the most popular is ‘Chicago Peace’. Other sports of ‘Peace’ are ‘Berlin’, ‘Garden Party’, ‘Gold Crown’, ‘Glowing Peace’, ‘Love and Peace’ (2002 AARS Selection), ‘Perfume Delight’, ‘Pink Rose’, ‘Princesse de Monaco’, ‘Royal Highness’, ‘Speaker Sun’, ‘Sterling Silver’, and ‘Tropicana’. A Climbing form was introduced in 1950. ‘Climbing Peace’ is a climbing sport of ‘Peace’. It has shiny, deep green, almost-leathery foliage, and it has a very pleasing color, peachy pink suffused with apricot yellow. Its buds are exquisitely pointed, and they open into large, long-lasting flowers. It is so robust and healthy that you never have to spray it with pesticides. Its one real flaw is a complete lack of fragrance.

‘Peace’ is showcased at the following Display Gardens: Sturgeon Memorial Rose Garden, Largo, FL; Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta, GA; Julia Davis Rose Garden, Boise, ID; George L. Luthy Memorial Rose Garden, Peoria, IL; Richmond Rose Garden, Richmond, IN; City of Portland Rose Circle, Portland, ME; The Jim Buck Ross Rose Garden, Jackson, MS; Norfolk Botanical Garden, Norfolk, VA.

YES, YOU CAN grow beautiful roses!

So you want to grow beautiful roses but can you do it? The resounding answer is

YES, YOU CAN grow beautiful roses!  

If you follow the following Basic Rose Culture, you’ll be on your way to have beautiful roses in your garden:

  • Buy only strong healthy plants. Buy your roses from reliable sources.
  • Rose needs a minimum of 4 hours of sunlight, lots of drainage and away from tree roots.
  • Before you start planting, do a soil test. The ideal pH for roses is 6.0 – 6.5.
  • Dig a hole at least 18” deep and 18” in diameter. Mix soil 1/3 organic matter (peat moss) with 2/3 soil from the hole. Put a handful of Epsom salt, a banana peel and a handful of superphospate in the hole.
  • Space rose bushes at least 3 ft apart for good air circulation for hybrid teas and floribundas. English roses and other shrub roses should be spaced at least 4 ft apart.
  • Roses need about 1 to 1 ½” of water a week so water more often during the hot spell in the summer. If rain is lacking, water twice a week. Reduce watering in the fall but do not let your rose bushes enter winter under stressful condition.
  • Mulch is important since it keeps out weeds, conserves moisture and protects the roots from fluctuations in temperature.
  • Rose is a heavy feeder. Use plenty of organic fertilizer. Supplement with chemical fertilizer. Apply Bayer 3 in 1 fertilizer in early spring. Six weeks before the first fall frost, stop the fertilization program.
  • Deadhead as soon as the bloom is finished. Pruning controls the size and shape and keeps the roses blooming all season long.
  • Spray horticultural oil in late winter thru to late spring to keep blackspot in check.
  • Keep the rose beds clean to discourage diseases and insects.

The Dog Days of Summer

Summer is officially here and with the crazy weather we are experiencing lately, it could mean very hot, hazy and humid conditions with a sputtering of thunderstorms. Summer also means outdoors, parties, vacation and what happens to your poor roses. The Rose Show is over and do you think you can relax a little bit. Just a little! Your roses still need a lot of attention and more so now because they are too stressed out. They want to be cool like you. If you neglect to take care of your roses, then your roses will suffer from heat just as you do. Roses don’t look good in the summer because we don’t take care of them like we do in the spring. With the temperatures hovering into the 90s, there is a strong need for water in the garden. One inch of water is not good enough when the temperature is in the 90’s. Unless, it rains, water at least three times a week with a good soaking. The rain is best because it is super-oxygenated which nourish the roots of the plants and that’s why after a rain, the plants look lush and green. You will notice that your roses perk up right away after being watered. One way to check if your roses need water is to stick a rod in the soil and see how much resistance you get. Compare that with the soil that has been soaked and you’ll see the difference. Just remember light watering will do more harm than good so plan on having that sprinkler on for at least 1 hours. In really, hot, hot weather, give the rose bed an overhead shower to cool them off.

There are few things to remember both for the sake of the Rose and the rosarian who takes care of them. With the searing heat, you have to learn to slow down. Drink a lot of water after a big workout (weeding, deadheading, fertilizing, spraying, etc.) in the garden. Wear protective gear like hat, long sleeves and sunscreen. Try to work early in the morning or late in the afternoon when it is cooler. Be ultra careful when spraying to keep the spray out of your skin, eyes and lungs. Do not spray when the temperature is above 90 degrees. Wear protective mask if at all possible without scaring your neighbor. Regarding fertilization, do not overdo it in the summer. More roses suffer from overfertilization in the summer than from too little. When you water your garden, the water releases the nutrients that are already in your rosebeds. Rosebeds with two or three inches of mulch do not need as much water as the beds without mulch. Mulch is another essential thing we should do for the garden. I find out that shredded cedar mulch is much better mulch than pine bark and it looks better too. Weeding is an essential aspect of gardening. At the height of the summer heat, the weeds are growing at a rapid pace. You must control it, otherwise they take over. I don’t use herbicide so I’m constantly weeding. Some of my flower beds have mulch and some do not.

If you are going on vacation, make sure you include visiting a garden in your plan. Check the list of gardens at Get hold of some books on roses. There are plenty of them around – at your library, at Barnes & Noble or As an author, I recommend my books. They are historical novels based on real-life events. BAHALA NA (Come What May) is based on my dad’s life story and The Iron Butterfly is based on my maternal grandmother’s life. They are both available at They are great reads!