I have always had a deep love for roses, particularly fragrant English style roses. It might be because my mum had planted one incredibly full and fragrant rose when I was growing up. Or maybe it stems from my 4 years at boarding school in the Hampshire countryside in England, where the rose garden had a plethora of beautiful and intensely perfumed roses. It doesn’t really matter, I knew that once I owned my own house I would want to plant some roses.
I am fortunate that I have a wonderful mother-in-law who is often a keen supporter and sometimes the instigator in my schemes. When she came down to the Southern Highlands with me in November, we hatched a plan to find some roses.
We must have smelled over 30 roses together… My friend Kylie had asked her mother, who is an avid rose gardener, for some advice on some fragrant varieties. Out of her suggestions the only one I managed to find was Mr. Lincoln.
From Wagner’s Rose Nursery: “Mr Lincoln is one of the most sought after red rose varieties, this tough and reliable plant features large full cupped blooms (26 to 40 petals) in dark red that fade to a dark purple hue, has dark green leathery foliage and thrives in warm climates. Mr Lincoln is a tall rose, planted at the rear of a rose bed it will reward with many large blooms of dark red on long stems and a strong fragrance, blooms in flushes throughout the season. Can be used for cut flower or garden. Dark red Hybrid Tea.
Bred by Swim & Weeks (United States, 1964). ( Chrysler Imperial (Hybrid Tea, Lammerts, 1952) × Charles Mallerin (Hybrid Tea, Meilland, before 1947))
Introduced by Unknown (Australia) in 1965 as ‘Mister Lincoln’. – Fragrance: Strong. – Height: to 90 to 200cm – Width: 60cm.”
It was the strongest bush I purchased and has thrived in my front garden, despite being planted out on a rather hot day. It’s given me several huge and beautifully perfumed flowers already and I am sure it will give me many more.
I picked the Jude the Obscure variety as it’s got a beautiful peachy colour and an impressive fragrance.
From Wagner’s Rose Nursery: “Jude the Obscure with its tones of mid apricot yellow on the inside fading out to pale yellow on the outside, this is a free-flowering rose bearing very large incurved, cup-shaped flowers. It is known for its extremely strong fragrance showing a delicious fruity note reminiscent of guava and sweet white wine. A medium shrub, it is hardy and disease resistant and has excellent repeat flowering.
Fragrance: Strong fruity notes. – Height: to 150 cm or can be grown as a climber.”
The initial buds and flowers had some bugs in them, you will notice the little holes on the edge of the petals. After cutting off the buds that seemed to have these bugs in them, the rose has thrived and I can see a few buds coming up.
I knew I couldn’t go wrong with a white rose, so picked the Pope John Paul II. Not only for hits pure whiteness, but also it’s intense aroma.
From Wagner’s Rose Nursery: “With large, luminous pure white blooms, Pope John Paul II has received plaudits for its vigorous growth, disease resistance and form, and honours of one of the world”s most beloved leaders. Some consider it to be one of the most fragrant roses of all time, and would surely be enjoyed in the Vatican gardens.
Fragrance: Strong fresh citrus. – Height: to 150cm.”
That white rose is just stunning! It’s absolutely perfect and smells divine!
The final rose I picked was an English Rose. It’s a smaller one and I wasn’t sure it would survive the heat, but the last few days it’s gifted me the most incredibly flowers!