Old roses: the different varieties
Deliver roses to Madagascar
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Deliver roses to Madagascar. By old roses are designated many varieties that appeared in culture before 1920 and the advent of many so-called “modern” roses, tea hybrids and other polyanthas … There is nonetheless a large sampling where to get lost with delight. However, it is better to know how to navigate their classification when it comes to cultivating, caring for and pruning these so attractive roses.
The charm of old roses resides in their flowers with shapes, colors and scents so outdated. Depending on their origin, their lineage, these roses are classified into several types. Each of these types induces characteristics, behavior, maintenance and appropriate sizes. These types of roses are no longer subject to hybridization between them in order to obtain new varieties. However, they are crossed with varieties of modern roses in order to obtain “retro” varieties offering the best of these two worlds (resistance to diseases, extended range of colors, rise in flowering, etc.).
White roses (Rosa alba) : Rose ‘Nymph Thigh’
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Resulting from the hybridization of the Damascus rose and the rose hips, these roses are vigorous (1.80 m.). The flowers are pale, but with a certain grace and for the most part subtly scented. The green – greyish foliage brings out the carnation of the flowers superbly.
Cultivation: The plant proves to be robust and accommodating, not backward. It will enjoy the sun, but also in partial shade or against a north-facing wall. Prune the twigs 2/3 of their length after flowering is complete.
Use: in beds, hedges or isolated
Bourbon rose (Rosa borbonbiana) or Rose ‘Mme Isaac Pereire’
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They come from the marriage of ascending bourbon roses and Chinese roses, which strengthens their ascending character, from June until frost. In this, they are precursors of future hybridizations leading to modern varieties. The flowers have an old-fashioned charm, are very fragrant and the branches are elegant. The bushes are vigorous.
Culture: Size is important in order to promote good flowering. Prune the secondary branches with three eyes and the main stems by 2/3 at the end of winter. At the end of June, remove the wilted flowers without delay and bring a swig of additional fertilizer, followed by watering to support the plant.
Use: in beds, isolated.
Portland roses (Rosa portlandica) Rose ‘Jacques Cartier’
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Coming from the marriage of Rosa chinensis ‘Semperflorens’ and the Damascus rose, these roses look very much like the Damascus rose, but prove to be more stocky (1.20 m).
The deliciously scented flowers are ascending (the plants bloom twice a year), and the stems with short internodes carry them in a beautiful case of leaves. With a fairly steep habit, these compact bushes are perfect in small gardens.
Culture: Remove wilted flowers to encourage flowering. In late winter, prune the branches one third of their length.
Use: Small gardens, in clumps or isolated.
Perpetual hybrid roses : Rose ‘Queen of Violets’
Resulting from various hybridizations and obtained before 1920, this category of roses is highly variable. It includes plants with rising flowers, upright habit and good size. The beauty of the prime flower characterizes them as well as that of the button and the power of their perfume. Wonderful flowers for bouquets.
Cultivation: These roses are demanding in terms of fertilization and management. It is indeed advisable to control their height by folding the stems in half at the end of winter. Remove wilted flowers and treat the feet to promote good fall blooming. They are susceptible to black spot disease to counteract with copper sprays. In late winter, prune the branches one third of their length.
Use: beds, mixed-borders, bouquetier corner.
Mossy roses (Rosa centifolia muscosa) Rose ‘William Lobb’
This variation of centifoliate roses is characterized by the presence of a fragrant plant moss on the sepals and sometimes even at the base of the buds.
Cultivation: Prune the twigs 2/3 of their length after flowering is complete.
Use: in solid or isolated
Gallic roses called “de Provins” (Rosa gallica) Rose ‘Charles de Mills’
These roses, generally small (1.20 m), are recommended in small gardens. They are able to thrive in poor, stony soils. In this case and grown from cuttings, they spread by suckers to the point of sometimes becoming invasive. In a wise garden, it is better to plant subjects resulting from grafting and not to bury the grafting point too much. The stems are powerful and erect, with many small prickles. (The roses expose spines and not thorns).