Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Mystery of Three Roses

“I’m Nobody! Who are you?

Are you — Nobody — too?

Then there’s a pair of us…”

 ~Emily Dickinson

I imagine the three roses in the front flower bed repeating Emily Dickinson’s poem every morning to each other. I’m not certain what cultivar of Rosa each is, but I’m going to give it a go and I’d sure love it if you chimed in and helped me uncover the mystery of these three roses.
The first rose to bloom starts budding in May and is usually finished by the middle of the June.
With only a few rows of petals, the center becomes a plethora of yellow pistil and carpals as soon as it becomes full-blown. The stems grow long and gangly throughout the season forcing me to cut them back to keep them from lopping into the yard and making it difficult to mow. 
It’s a one time bloomer with little or no scent and I’ve yet to see a hip on this rose. This rose reminds me of one my mother grew. Wicked thorns run up and down the stems and bite. I’m quite sure it’s not a species rose, more than likely it’s a grandiflora. What do you think?
The next rose to bloom is a vivid, look-at-me-I’m-beautiful orange. The vibrant blaze of orange weakens with age. The buds are beautiful with a high point. The flower itself is blowsy, bending the stem that attempts to hold it up. One flower per stem leads me to believe that it’s a hybrid tea that blooms throughout the season until frost nips the buds. Like a perfume counter in a department store, the flowers emanate a rich and gloriously Attar of rose scent.

I just wish I could figure out how to get more than three buds on the bush at one time. After checking several sources and putting in the criteria at Everyone Rose, could it possibly be Las Vegas, Rosa ‘KORgane’?


The last rose is a wandering, climbing beauty with multiple stems of flowers in various stages of bloom radiating from thicker canes. New growth clambers over the shrub ending up in the yard forcing me to prune it back no matter what time of year it is. This rose could use a trellis or fence to meander about.

The full-blown blooms are barely 2 inches across and remind me of the fairy roses I grew on the farm. Adorable buds bloom into deep pink mature flowers. The plant flowers only in June, which leads me to believe it’s not a polyantha.

If you want to catch a glimpse of scent the nose must be buried into the center. It’s a charmer and I’m lucky to have happened up on it, even if it does sport long thorns that grab at clothing and skin.

It’s doubtful I ever uncover the mystery that is the cultivar of these roses, but as Shakespeare penned, “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose/ By any other name would smell as sweet;” well…except for the ones that carry no scent deep in the swirl of petals.


  1. Beautiful post..and ever so charming and gorgeous..all your bloooms are fabulous! I have an eternal love for all roses...thanks for creating a wonderful spotlight on them!What a treat!

  2. what lovelies these are and i am afraid i can be no help as to a name...they look like some i have seen but not the description but your home is not california and that might account for the bloom time, etc...the red looks like a rose called altimisso or something like that very close, it's a single red climber but here, blooms all summer into fall and is more single than this but the center is very similar...the orange i have seen but so many look exactly like that and that last one is probably a very old rose you are lucky to have inherited, as you say... i don't know what it would be but if you want more blooms, water and fertilizer, 6 hours of full sun are the three basics that should make a difference. they are very thirsty plants and will bloom better with food, if you haven't tried...hoping you come up with the name of that orange beauty, it looks like one on the tip of my tongue, i'll let you know if i remember. xoxo

  3. I miss my roses! I had some just like your red ones. Lovely prolific bloomers.


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