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Highlights from the 2001 Rose Catalogs: Wayside Gardens

Roses From The House of Meilland

'Caruso', named for tenor Enrico Caruso, is a new raspberry-red Romantica Rose with quartered blooms chock full of petals. Another Romantica, 'Peter Mayle™' with its fragrant fuchsia-pink blooms looks very much like a Hybrid Tea, as opposed to the more old-fashioned look of 'Caruso' and some of the other Romanticas. This rose is named for the author of several books about Provence -- a part of the world with which the Meilland family is also closely associated, including A Year in Provence (one of my all-time favorites!). 'Marco Polo' is a rich yellow Hybrid Tea and is named for the Venetian explorer who, at the age of 17, became one of the first Europeans to visit China in 1271. His writings -- most notably Il milione, or as it is known in English, The Travels of Marco Polo -- inspired other people to travel there. 'Coral Meidiland' is one of the more recent of hasslefree Meidiland series of shrub roses. And this time, you guessed it, the flowers are coral in color.

English Roses

Wayside Gardens has added some of David Austin's earlier English Roses to its collection. 'Cressida' was originally introduced in the 80s and is named for the Shakespearean character beloved of 'Troilus' (also an English Rose that was introduced at the same time but is prone to various fungal diseases and is omitted from the catalog). In the story, Cressida jilted Troilus. In real life, her namesake rose has surpassed his. Back in the 80s, though, David Austin probably thought they made a nice couple.

'Lilian Austin' is an even older Austin rose! If you think of English Roses as having full, old-fashioned, quartered, rosettes for blooms, then this rose is not one. However, what it is is a terrific garden plant. (I've grown three of them for about eight years now and love it!) 'Lilian Austin' has healthy blue-green foliage and lots of peach-pink (pinker as the weather cools) blooms that appear continuously throughout the season. This is a rose that requires very little care -- a spring pruning and feeding and dead-heading to increase the bloom -- although it's not absolutely necessary. She's fragrant, too. She's named for the breeder's mother. (You wouldn't name a dud rose after your mother, now would you?)

Then there's the great grandpappy of just about every red English Rose -- 'Chianti'. Introduced way back in the 60s, 'Chianti' has Gallica-like blooms in a rich deep burgundy color. Some people say it's the red version of 'Constance Spry' (which Wayside also carries), however there are some major differences between the two. Although both are once-blooming and old-fashioned in appearance, 'Constance Spry' is definitely the taller grower and the more ubiquitous (open just about any modern rose book and you're almost guaranteed to find a photograph or two of this rose).

Generosa Roses

Guillot's Generosa Roses are their answer to Austin's English ones. This year, Wayside offers 'Florence Delatre®'. It has fragrant violet-shaded-pink old-fashioned blooms and can be grown as either a shrub in cooler climates or a short climber in warm climates.

Hardy Canadian Explorer Roses

'Champlain'! Is it possible to say too many good things about this rose? (I grow it as well and love it, too.) Clusters of bright red semi-double blooms all over the bush right up until frost. Healthy foliage. Even less care than 'Lilian Austin' in that it seems to do better without dead-heading. Just let it go! Explorer Samuel de Champlain is known as the Father of New France. In 1608, Champlain founded a settlement in Quebec, Canada, and died there on Christmas Day 1635.

'Jens Munk', one of the hardier Explorer Roses, is well named. The man Jens Munk was a Danish explorer who reached Hudson Bay in 1619. However, out of his entire crew, only Munk, an older man, and a young boy managed to survive their first winter in the new land and miraculously sailed back to Denmark, reaching Copenhagen on Christmas Day 1620. 'Jens Munk's foliage turns yellow, in the fall -- an indication of its rugosa heritage.

Poulsen Roses

The rose that made it to the cover of Wayside's Catalog is Poulsen's red-and-white striped Climber 'Berries 'n' Cream™'. Touted as a repeat-blooming climbing version of 'Rosa Mundi', this rose has captured a lot of attention.

In addition, Wayside is offering six of Poulsen's Towne & Country Roses. Basically landscape or groundcover roses, they've been bred for hardiness, disease-resistance, and repeat or continuous bloom. There's lavender-pink 'Cambridge', lemon-yellow 'Aspen' (known as 'Gwent' to those of you in the UK), coral-pink 'Coral Gables', red 'Manhattan' (also known as 'Schwarzwaldfeurer' which roughly translated means "Black Forest Fire"), white 'Diamond Head', and bubblegum-pink 'Pebble Beach'.

Carruth Roses

Tom Carruth's 'Flutterbye', often compared to 'Mutabilis' ('Mutabilis' is actually one of its parents) because of its range of color from yellow to orange to pink, is a new addition to the catalog. Carruth's 1999 'Long Tall Sally' is similar to 'Sally Holmes' but the color of the blooms tends towards a warm buff. This rose is the result of an interesting cross of two single roses -- Twomey's orange-pink 'All That Jazz' and the white Species Rose R. soulieana.

There's also his red-and-white striped 'Fourth of July' (aka 'Crazy For You' in the UK) -- the first climber to win All-America Rose Selection in 23 years!

Moore Roses

There's also Ralph Moore's 'Elegant Design' with its speckled pink blossoms and moss-covered sepals (inherited from 'Crested Jewel', one of its parents). Classed as a Floribunda, but versatile enough to be used as a hedge or groundcover, Moore himself thinks this rose should be grown in just about any garden. 'Shadow Dancer', a child of 'Dortmund', with its ruffled blooms of swirling pink and white which tend to be darker in warmer climates is another promising new variety.

One other note: Wayside Gardens is also offering Sam McGredy's 'Dublin Bay', quite possibly the best red climber available. More and more people will be adding it to their gardens and with good reason: the color of the blooms and overall health and vigor of the plant. If you're looking for a sure-fire red climber, definitely do consider this one.

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