The rose named ‘Diana Moore’ is a repeat-flowering seedling of the once-flowering rose ‘Francis E. Lester’. It is one of a group of seedlings found growing under the parent plant in my Perth garden in Autumn 1996.
‘Francis E. Lester’ is loved for its exquisitely lovely and fragrant spring/ summer flowers. It is variously classified as a Hybrid Musk or a Rambler and was discovered in the Lester Rose Gardens in the USA in 1946, presumed to be a seedling of the 1922 Hybrid Musk rose ‘Kathleen’ growing there.
Graham Stuart Thomas describes ‘Francis E. Lester’ like this:
"Dark green leaves, neatly pointed and usually with an edging of maroon serrations, and profuse, rather bushy growth. Reddish young shoots and flower stalks. The bunches of flowers, borne rambler-fashion, cover the plant and fill the garden with an intense fragrance. The buds are clear pink, opening like apple-blossom, fading to white, with good yellow stamens. Few roses give more flower and scent at mid-summer. Excellent as a lax bush or supported by a stump or hedgerow. About 14 feet. Small oval, orange heps."
‘Diana Moore’ has the profuse early summer flowering habit of its parent. But, unlike ‘Francis E. Lester’ which only flowers once a year, ‘Diana Moore’ continues to flower through the summer and autumn and into winter. The speed and generosity with which it repeats its bloom depends on a number of factors including food and water and whether the spent blooms are removed from the plant or allowed to form hips.
‘Diana Moore’ has similar flowers to its parent - the graceful panicles and bunches of small, five-petalled, fragrant flowers with bright golden-yellow pollen. The flowers open from slender pink buds to blooms that are white, sometimes blushed with pink. The petal reverses are a pale pink that gradually fades to white.
A distinctive feature of this rose is the way the upper-most blooms in the inflorescence open first and then successively, towards the tip. In this way, the spent blooms often disappear into the foliage and one only notices the freshly opening blossoms.
The plant is gracefully clothed with deep green, healthy, foliage that can have reddish margins.
It makes well-armed arching canes that build up into a small mound. The new growth is reddish. If the spent blooms are not removed, ‘Diana Moore’ sets many small, round green hips that ripen to orange, then red, then deep blackish red. It has many prickles.
‘Diana Moore’ has very beautiful flowers and foliage, and the growth is healthy and graceful. The flowers are delightfully fragrant with a strong, sweet, musk perfume. It has a pleasing contrast of flower and foliage both in colour and in the proportion of flower & leaf.
This rose was named for my dear friend, the late Diana Moore.
It has been shared with friends and given to several public gardens but has not been registered.