HelpMeFind Roses, Clematis and Peonies
Roses, Clematis and Peonies
and everything gardening related.
Patricia Routley
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Initial post today by HubertG
I'm a little surprised that there aren't any member reviews of 'Ophelia'. I bought a bagged bare-root plant today on impulse and I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes. Does anyone have feedback/reviews on their personal experience of growing 'Ophelia'?
Reply #1 of 1 posted today by Patricia Routley
In my cool-ish acid soil garden over the years, I have planted the following own-root plants with ‘Ophelia’ as one of the parents: Columbia, Comtesse Vandal, Felicia, Phoebe, a foundling with the distinctive wide-spreading stamens, Talisman, Ophelia, Golden Ophelia and Dainty Bess (on fort rootstock), All were sickly and died. I’ve come to the conclusion that the Ophelia family might like more alkaline conditions.
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Initial post yesterday by billy teabag
There are a couple of pieces of information that should probably be in references but I am unsure whether it's OK and if yes, then how they should be listed.

1. information from David Ruston regarding the provenance of certain roses in his collection and budwood nursery. Private correspondence, June 2003.
"Irène Watts - Imported from Peter Beales. Planted in 1982. Budwood distributed in Australia under the name Irène Watts but came to realise identity was wrong. It was the pinker form of Gruss an Aachen. This was confirmed when I visited Peter Beales Roses."

2. from Peter Beales Roses forum, October 2008:
“We became aware that Irene Watts was wrong a few years ago and I have now corrected this to Pink Gruss an Aachen.” Peter Beales 30-10-08
The link was but it no longer links to this discussion.
Reply #1 of 6 posted yesterday by Patricia Routley
I’ve tucked them in Billy. Many thanks.
Reply #2 of 6 posted yesterday by billy teabag
Thanks to you Patricia.
Reply #3 of 6 posted yesterday by Marlorena
This doesn't appear in the references so I'll just put it here, in case anyone happens upon it and finds it of interest... you may already know all about it...
... the origins of this mistake are, as often the case, with Rosarium Sangerhausen in Germany.. I'm not sure of the year, maybe early 1980's... the rose author James Russell acquired a rose from there named 'Irene Watts - China hybrid'... he passed this rose onto David Stone, Head Gardener at Mottisfont, England... who then distributed it to several nurseries including Peter Beales… after a couple of years Mr Stone noticed that Gruss an Aachen sported to the same pink rose... he tried to correct the error but by then nurseries preferred to keep the name 'Irene Watts' over the German one... and so it continues..
Reply #4 of 6 posted today by billy teabag
Many thanks for this information Marlorena. It is wonderful to have reliable information so we can understand the provenance of roses and the reasons for incorrect names.
By chance, yesterday someone also shared a link to a January 2016 GardenWeb forum thread, where David Stone shared the same information.

On 7 January 2016 he wrote:
"My name is David Stone. From 1978 to 2014 I was Head Gardener at Mottisfont Abbey, England. The rose pictured and purporting to be Irene Watts is, in fact, 'Pink Gruss an Aachen'. I received it from Sangerhausen in the early 1980's and distributed it in the belief that it was the true 'Irene'. However, a few years later, a plant of 'Gruss an Aachen' sported a pink branch the bloom of which proved identical to the "Irene" I had received from Germany! I have yet to find the true china variety, and have been attempting to correct my original error for many years. Unfortunately most nurseries prefer the erroneous name, as it is more appealing than 'Pink Gruss an Aachen' ! However, I keep on trying!
What's in a name? Quite a lot, really! 'Pink Gruss an Aachen' is a beautiful variety in her own right and deserves to be correctly named.
Plant, grow and enjoy!"
Reply #5 of 6 posted today by Patricia Routley
I've been adding and moving references (out of 'Irene Watts' and into "Pink Gruss an Aachen'). I've marked 'Irene Watts' as believed extinct or lost. There are heaps of photos still left in that file, and I am not volunteering to move them to 'Pink Gruss an Aachen'. The photographer members themselves are going to have to front up for that.

Thank you Marlorena and Billy for your help.
Reply #6 of 6 posted today by billy teabag
Thanks Patricia.
There are a couple of extra red herrings in the "Not Irène Watts" story.
1. The New Zealand rose mentioned in Nancy Steen's book, which turned out to be 'Comtesse de Labarthe'/ 'Duchesse de Brabant'.
2. The Australian rose found in the Rookwood cemetery that has been distributed under a number of names - "Agnes Smith", Odorata and Irène Watts.
"Agnes Smith" was circulated as Odorata after Lilia Weatherly suggested it was 'Hume's Blush' but to date I haven't been able track down how or why it also came to be distributed under the name Irène Watts.

I'll dig out any references regarding these roses.
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Initial post yesterday by Patricia Routley
“Many years ago” is a bit too elastic. Does anybody know when Giles Nursery closed? - and does anybody have any old Giles Nursery catalogues? Bush height would be good to have as it might rule out a few Mallerin varieties.
Reply #1 of 2 posted today by mmanners
Pat, I'm going to guess that they closed around 15 years ago. I don't believe they ever published a catalog. My bush is not very old, but it's currently around 4 feet tall. Fairly vigorous, but not trying to get a lot taller, quickly. I should have also mentioned that it is intensely old-rose (damask) fragrant. I just posted more photos.
Reply #2 of 2 posted today by Patricia Routley
Thanks Mal.
I've added a couple of characteristics on the folioles and the prickles.
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Initial post yesterday by ParisRoseLady
The size of this rose is incorrect as listed in the description. True Integrity aka Early Bird (as named by hybridizer Ping Lim) is part of the True Bloom series, which has its own website. From the website, the description is:

"A floribunda shrub with full double blooms and a delicate scent. Blooms early."

Early Blooms
Class: Floribunda Shrub
Habit: 3’ X 4’, Compact
Flower Size: 8 CM
Petal Count: 70-75, Double
Color: Salmon
Foliage: Glossy Green
Fragrance: Mild
Reply #1 of 2 posted yesterday by Patricia Routley
Thanks. It seems the bloom has gained a centimetre in size and lost a few petals since its Patent.
Reply #2 of 2 posted today by ParisRoseLady
LOL, "lost a few petals since its patent"!!
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