'Lee's Eternal' rose References
Article (newspaper) (Mar 2013) Page(s) 2. Includes photo(s).
Patricia Routley: Scots roses were very much in favour between 1790 and 1830. They are quite distinctive plants with many small leaflets and many prickles and make good garden plants for cool climates. They were once classed as Rosa spinosissima and this class was later changed to the modern R. pimpinellifolia. One of these old Scots roses is Stanwell Perpetual from 1834, so old that it has its fair share of mystery – it is not known exactly who bred or found it. The nurseryman Mr. James Lee of Hammersmith, who had additional nursery grounds at Stanwell, near Heathrow, may have bred it. Some references seem to indicate that it was a self-sown seedling that Lee put on the market. And then, Lee’s nursery superintendent, Mr. Brown has been mentioned as the breeder. So although classed as a Scots rose, it does not appear to have come from Scotland, but rather had a Scots rose as one parent. Wherever it came from, it has proved itself as a tough old survivor. It is now 179 years old and it is still a much-loved rose. HelpMeFind.com.roses is currently showing 137 photos of this rose from 19 countries all over the world and it seems to be growing most beautifully in European gardens. Non-rosarians will look at this rose and exclaim, “Look at the prickles”. A rosarian’s voice will be softer as they say, “Just look at those blooms”. The bloom is a 6 cm medium-sized, flat confection of about 45 petals in a soft, delicate pink that fades to almost white. There is a centre of tightly caught petals forming a pretty button-eye and the bloom pedicels have glands and tiny red thorns They may look delicate, but I have never seen a browned and mouldy ball or a heat-singed bloom yet. Rain will just make the blooms nod temporarily. I believe they are a bit fragrant. The bush normally grows to about 150 x 150 cm and would make a great perpetual flowering prickly hedge that would deter any person who should not be there as it has a branching straggly habit. There are 9 to 11 leaflets that make up one leaf and the overall appearance is of very small greyish green foliage that sometimes can look a bit moth-eaten purple. The new shoots are green with many small, red, downward slanting, flexible, prickles of varying sizes. The mature wood is dark reddish brown. It does not usually set hips but its pollen has been used with moderate success in breeding. There is said to be more than a hint of Damask in the parentage, as well as Scots, and I can see that. ‘Stanwell Perpetual’ has the height of a damask rose and Scotch roses are usually much lower. It doesn’t repeat much for me, but I am guessing the repeating trait that other gardeners get, came from an autumn damask as well. (Guessing on further - ‘Quatre Saisons’ is about the same colour.) My two bushes are both cutting-grown from the Pinjarra Heritage Rose Garden, bed No. 11, and planted out here in 1997. Apart from that first year, I’ve never watered them.
Book (2005) Page(s) 189.
location C:112/1; B:81a, Stanwell, Stanwell 1838, shrub, light pink, buds pink, medium size, double, moderate fragrance, medium-tall
Book (2005) Page(s) 136.
The most widely grown Scots rose is undoubtedly 'Stanwell Perpetual', which was found as a seedling by plantsman James Lee at his nursery in Stanwell in Middlesex, England, about 1835. As the name suggests, it repeats its flower over a long period, indicating that it may have Autumn Damask in its ancestry. The flowers are sweetly scented, light blush in colour and full of tiny petals nestling against a background of small grey leaflets.
Book (2005) Page(s) 198-199. Includes photo(s).
'Stanwell Perpetual' This remarkable and beautiful shrub rose...is a rare survivor of a group known as the 'Perpetuals', because they flower in autumn as well as summer. It shows affinity with the Scots roses as its dense rounded habit of growth, and with the Autumn Damask in its flowering, and is thought to be a hybrid between them. it was found 'as a seedling in the garden of Mrs. Lee at Stanwell, Middlesex, and soon won popularity, being recommended in 1838 by nurseryman Charles Wood as one of the best roses to grow.
Book (Dec 2000) Page(s) 296.
Lee, James. Location: Hammersmith, England. Our James Lee (from a family of nurserymen) lived 1754 - June 10, 1824. C1823, the nursery was superintended by one Mr. Brown......
Article (magazine) (May 1999) Page(s) 61. Includes photo(s).
Book (1997) Page(s) 11, 65 & 115. Includes photo(s).
Stanwell Perpetual A superior selection for the rock wall garden...
Stanwell Perpetual Forms a tumbling mound that creates a cascading effect in the front or middle layers of the border.
Book (Oct 1995) Page(s) 57.
Stanwell Perpetual is one of the best groundcover roses for hillsides, terraces, and slopes...
Book (1995) Page(s) 170. Includes photo(s).
Book (Nov 1994) Page(s) 57 & 113. Includes photo(s).
Stanwell Perpetual. A most treasured possession, and is likely to remain in cultivation as long as roses are grown, for its perpetual-flowering and has a very sweet scent. It was a chance seedling in a garden at Stanwell, Middlesex, and was put on the market by the nurseryman Lee, of Hammersmith, in 1838. That is all that is known about it; but presumably it owes its perpetual habit and floral style to one of the Gallica group, probably an Autumn Damask. In good soil it makes a lax, thorny, twiggy bush up to 5 feet or so, with greyish small leaves resembling those of Rosa pimpinellifolia, which is no doubt its other parent. The flowers are of pale blush-pink, opening flat, with quilled and quartered petals. The main display is at midsummer, but it is never without flowers. Favoured by Miss Jekyll.