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An Unexpected Pleasure

I picked these roses in mid December in Bill and Lydia Fontenot's garden near Carencro, Louisiana.

I’m always delighted in late autumn when the antique roses come forth with one last burst of bloom.  It happens every year but I am usually distracted by the fall foliage, the autumn berries, the sasanqua and aster blossoms.  And suddenly I look up and am dazzled to see all the roses in bloom.

Today – out on a Halloween stroll, I realized that my ‘Cramoisi Superieur’ rose was in full bloom.

‘Cramoisi Superieur’ is one of my old friends.  It is one of the first antique roses that I ever planted in the garden.

I simply could not resist a rose with a French name that meant Superior Crimson!

My lovely specimen has bloomed dependably for an average of 10 months each year for the past 20 years.

As my landscape has matured, shade has encroached.  In response this rose started to climb onto an adjacent titi.

Cramoisi Superieur is loaded with Halloween roses.

What can I say?  She is a survivor.

Like many other old roses, her blooms demurely nod.  They are heavily laden with rose red petals and cannot hold their heads upright.

Cramoisi Superieur is an old China rose (from 1832).  Blossoms are two toned with  rich red petals that are lighter on the reverse side.  They emit a wonderful fragrance.

The stems are pea green and practically thornless.

Foliage is deep green and healthy.

It’s all good.

Cramoisi Superieur is perfect for every garden… except for those people who insists that a rose hold its head proudly upright.

I think that Cramoisi Superieur is a proud rose with a modest demeanor.   Her blossoms nod and as I pass by, I nod back.


 

 

Delightful Rambling Roses Adorn the May Garden

Lucky's Rose is delightfully laden with flowers right now.

As much as I love the wildflowers and native plants, I am still a sucker for antique roses.  I love them in the garden as well as in a vase.

I began collecting them about 20 years ago when I had my nursery.  At first most were found roses.

They came from friends and I had no idea what they really were.  Some were given to us as pencil sized leafless hardwood cuttings and others were small rooted plants.  For convenience and for fun, we made up names for them like “Debbie Shirley’s Husband’s Papaw’s Rose”, “Carson’s Rose”, and “Lucky’s Rose”.

As I learned more about antique roses,  I discovered the actual names for some of them.   I found the Antique Rose Emporium catalog and web site quite helpful with that endeavor.

“The Rose that Came With the House that Wouldn’t Die” was a rose that my friend Carson bought along with his house.   It was abused in every possible way but still persevered.  Eventually we found out that it was actually “Aloha”.  Good to know but I kind of like the made up name better.

“Lucky’s Rose” is one that we have yet to identify.  It came to us from our friend Lucky Lisenbee.  It blooms in spring only and we call it a rambling rose because it is quite vigorous and will climb if not pruned each winter.  It is very fragrant and as close to a purple color as is found in the rose world.

If  anyone knows the Christian name of this rose, please post a comment to let me know.

It is mysterious and beautiful as is and I am inclined, as Iris Dement would say, to “let the mystery be.”


 

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