Wednesday, June 18, 2008

HEIRLOOM ROSES

The Rice Rose


Detail of the Rice Rose


The Chinia Rose


The Chinia Rose


Most all gardeners are familiar with names like Golden Showers, American Beauty, and Empress Josephine. They are of course names given to roses. As cliche as it may sound, roses will always be my favorite flower (with hydrangeas coming in a very close second). I have about 6 different varieties of roses growing in and around the garden but I wanted to highlight two of my favorites. The official names have been lost to me but what makes them so unique is that they are heirloom roses that came from my Great Great Grandmother's Gardens. One was given to me by my mother, Mary( a gardener) and the other featured in this post was given to me by my dear Great Aunt Chinia who has given me countless plants for my little cottage garden. I dare say that all the plants Aunt Chinia has so graciously shared with me have thrived and flourished here. Yet, the roses give me such joy. They perfume the air like no new hybrid could ever do and they have virtually no black spot or pests plaguing them. Since I do not know the original beginnings of the roses, I gave them names to honor the women who loved them so and kept them thriving for over a hundred years. The first in the above photos is The Rice Rose, in honor of my Great Great Grandmother, Margaret Rice. The color is actually more of a salmon than the photos show and the flower heads on this rose are so massive and heavy that as you can see, they weigh the plant down, making it droop. The other is The Chinia Rose, a pretty pink clustered wild rose, in honor of my Great Aunt and master gardener Chinia Stephens. This rose gets quite unruly and needs to be reigned in in order to keep it tidy. My hat is off to you, grand ladies, and I toast a cuppa Rose tea in tribute to your years of dedication to beautiful plants. I feel so honored to have a piece of something so near and dear to each of you in my garden.

7 comments:

Dee Dee said...

Rebecca, your roses are absolutely beautiful and I can see how healthy the blooms and the leaves are. How wonderful to have something so lovely from two special women in your family...and then again to pass on to your daughter one day. I love how you've named them... I gave my daughter a pink climbing rose for Mother's Day two years ago...it is thriving in her garden and she is devoted to caring for it, proudly showing me the heavy blooms weighing the branches down as you described yours...A lovely post my sweet friend....

willow said...

I love pink and yellow roses. My all time favorite is Eden, a pale pink cabbage rose and have a few here. I need to take a pic!

Interesting about your special rose, The Rice Rose!! :)

Betsy said...

Oh my...I especially love that Rice Rose with the many, many swirls of petals in the center!

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Rebecca what a priceless legacy your great great grandmother and your great aunt left you. The continuation of their roses in your garden is so precious, you are so fortunate in this! Your touching tribute in this post, as well as naming the roses for these special ladies is quite heartwarming, I was smiling as I read this, and so amazed at what love and care can do, to keep a plant going for decades and decades.

The roses are so beautiful...the top one is exquisite, and the bottom one grows so voluminously and profuse on the rosebush.

There is something so regal about roses, they really are the queen of all flowers.

Rebecca said...

Dee Dee, thank you...I cherish having them so much...

It's amazing that they stay so healthy because I really let Mother Nature tend these roses and just try and keep the weeds at bay and make sure they have ample water should it get too dry( A problem we haven't had at all this spring). They're so hardy and forgiving..

Rebecca said...

Willow, Betsy, and Lavinia, the Rice Rose is my favorite...I think of my dear GG Grandmother when I see the massive blooms, and how she must have gotten such joy from them...I have one more heirloom that I'll blog about soon. It also came from Great Aunt Chine( our nickname for her)and I think it came from Margaret's garden as well by way of my G grandmother, Cordia Rice Dillion.

rochambeau said...

The bouquets must be in full swing at your abode right now! Lucky girl!!!