Out In The Garden – Antique Roses

Hello, and welcome to my first segment of Out In The Garden.

contemporary western romantic suspesne authror Sara Walter Ellwood

Province Rose with Violets from my garden

Although my writing passion is contemporary western or paranormal romantic suspense, my hobby passion is gardening. About this time of year, I start to get spring fever BAD!  And I have it now. I’m itching to get out and start digging, planting and enjoying my garden. Here’s a picture of one of my pride and joys. A Province rose, an antique rose that I rescued from my grandparents’ home as a root cutting before my father regraded the yard a few years ago when my stepsister moved into the old farmhouse.

I’m a sucker for roses, and with Valentine’s Day next week, I thought roses—the flower of love—would make the perfect first article.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of rose varieties—and I’ve tried to grow several of them.  Tea, climbing, miniature… But the only ones that seem to ever do well are my antique roses.  I have two kinds, Province and a red China Rose, both propagated from root cuttings of roses planted by my grandparents—oh, probably—30-50 years ago. In fact, the Province rose I have, originally came from my great-great grandmother’s garden and was one of my grandfather’s favorites because it reminded him of his mother.

Antique or old garden roses are easy to grow and need very little maintenance. Once they are established, the rose bush will flourish for centuries—not just a few years as most modern roses do. They are extremely drought and insect resistant, and can survive heat waves and hard freezes without any special attention.

So, what makes a rose an antique rose?

Most antique roses were developed by English and Dutch gardeners between the 17th and early 19th centuries. Most old garden roses only bloom once, but when they do, they never fail to captivate with their simple elegant beauty or their deliciously wonderful perfume. Old-fashioned roses are some of the most fragrant roses around. In fact, it is from the Province rose, or otherwise known as the cabbage rose or scientifically as Rosa centifolia, that rose oil was derived.

So if you love roses like I do, but find them hard to grow, try an old-fashioned or antique rose. You won’t be disappointed.

A few of my favorite varieties:

Contemporary Western romantic suspense author Sara Walter EllwoodProvince (Cabbage or Centefoilia) Roses: Developed by Dutch hybridists in the 17th century. Most have a heavy “rose” scent and only bloom once in summer.

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contemporary western romantic suspense author Sara Walter EllwoodGallica Roses: Originate from European and Western Asian old rose groups. Semi-single rose blooms once in summer.

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contemporary western romantic suspense author Sara Waler EllwoodDamask Roses: Originate from Damascus. They are a cross between a Gallica Rose and R. phoenicea. Some bloom in summer and some bloom in fall, but most only bloom once. Autumn Damasks bloom twice.

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contemporary western romantic suspense author Sara Walter EllwoodMoss Roses: They are a deviation single petal flower from Centifolia roses. They also only bloom once in summer.

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contemporary western romantic suspense authro Sara Walter EllwoodAlba Roses (or White Rose also known as The White Rose of York): A shrub rose with bluish-green foliage. They too, only bloom once in summer.

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contemporary western romantic suspense author Sara Walter EllwoodChina Roses: There are four groups of China Roses that were brought to Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries from China and Eastern Asia. These are one of the few repeat bloomers of the antique roses. Most of the modern roses were derived from these rose groups.

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contemporary western romantic suspense author Sara Walter EllwoodBourbon Roses: These were the first repeat bloomers and were created from the China Rose.

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contemporary western romantic suspense author Sara Walter EllwoodHybrid Perpetual Roses: This Victorian Rose came about from open field hybridization and were derived from Bourbon Roses.

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Contemporary western romance author Sara Walter EllwoodBriar Roses: These single petal roses originate from the 19th century. They only bloom once in summer. (They actually grow wild on several farms here in Central Pennsylvania. I used to pick them all the time as a kid along the edges of the pasture fields of my grandparents’ farm.)

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Categories: Out In The Garden | Tags: , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Out In The Garden – Antique Roses

  1. Jennifer Lowery

    Beautiful!! I think the Alba rose is my favorite! You are so lucky to have a green thumb! I do not have one, lol. My mom does. I did not, however, inherit that talent. My hubby calls me ‘the plant killer’ so he takes care of the plants that I love to buy 🙂 I look forward to more pics, Sara!!

  2. When I lived in Germany I had a wonderful rose garden filled with antique roses, including some grown from cuttings taken from Malmaison. Great pictures. I tweeted.

  3. I’m also a hobby gardener – I can plot alot while weeding and I understand the spring fever thing. Begone snow!

  4. Jerrie Alexander

    Beautiful roses. I just finished The Language of Flowers. It’s about how a young woman who grew up in foster homes uses flowers to help her learn to live and love. The back of the book has definitions for every flower of every color. I didn’t know every flower meant something different.

  5. D'Ann Lindun

    A passion you and I share, although I’m not as knowlegable about them as you. I have a row of old roses taken from my grandmother’s house 20 years ago, and they smell wonderful!

  6. How beautiful this is! Great idea!

  7. What a beautiful rose. Unfortunately, I most definitely don’t have a green thumb. I kill everything I touch. My husband does and so does my mom, but I missed that particular gene.

  8. Such a great post. I’m also an avid gardener. And yes, antique roses are by far my favorite for all the reasons you’ve listed.
    I love roses but pretty much gave up growing them because of the maintenance. They were very finicky, and seemed to catch every disease known to roses, lol–not to mention aphids loved them. But then I found the antique rose and now I have a beautiful showing every season–with zero problems.
    I have the Alba and China variety

  9. I LOVE gardening 🙂 Hook up with me on Pinterest. I have a tiny little thing on Pinterest with pictures…mostly because I have no idea how to work Pinterest. But if you hook up with me on facebook, I post pictures all year long of my pretty flowers 🙂 I planted tea cup roses last year, in a really bad place, and only one survived. Not enough drainage. I’m going to try again in another area of my yard. I have good luck with knock out rose bushes. I swear, those things won’t die and they’re gorgeous all year long, and the fragrance is just amazing! I wish I knew more about gardening, but I pretty much just started four years ago. Maybe if some of you have a knack for garden design, you can help me figure out what to do with an area in my backyard. I’m redoing the pond this year and I abhor rock gardens. I had to pull up a billion rocks last year. What a nightmare! I need to fill that area in with some pretties 🙂 Oh, and after that super long comment I left, I almost forgot to say that after all the pretty pictures you posted, I am going to try some antique roses in the backyard 🙂

  10. Well, I’m glad my roses were such a hit! Thanks for dropping by, ladies. I think even someone with a black thumb could grow antique roses. My aunt used to mercilessly hack at pap’s Province rose (to keep it contained as she put it– I think she just hated the thing) after my grandma passed. Anyway, it never really died out. When my dad and I went looking for a cutting, the thing hadn’t bloomed in probably ten years and my dad thought it was dead. But lo and behold, it wasn’t, it was coming back with a vengence. I dug up several roots and brought them home. Dipped them in rooting powder and put them in moist organic rich compost in a pot. I’ll admit I babied it for that summer, but that fall I planted my florishing baby rose bush in the ground and told it to live through the winter. That was about 10 years ago… Today, the thing is about seven feet tall and wide. And God is it beautiful when it is in full bloom.

    That fall, after I took the spring root cuttings, before dad began regrading that part of grandma’s yard, he said that old rose bush had grown about three feet and was taking over the hill again. Unfortunately, he doesn’t share my attachment to plants and bulldozed the thing under. Something I’m still peeved at him for! LOL

    Anyway…. I’m glad y’all came by!

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