Since spring is over and summer is here, I thought we’d take a break from the garden and resume some posts on rose history. Besides being interesting, rose history can also help you understand how to use and care for roses in your garden, particularly that they have not always been “fussy”!
The post below picks up from our last one, “Enter the Hybrid Tea.”
Hint: To read past posts on rose history, simply click on the underlined word “History” toward the bottom of this post. You’ll see it right next to the phrase “Posted in.”
The arrival of the hybrid tea upon the scene coupled with the start of rose shows might lead some to believe that garden roses were being neglected during this time. Not so.
Many hybrid teas, particularly the early ones, made excellent garden roses. In addition, three of the finest garden rose classes we have were introduced during this early era of hybrid teas.
The hybrid musks were developed by Joseph Pemberton in England during the early twentieth century. Roses such as Penelope, Daybreak, Francesca, Prosperity, and others still to this day make outstanding garden roses. Even now, visionary rose breeders such as Paul Barden continue the work with roses such as the new hybrid musk ‘Jeri Jennings’.
The polyanthas came into being in the late 1880s and continued to flourish for some time. They are thankfully seeing a revival today as gardeners begin to finally “discover” this tough, rewarding class of roses. Jim Delahanty in Southern California has not only put together one of the largest collections of polyanthas ever assembled, but his constant championing of the class is largely responsible for their resurgence.
Floribunda roses were born and began to fully realize their potential under the visionary eye of rose breeder Gene Boerner, who is also known as “Papa Floribunda.” Iceberg is perhaps the most famous floribunda, but others such as Gruss An Aachen are also excellent.
Many great garden roses from these classes are still with us today. If you are new to garden roses or just looking to add some interesting new roses to your garden, take a moment to look at some of the classics from these classes. The reason many have stood the test of the time is why they will do well in your garden.