The Peace Rose has soft yellow flowers that fade to blush-pink at the tips. The blooms are large and double and have a light fragrance. The Peace rose repeat flowers and is disease resistant and very easy to grow being hardy, vigorous and a brilliant performer.
The history of the Peace rose can be read in full in a delightful book called ” For The Love of A Rose” By Antonia Ridge.
The rose was bred by French horticulturist Francis Meilland between 1935 to 1939 and named ‘Peace’ in 1945 as the second world war came to an end. It was called originally Rosa ‘Madame A Meilland’ and voted the world’s most favourite rose in 1976. In 1965 Peace was awarded The Golden Rose Of the Hague and considered to be the finest Hybrid tea ever raised.
According to Peter Beales in his book Roses in late 1945 ‘Peace’ roses were given to each of the delegations at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco with a note saying “We hope the ‘Peace’ rose will influence men’s thoughts for everlasting world peace”. It is also said that by 1992 over one hundred million plants of this Peace hybrid tea had been sold.
In short the history is, that because Meilland saw the war with Germany was inevitable, he sent out cuttings to friends in Italy, Turkey, Germany and the United States. History tells us this happened on the very last flight before the German invasion of France. In the USA, the rose breeders Conrad Pyle Co., successfully grew it and thereby kept it safe.
Because the recipients of these cuttings could not communicate due to the war with each other it was given several different names. In France it was called ‘Madame A. Meilland’ after Meilland’s mother and in Italy it was called ‘Goia’ meaning Joy. In Germany the peace Rose was named ‘Glory Dei’ which means glory to God and the United States, Sweden and Norway the Hybrid tea was called Peace.
At the end of the war in 1945 Meilland then wrote to Field Marshal Alan Brooke to thank him for his part in the liberation of France and to ask if Brooke would give his name to the rose. Brooke evidently declined though he was honored to be asked, and suggested a much better and more enduring name would be Peace. The rose was named and broadcast on 29 April 1945 by the breeders Conard Pyle and Co and ironically this was the day that Berlin fell, a day considered a turning point in the second world war.
In my garden I too have the Peace rose in pride of place as a standard along the front path and several dotted between the French roses.
I hope to have my own improved Peace Rose photographs as the new season unfolds 2019.