“A rose in a desert can only survive on its strength, not its beauty.”

Buff Beauty is the rose I’m highlighting this week. It has just started to bloom and looks splendid. Buff is not well known in Australia as a colour and may be recognised as a chicken variety called the Buff Orpington, a large, docile, quiet variety, considered a heritage bird. But for those in the know Buff is a colour.

Buff  is a light, brownish yellow, ochre colour, typical of buff leather. … it is the colour made by mixing equal amounts of the tertiary colours, citron and russet. The actual rose Buff Beauty, as seen in the images from my garden, appears more cream to yellow in our Australian climate.

“Weather means more when you have a garden. There’s nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is soaking in around your green beans. ” 

Marcelene Cox

As with many of my roses, I almost lost these (twice). Careless I think, but I have made up for it. When I first purchased the Buff beauty roses my idea was to grow them on an old tank stand around the back of the farm house because it was a perfect strong trellis and visible from the kitchen window. It is an area where, for several reasons, roses or any plants are best grown in large pots. All was going well, until summer came last year and it became clear it was going to be too hot for this English style rose, at least until it was more mature. The western and northern sun streams across to this area all day and the roses were very easily burnt. This season they were moved to a more protected spot but still had some afternoon sun. My hope was that Buff Beauty would blend with the Jasmine and climb around the water tanks.

“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in–what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.”

Victor Hugo

Building a garden on a rural property is a balancing act between the desire for an aesthetically pleasing space and the practicalities of farm living. There are many considerations like water tanks, machinery, out buildings, septic tanks, levy banks, sheds and the all important fences that need to be high enough to keep kangaroos and wallabies out. Garden design is never without a compromise because large concrete water tanks, for example, are not able to be moved and many of the aspects of rural living, to my mind, require softening in the landscape.

Jasmine planted in old laundry tubs to add greenery to the water tanks 2018

But back to Buff Beauty. My three tubs of Buff Beauty in early Spring were the main roses nearly lost from heat stress when we made a quick dash to Sydney for a few days. Unfortunately, the weather changed to a 40 degree heatwave and the roses were accidently forgotten in the watering by my usually precise ‘garden wingman’.

“A flower blossoms for its own joy.”

Oscar Wilde

The very burnt, dry roses were moved again this time further into the shade between the water tanks, an area I like to call, ‘the plant hospital’ where they were watered and given care and attention to recover from the heat shock and burn. They took about 6 weeks to fully recover and only have a few leaves with brown spots left.

As I write, due to the joy of having moveable pots, they sit in pride of place along the back verandah at each post, exhibiting new lush, green foliage and fresh ‘ Buff ‘ coloured blooms. The verandah edge is the best ‘Prime real estate’ for roses with only morning sun from dawn to midday. No more harsh afternoon heat or hot winds for Buff Beauty.

“What a lovely thing a rose is!”

Arthur Conan Doyle

According to The Rose Society of South Australia, Buff Beauty is a Hybrid Musk Rose released by Bentall in the UK in 1939. This rose is one of the Hybrid Musks bred by Reverend Joseph Pemberton. Joseph Pemberton 1852 – 1926, a well-known rose breeder in Essex U K. Buff Beauty has a beautiful soft display of yellow to apricot blooms in small clusters with a tea rose scent. The colour will change due to the soil type, weather and climate. It is a vigorous grower with dark green glossy foliage although mine is light green thus far, and suited to a pillar rose or a climber.

Buff Beauty and the foliage is from another climber sharing the pot for a while.

For the remainder of the season of 2021, Buff Beauty is happy, in what would have to be, the best position in any garden, enjoying the first rays of sun early in the morning. They are protected from high winds and afternoon, baking hot sun. Buffy Beauty is seen by the back door, so very easy to notice pests or changes in the rose that may need attention. Plus the scent of tea rose fragrance can be appreciated walking along the verandah.

Only this morning I came out to discover tiny black dots ( beetles ) all over the Buff Beauty petals that were not there last night, so it’s amazing how fast things can change.

Little beetles on the rose bloom

“It is a good idea to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought.”

James Douglas

Eventually Buff Beauty will outgrow the verandah posts and their pots and require more room. I have read that once established Buff Beauty can tolerate afternoon sun and quite dry conditions as well as part shade, so perhaps a gazebo or longer trellis is in order!

Carla Fineschi Rose garden Italy 2019

Header title by Matshona Dhliwayo

All Content and images by Di Baker 2021 All rights reserved,

The colour Buff images courtesy of Wikimedia and the David Klein Image below Unsplash

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