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 to be hardy, vigorous and a brilliant performer.
The Peace 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 was voted the world’s 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’ – Peace roses were given to each of the delegates at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations in 1945 in San Francisco with a note saying
It is also said that by 1992 over one hundred million plants of the Peace Hybrid Tea had been sold. Because Meilland saw that the war with Germany was inevitable, he sent out cuttings to his 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 the cuttings and thereby kept the Peace Rose safely.
Because the recipients of these cuttings could not communicate with each other during the war, the rose 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 in 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 France’s liberation and ask if Brooke would give his name to the rose. Although he was honoured to be asked, Brooke evidently declined and suggested a much better and more enduring name would be Peace. The rose was named and broadcast on the 29th of 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.
have the Peace rose in pride of place in my garden as a standard along the front path and several dotted between the French roses around the garden.
The history of the Peace rose is in a delightful recommended book called ” For The Love of A Rose” By Antonia Ridge.
Title Quote by Mike Dolan
Content Di Baker 2019 additions and reposted 2022