No, I’m not talking about the Melbourne Cup, even though it is on soon. It is the Spring flush in the garden that has my attention. Each morning I wake to more and more blooms radiating like beacons over the garden despite the cloudy, wet weather. One by one, each rose bush opens with a stunning specimen, perfect and fragrant, with a promise of more to come judging by the extraordinary number of buds.
I’m waiting patiently for the rains to cease enough for the full flush of blooms to come out at once rather than individual blooms. So far,there are a few bushes covered in roses and looking healthy, lush and perfect, and it is exciting and rewarding.
Maman Cochet rose this year is gorgeous. The sumptuous soft pink blooms with a slight yellow undertone that fades to a gentle copper colour are truly magnificent. This beautiful pink blend rose was bred in France in 1892 by Scipion Cochet and introduced to Australia by George Brunning in 1897 as Maman Cochet.
The blooms grow on single stems, are high centred and in a proper rosette form. This one will flower all season, and it has clean stems with few thorns.
Soeur Emmanuelle™ is another spectacular rose so far this year. This one belongs to the Delbard Grand Parfums Collection™ and is a hybrid tea shrub bred by Delbards in 2004 and introduced to the USA by Certified Roses as Sister Emmanuelle in 2018.
Souer ( Sister) Emmanuelle was a religious Sister of Belgian and French origin who was known for her work in helping the poor in Turkey and Egypt. She was honoured with Egyptian citizenship in 1991. She was also known for her unorthodox views, including, at the time, her approval of contraception and of allowing priests to marry. Sister Emmanuelle was voted one of the most popular people in France and Belgium and is often compared to Mother Teresa, although she regarded the comparison as ridiculous.
They say all good things come to those who wait, and I’m thrilled that the Soeur Emmanuelle rose looks precisely like the promo pictures I saw when this fascinating rose first enticed me. It is elegant, robust, exuberant, and prolific. Soeur Emmanuelle™ also has an exceptional, intense fragrance, with large roses in a cupped bloom form that open from darkest red buds to a rose-pink to lilac colouring. Add the healthy leathery foliage and long flowering season, and one has a superb rose. It should grow to 100 cm and be about 60 cm wide.
The Pierre Gagnaire rose creates a stunning display at the front door and grows up and over a rust coloured metal obelisk. It is a whimsical rose with different colours of white, pink and peach from masses of single open blooms that flutter in the breeze like butterflies- magic. The Pierre Gagnaire rose is part of a new collection from Delbards that was formed to honour French chefs- ‘Les Grands Chefs roses’. The Pierre Gagnaire rose was bred by G Delbard France in 2002 as a Floribunda climbing rose.
The inspiration for Delbards to name a new collection came from a selection of Michelin-starred chefs who are worthy because their recipes bring pleasure and joy to our senses- much like the rose. Guy Savoy, Dominique Loiseau, Michel Bras, Olivier Roellinger, Raymond Blanc and Pierre Gagnaire are the chefs in this rose collection. French chef Pierre Gagnaire has three restaurants in Paris and others in Hong Kong, London and Dubai. I have a previous post called Nature Does not Hurry, Yet Everything is Accomplished a few years ago after I visited the Pierre Gagnaire restaurant in Dubai. As far as I know, this collection’s only other rose available in Australia is the beautiful Guy Savoy rose, but it has yet to open.
Storms have developed over the last few days on top of all the rain, and the garden is soaked, but masses of new rosebuds and blooms unfold in every direction. Growing next to the Pierre Gagnaire rose is Ashram, a splendid rose that sits proudly in the rain, never balling or losing petals even in stormy weather.
Ashram is a hybrid tea rose with the exhibition name of TANmarsa. The dark green leaves are proof of the Ashram’s robust nature and going by past seasons, it will continue to bloom until May next year and be disease free and healthy. Ashram was bred by Hans Jürgen Evers in Germany in 1998 and introduced as Ashram by Rosen-Tantau/Tantau Roses in 1998.
The Ashram rose colour is a thrill on cloudy days, and sun alike being an old world gold to orange and apricot colour. A striking standout in the garden with very large high centred blooms and a mild, fruity fragrance. I have it growing with Stachys Lamb’s Ears underneath, and the contrast of silver with the shiny dark foliage is delightful.
Pictured above is the Ashram rose last year in 2021 when we had many more sunny days. It is available at Wagners rose nursery, Silkies Rose Farm and Treloars.
The rain continues but surprisingly the roses and season unfold and there are many new roses to share with you next time.
Content Di Baker October 2022
Images Di Baker