I’ve been doing a good bit of gardening lately. When I visited with Susan and Wanda in Texas a couple years ago, I came home with some rose cuttings which I had great luck with even though they weren’t stuck in dirt for about a week. That got me interested. I’d always heard roses are hard to grow and one thing I’ve learned is that they do indeed need to be watered in order to live but they’re not hard to grow!
I’ve become very interested in antique or heirloom roses. I fancy myself as a “rose rustler” in the early stages.
I have a good friend who has several different ones growing in her yard, so I’ve been out there a couple times lately to get cuttings. And I’ve hunted down some Cherokee Rose, a dark pink rambler, and a pale pink rambler that I had seen blooming a couple years ago. The Cherokee Rose and dark pink rambler both have vicious thorns. I was thrilled to find that the elusive pale pink one was actually thornless. I was backed up in traffic one day in a curve a few miles from here one day and just happened to be stopped right by this rose that was blooming.
I’ve never caught it blooming again but 2 days ago, I pulled down into the little side road and parked. It was pretty precarious as the culvert was partially washed out. I’m surprised the rose had survived because the land was cleared since I had seen it. I looked around and there it was! And another plant was on the other side of the little lane so I was able to get a good many cuttings. I’m guessing that a long time ago, there was a house down that lane away from the road and they planted these roses on both sides of the lane up by the highway. Oh come on! It sounds good doesn’t it?
One of the roses I’m working on is called “Natchitoches Noisette” and reportedly was discovered in an old cemetery in Natchitoches, LA. It is absolutely lovely but even though it’s description says it is fragrant, my bouquet is not. I guess I can’t have everything.
According to the University of Florida plant data site, “The American Rose Society defines an “old” rose as any type introduced before 1867″.
The known varieties I’m attempting to root are:
Natchitoches Noisette (1714 Antique)
White Lady Banks (1807 Antique)—cuttings already have some roots after just a week
Yellow Lady Banks (1825 Antique)
Cherokee Rose (1700’s Antique)
Zephirine Drouhin (1868)
Russell’s Cottage (1840 Antique)
If you’re interested in learning how to propagate roses, check out this good article from Texas A&M. I’m heading off to bed now or maybe I’ll watch my recording of tonight’s episode of Revenge first.
Oh….and if you have any lovely rose cuttings you’d love to share, I’ll gladly take them! Now is the perfect time for spring pruning when blooms are fading.