Although I could never be as heartless to say that I have an absolute favourite rose (as many have unique qualities for which they may be adored, cherished, and loved), I must admit that I have a certain fondness of roses in the crimson red family. ESPECIALLY those which are rich, saturated, deep, and age to purple (bluing).
In the approximately fifteen years that I have grown roses of varying types (gradually adding in the antiques that I am finding more preferable in most instances aside from obtaining cut flowers to take to grandmothers, friends, and neighbours), the highly fragrant bluing reds hold a certain specialness in my heart. Varieties I have grown in the past and lost either due to being body bags OR attempting to move some in November here in the North that fall into this category include Mirandy, Chrysler Imperial, Mister Lincoln, Oklahoma, and Papa Meilland.
After an extended hiatus trying to meld with the 'world' (and not really understanding most folk- ha!) I find that returning to the plants that I so love has made me happier and more fulfilled than I have ever been without them.
So; I shall share some images of my containerized Mirandy that will need quite an upsized container Spring 2015!
I'd like to share a little bit of background information I have gathered from text books and internet resources about this particular rose.
Mirandy is a now Classic Hybrid Tea bred by Dr. Walter Lammerts from Charlotte Armstrong (I don't see her much anymore, either) and winner of the 1945 All-America Rose Selection trial.
Mirandy has blooms that are usually heavily scented in most conditions although sometimes I was unable to detect much scent, most obviously of course in cool temperatures. For my nose, the scent is the heavy, damask rose with an infusion of a sweet, lemony citrus note. Cut soon enough and brought inside, the blooms never cease to impress with their fragrance. The form seems to vary- sometimes the classic, high-centred spiral and sometimes more cupped and bull-nosed.
Colour and scent are the traits I treasure most in this rose. I love that the buds open a rich, deep, velvety crimson red that gradually ages to an equally rich and velvety purple unless blooms have been bleached to a bright pink by light and heat.
When left on the plant, I adore that the blooms develop through various stages that remind me of what is said that tea roses do- upright buds maturing and opening; gradually turning to face outward in their prime, and then demurely nodding when fully blown, blowzy, and heavy with petals before shattering.
I am a little sad to see this variety disappearing from commerce, but I suspect it has to do with the nodding blooms, disease resistance, and the bluing red trait.
I disbudded my specimen for most of the summer to encourage more growth. Well, it WORKS! (thanks Kim!)
Nipping buds as soon as I was able to grasp them (usually around the size of a grain of wheat) pushed the subsequent growth in such a rapid manner, that three weeks yielded an entirely different looking and ever bulkier plant. In its current container, it is over 5'8" in full bloom, so it would probably be around 4' in the ground.
I gained no basal shoots from the bud union, but the plant did push about three new main canes from low on the canes already present on the plant at time of acquisition.
As the new shoots developed, I noted that Mirandy seems to support blooms on the upper twiggy structure as the plant developed. Blooms I allowed to develop were removed at the abscission layer, and new growth came from RIGHT at the abscission point or just below in more instances than not.
I am not an exhibitor, but I love seeing the abundance of bloom an untouched plant may support when it has all of its needed foliage and canes for food and nourishment.
My plant stayed clean (no spray) of any disease until the end of August and into September when powdery mildew showed (although my Therese Bugnet mildewed this year from mid-June on).
The PM wasn't so bad, and I attempted to keep the plant well hydrated and washed down in hopes of keeping it at bay. It helped bunches.
No black spot this year on any of my roses, not even Angel Face (also new re-acquisition after a puny body bag one died on me years ago), and I have just NEVER seen any rust here in the humid and generally high-rainfall Great Lakes.
My specimen is grafted, but I do not know upon what. A purchase from Menard's, I hesitated picking up my baby until my third or fourth visit because I was sure no good could come of it (haha) but felt I HAD to rescue it. It was the only one for sale. I am nearly certain it is upon Dr. Huey. Thankfully, I have never had the good Doctor sucker on me.
Please enjoy these images, and feel free of course to share YOUR classic beauties Old or Modern.
Which modern Classics are amongst your faves?