melissaaipapa

'Enfant de France'

Oh, I do admire this rose. I have two plants of it, one growing in rough grass, one in heavy, rocky, damp soil, both own root; the latter in particular has been a champion. I was down yesterday shearing grass and weeds growing under it and cutting out some of the older growth, and accidentally took off the flower in the photo, which I carried home to put in a vase.

A bloom both opulent and elegant, colors a little brighter and more distinctly two-toned than shown in the photo; fragrant, of course. The plant has heavy, long-lived canes that aren't much bothered by anything our environment can throw at it; leaves are large, downy, and handsome; the plant habit is vase shaped, perhaps 4' x 5'. It's classed as a Hybrid Perpetual; I see a lot of Damask in it, the heavy canes and downy, moderately prickly growth. The flowers are sumptuous and many grow in clusters, but they don't appear congested as some HPs do. I don't know whether it reblooms in fall. 'Enfant de France' is in the same style as 'Marchesa Boccella' (which grows beside it in my garden), though the Marchesa has more evenly pink flowers, whereas a feature of EdF's blooms is a darker center in the pale pink blooms. I don't recall serious disease problems. The main drawbacks are that beetles like the blooms, and the deer will come and munch on it; still, a glorious rose and well-suited to our conditions.

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