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Gallica love! (plus spacing for Houzz)

Melissa Northern Italy zone 8
last month
last modified: last month

It's Gallica season now, and, much as I love other roses, right now Gallicas are square in the center of my heart. I was just down in the shade garden. There's a suckering thicket of 'Gloire de France' down there, a sea of foliage starred with fragrant, double, soft pink flowers, bordered on one side by a narrow path, on the other by a little clearing, lower than the rose bed. Off at one end of the same bed is 'De la Maitre-Ecole', planted some years after GdF arrived, and just now coming into its own. It's taller than its neighbor and has larger blooms, loose and shading between cool pink and lavender to purple. They're both good tough varieties: I'll let them fight it out. Every once in a while I wade in and cut out dead and old growth and pull stems of struggling grass; otherwise I perform no maintenance.

Down in the big garden some anonymous Gallicas are in bloom at the top of the newer Serbian Bed. These are from plants in another part of the garden, but I don't know which ones: they're beautiful, double, pink, and much like a hundred other Gallicas, all of them deeply satisfactory.

Gallicals have nice foliage, generally rather rough, some smaller and spoon-shaped, others larger and pointed. They smell good, and I'm not sure it's just the flowers; I have a notion the whole plant is fragrant. They don't get disease. They sucker out, which may or may not be a virtue according to the situation, but this renders them practically immortal. They make thickets, not shrubs. They don't deteriorate if you don't prune them. I've seen very few Gallicas I wouldn't be happy to have in the garden. They grow valiantly through nettles and bindweed and grass, and look beautiful while doing so.

P.S. My love for truth reminds me that 'De la Maitre-Ecole' does get mildew, not that it or I care.

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