The Ingenious Mr Fairchild, so difficult but totally worth it.
Jacqueline Tong _ Seattle Zone 8b
3 months ago
So about four years ago I read about the Ingenious Mr Fairchild rose from the Heirloom Roses website and immediately thought I had to have it. The idea of a rose which looks like a pink peony but continually blooms is a must have for me. I got the rose and put it front and center in my yard. At this point I have many roses and it turned out this one is by far the most difficult. It lacks vigor, had black spots on seriously puny leaves for three years. I did get flowers right away and indeed it had the form of a tiny peony but it didn’t have that incredible drama I imagined. The petals were wafer paper thin and flops and the flowers just underwhelms. Still I saw the potential but no matter what I tried it wasn’t working. I have pulled out roses I just didn’t love plenty of times and normally I would have yanked it out but for some reason I got super stubborn with this one. I think the idea of that pink peony all summer long was just too hard to pass up. Instead I went to the David Austin site and ordered another one, I thought maybe that whole own root thing from Heirloom was the problem. For the second one I put in a pot. I fed both with lots of banana peels and coffee grinds and turned up the watering. And most importantly I added support to the plant. This rose definitely do not have strong stems and vigor like many others but once it is healthy it has a gorgeous from and has an unparalleled romance. And once the plants are healthy, the blooms look as they should and they are gorgeous! Oh and the fragrance is also very unique. Less like a rose scent but full honey and lemon, similar to the lemon honey tea I use to get as a child back in Hong Kong diners.
Here’s to being stubborn, I love this not so popular rose.