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Belle Portugaise (gigantea hybrid, 1903)

last month

Well, this bloom was the first to partly open on my BP - I first noticed it this morning. I had this BP growing 2 stories up my house for over 20 years (got from a cutting I took from an old plant in my neighborhood).

Then, about 6 years ago, it suddenly died - when we dug it up, it had horrible galls all over the crown. I thought I had lost it forever.

Meanwhile, I had some cuttings trying to root from other roses. One of them, which I thought was Le Vesuve, did fairly well, although it kept getting bigger and bigger without setting any buds. Years went by, and one day I noticed that it had put out a cane which was at least 9 feet long. Hmm...probably not Le Vesuve. Who could it be? I kept an eye on it, and a week later realized that it had set one bud at the end of that cane. When it opened I was astonished and happy to realize that it was Belle Portugaise! I still have no memory of doing it, but I must have taken a cutting from my old dying BP plant many years before. My old BP also took 6 years before it bloomed, so that made sense. I was so happy!

We had to take down all of the other roses which were growing on our house a couple of years ago, so I planted what I now knew was BP at the bottom of a 7 ft tall and 7 ft by 2 ft wide pergola arbor by Kinsman, which makes very sturdy things to grow roses on. In a couple of years it has leaped up to the top of that pergola, and spread out to also grow on another one which is supporting a large Fortune's Double Yellow. They are both once bloomers, but it appears that BP is 2-3 weeks ahead of FDY. I can't wait to see them both blooming together! Meanwhile, here are pics I just now took of the one open bloom of BP, and a bud - its buds are long and elegant.


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