The White Rose and the Red

If you don’t count

old faithful Jens Munk,

old faithful Jens Munk,

blooming away at the edge of the woods, the first rose to show its face in the lower gardens was a white hybrid tea whose name I no longer remember. Not an especially pretty plant ( as usual with hybrid teas) but a very pretty rose.

 Also a nicely fragrant one. Put your nose in the vicinity and be rewarded with a delightful lemony perfume.

 “ Those people who are always on about scentless modern roses have gotten a bit carried away,” thought I , keeping the trophy close to my schnoz as I headed up to the house.

 Passed the gone-to-wild-we-still-haven’t-upgraded-it side garden and there was a survivor,  the antique gallica ‘Tuscany’, small, semi-double, deep, deep purplevelvet red.

Modern white, antique red

Modern white, antique red

 “or maybe not,” my brain continued, receiving the opulent scent of the flower even before I reached out to touch it.

 Bury your nose in THAT and Know Roses

Post title sound familiar? It’s a once famous, now itself antique book about England’s Wars of the Roses (1455 to 1487), which took its title from Shakeseare. (Richard 111. act 5, Richmond:…”We will unite the white rose and the red.”) 

Here we insert two cheers for google, which failed to find it until I got as far as remembering it was the Bard.

Where was I?

Real roses. The White Rose of York is Rosa alba or R. alba maxima or R. alba semiplena. Authorities differ. No doubt about the Red Rose of Lancaster. It’s Rosa gallica officinalis.


This is Jens up close

This is Jens up close. He's scentless but has other virtues

 Much more about him here.


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