I am so attached to this rose, it shares the name of my beloved great aunt who filled my teenage years with laughter, care free happiness and downplayed but unquestionable love.
Crown Princess Margareta is not an old rose, even if it looks very much like one. This David Austin hybrid springs elegantly to clamber supports and put on display a golden peach array of flowers, fully double and deliciously fragrant.
Do you know those roses that seem to hold all their inner bloom tightly packed in the perfectly round cup of their outermost petals? They are usually very old noble roses, the kind that romantics like me get so nostalgic over.
Crown Princess Margareta blends the specific quartered bloom of the Bourbons with an audacious sunny apricot hue, a perfect match for its sweet honey citrus fragrance.
It is a repeat bloomer, but it tends to bloom in flushes and avoid the very hot days of summer. Like most of its kind it does not much appreciate the scorching heat that attracts all sorts of pests.
For those who might ask if this rose is high maintenance, I will only say one thing: there are no high maintenance roses, only roses that don't like their surroundings. Every time a rose is not doing well it is one of the usual culprits: not enough sunlight (this is the one necessity they really can't do without), not enough space, not enough nutrients or not enough water, in that order. If you ever saw a rose blooming with abandon in the middle of nowhere you know I'm right.
That being said, I have to agree that hybrids are bred to fend off many of the usual annoyances that ail roses: black spot, rust, aphids. I wish the rose growers could give them a tart taste to turn off the nasty blossom eating bugs, but then one couldn't gather their fragrant petals to make preserves.
Ok, honest, not as easy going as the landscaping roses, but well worth the effort.
The most popular rose of the twentieth century, grown everywhere in the world, estimated 30 to 40 million plants sold since its introduction in 1945. It goes by many names, but its most popular one - "Peace", which became its official name, is the one under which the rose has won numerous rose shows awards.
The striking and most extraordinary feature of this hybrid tea is the size of its flowers. The description says that they average six inches in diameter, but you don't have a good sense of what that actually means until you see them. The blooms grow on very sturdy stems that don't bend at all, so you get to appreciate the enormous blossoms in all their glory, as they face the sun. They change color as they open, from soft rose to a butter yellow that lightens up to antique paper off white.
It is of course fragrant and blooms non-stop from June till after the first frost. I didn't know when I first bought this rose that it had such a pedigree. Words fade next to this photograph, what could I say that would be fitting for an image like this?
I am one of forty million people growing peace.