SURPRISE! a very beautiful old rose

rose 4
rose 3 rose 2

I have been watching this rose bloom and it becomes more beautiful by the day!

When I got my new community plot last year, I noticed tiny sprouts of a rose in the corner. Not knowing what kind of rose it was, I tended it and hoped it would be pretty someday. But it had no blossoms last year and I had decided to remove it this year and replace it with a nice new variety. Then, this spring I noticed a few small buds….

First they were green, then some pink started to show, and now Glorious! A lovely old fashioned bright magenta rose. Maybe Rosa gallica “Charles de Mills”? Here’s a source with information on old Gallica roses:Rose Gathering. Or maybe Poupre charmant?

Then again, maybe its a newer hybrid. A rose gardener who added a comment to this post says this looks a lot like her Falstaff rose. Here’s a photo: at Dave’s Garden. And here’s the Falstaff page at the David Austin roses website. I think Falstaff is a good guess, though mine is a bit more magenta than crimson.

‘Charles de Mills’ was bred in the Netherlands and introduced before 1700. One of the largest and most spectacular of the gallicas, it bears very double flowers with deep-magenta, mauve, and lilac tones, fading to red purple. Like others in this oldest class of garden roses, it is a compact plant (rarely exceeding 4 feet) that blooms once in midsummer.

Falstaff bears large crimson flowers with a shallow, cupped shape. They are of exquisite form and quality, packed with numerous petals which interfold at the centre. This helps to create a lovely, glowing effect within an enclosed saucer of outer petals. The blooms are a rich, dark crimson colouring at first, eventually turning to a wonderful shade of rich purple. There is a powerful Old Rose fragrance. The growth is strong, bushy and rather upright, with the flowers nodding nicely on the stem. The foliage is quite large and rather modern in character. This variety is named for the well-loved Shakespearean character, who was the faithful companion of Prince Henry. If you want to grow this roses as a shrub it may benefit from summer pruning. 4 ft. x 3.5 ft. or 6-8 ft. as a climber.

I never expected such a beautiful rose. I do see several other similar rose plants in the community gardens also starting to bloom now. I’m sure I’ll be photographing this rose more. This is my first bud to open and many more are coming.

mystery garden rose: Falstaff maybe?

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