'Bolero' has had a rocky start. The plants I received from Regan had already broken dormancy in the box, and 3 of the 5 plants died making me worried about whether 'Bolero' would be a good rose for me at all. I also purchased 3 from Roses Unlimited, which arrived late because they were "growing slowly" but when they arrived, they were beautiful. They even had blossoms which had a slight fragrance. The first few blossoms on the survivors of the first shipment opened, and were rather nondescript, with only very faint fragrance. Knowing it was an offspring of 'Fair Bianca' made me worried that 'Bolero' would be as weak a grower as its parent. Had I made a mistake?
I chose 'Bolero' because it received rave reviews on a couple of blogs and on HelpMeFind - although on HMF it is rated as only "good" for heat tolerance, Hoovb raves about it on her blog, and on GardenWeb ("it would rather bloom than grow"), so I figure that if it grows well in hot Southern California, it should do well here. It is also supposed to stay fairly short and have fantastic fragrance. I also have a weakness for white roses, and perfumed white old-fashioned roses are nearly irresistible to me. Thus my previous experience with 'Fair Bianca', 'Winchester Cathedral', my front yard filled with 'Iceberg' and my order for 'Snowbird' (which never arrived). I've been resisting 'Pope John Paul II' which is a hybrid tea (not my favorite rose class) for a while now, but I don't know how long I can hold out. I'm trying to figure out where I can put a 'Madame Hardy' and a 'Madame Plantier.'
Today's photos of the one blossom to open today may not look like much, with slightly crispy petal edges, but keep in mind that this is in the midst of 95F heat, reflected heat from a south wall, and 30-40mph winds. I skeptically sniffed this morning...delicious! And I mean Wow! I also noticed that even with all this heat and wind, all the surviving plants have burst out new growth. This might be a lesson in patience and perseverance. If so, I'm filling my garden with these.