Thursday, June 19, 2014


I've been entranced with 'Madame Isaac Pereire' ever since I read it described as the most fragrant rose ever. It was the first rose I planted at the old house, and it grew like gangbusters in its third year, the flowers frying against the west wall before even opening. Disappointed, I dug it out and gave it away, only to try to grow it again in another part of the yard. Failed. Twice. At the Modern House, the first time I saw the back yard, I saw a spot where my unbidden irresistible thought was "that area needs Madame Isaac."  I tried to resist the vision and planted 'Laguna' instead, but was disappointed when 'Laguna' bloomed with a strong tinge of orange (decidedly not my favorite). Out it came, to go to another friend's yard (where this year it, without the orange). I gave in to my vision and ordered Madame, which died on arrival. The nursery sent me a replacement, which when planted looked miserable for a long time. Then the weather warmed up and the tiny (6" tall) plant put on leaves and flower buds. Here's the first flower, which I must admit is a garish shade of pink. It is delightfully fragrant (I think the neighbors think I'm saying my prayers as I'm kneeling and sniffing it), but I have to admit that it is much less fragrant than 'Mr. Lincoln.' But 'Mr. Lincoln' has an ugly rose-on-a-stick bush, whereas Madame is more graceful. Maybe I need both.

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