Saturday, August 1, 2015

winchester cathedral

'Winchester Cathedral' has a lot going for it. Here is the bigger of my two plants, both taken from cuttings only last year. This is its third flush. The plants are vigorous, and blooms are relatively frequent. Thorns are small but significant, being very sharp and needle-like, numerous but not horribly so.

Of my white or pale roses, 'Winchester Cathedral' seems to be least affected by thrips. Sometimes the flowers have this cute button eye.

More often is has this loose blowsy form.

Lacewings know that this is where aphids like to be, so they lay a lot of eggs. Maybe that's why the thrips aren't on these plants much. I hear that lacewings eat thrips. Go lacewings!

Buds are pink.

 Flowers open with a blush of pink.

There is a brief cup-shaped stage.

When the flowers fade, the petals fall neatly.

In contrast, here is the largest of my 'Bolero' cuttings from last year. It's a few months younger than the 'Winchester Cathedral' cuttings, but quite a bit smaller, and the flowers are almost always disfigured by the thrips, although the foliage does not seem prone to any diseases.

'Winchester Cathedral' is not without its problems, however. Foliage easily mildews. The flowers don't last very long. The pink blush looks dingy from a distance. The fragrance is very odd. As David Austin describes it, "There is delicious Old Rose fragrance with hints of honey and almond blossom, which becomes much stronger in warmer weather." I first smelled this rose at the grocery store, where to my surprise they were selling it, and it was delicious and strong. But growing it, to my nose, yes, there is rose fragrance, but a distinct hint of Porta-Potty.

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