Old roses offer the gardener a wonderful array of gardening opportunities.
They are time tested survivors whose versatility in our gardens are unmatched
by any other plant types. Roses, particularly the older varieties, come in so
many forms that they are limitless in their garden use. They climb, they ramble,
they trail, and they form bushes large and small. They bloom steadily for several
seasons or overwhelmingly for one. They can be used as the background for a bed,
or forms its backbone, or be massed for color in the foreground. They even settle
happily into containers for those who have no garden space at all.
But even more profound than their application in the garden are the memories
they evoke. Felder Rushing, a good friend and creative gardener in Mississippi,
described gardening best when addressing a group of gardener several years ago.
With empty camera and six-year old daughter in hand, he would pretend to take
a picture of her smelling a rose. He would tell her, "Now Zoe, put your nose
close and take a deep breath, and I will take your picture." He explained,
"one day, thirty years from now, I'll be dead or gone, and with one sniff,
we'll be back together again." I hope such memories await you in the wonderful
world of old garden roses.
This website presents an overview of antique roses which will interest the
novice and the experienced rosarian alike. In the first section of this site -
"Why Antique Roses" - we explain
the fascination people have today with antique roses and their history. This is
followed by a section - "Practical tips for the
cultivation and care of Antique Roses" - which we hope will be a
helpful tool in planting and growing. Finally please visit the last section of
our site on the "Varieties of Antique Roses"
- which explains the various classes of the roses from Species to Hybrid Musks.
Here you will also find an extensive album of beautiful pictures of heirloom roses
with descriptions to assist you in selecting the best roses for your own garden.
Many of these are favorites of antique roses collectors, such as historic Old
Blush, the fragrant delicate ivory climber Sombreuil
and a lush rasberry-colored cabbage rose, Madame Isaac
Pereire - as well and many others.
We hope that this website will provide an introduction to Antique Roses. Those
wanting to learn more will find a comprehensive source in "Roses in the Southern
Garden", by G. Michael Shoup, which can be purchased in most book stores and
also online by clicking here.