Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fortune's Double Yellow China Rose

Tomorrow is May Day and there will be a few dozen flowers open on this sprawling heap of a rose. The few that opened today produced enough perfume to detect yards from the plant.

Discovered by Robert Fortune in a garden in China and introduced to Europe in 1845, this rose has been beloved by many generations of gardeners. Richly fragrant, blooming heavily in the spring, and generously endowed with thorns, it has an unfocused random vining habit. Without strict attention it can claim a good amount of territory, though in the end you might consider it land well spent.

Though only considered hardy to USDA Zone 8, our plants seem not to have been negatively affected by a winter where temperatures dipped occasionally to the bottom of the Zone 7 range. The ground never did freeze either deeply or for an extended period of time and that may be a determining factor. On our plants which were completely exposed, there was negligible dieback.

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