Rose Cuttings – January, 2010

From the Ice

The Bourbon climber ‘Zephirine Drouhin’ dominates this lovely landscape. Photo by the author.

Until this year, we have had warmer winters going back at least 10 years. This year’s cold temperatures have provided a correction to our gardens and landscapes by eliminating those plants that were able to slip by in prior warmer years. Gone are the bougainvillea, tender palms, citrus and avocados that belong in the Rio Grande Valley. Our natives (plants that have evolved in Texas) and adapted plants, which have proven their hardiness over the years, will be the featured performers this spring. 

Old garden roses may steal the show. They love the added rest gained from the increased dormancy in sub-freezing temperatures. Gained from this winter will be an increased number of blooms on our standard performers like ‘Belinda’s Dream’ and ‘Old Blush’. More interestingly, look for an improved performance from roses that have been just average in prior years.

Here are a few worth watching: ‘Baronne Prevost’, ‘Marchessa’ Boccella’, ‘Paul Neyron’ and ‘Reines des Violettes’. They will stop traffic this year with enormous blooms and penetrating fragrance. They are part of the Hybrid Perpetual class that loves a long rest in the winter in order to perform best in the spring. The true romantic look of roses as depicted by the Dutch Masters in their floral still life paintings will be evident in these roses. Big cabbagey blossoms nodding under their own weight will mimic the artists’ still lifes.

Similar to these Hybrid Perpetuals are the Bourbon roses. Look for an excellent performance in ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ and ‘Madame Isaac Pereire’.

Left: An arrangement of Bourbon roses that hearkens to the still life paintings of the masters. Arranged by Mike Shoup.

Right: The cabbage-form blossom of the Hybrid Perpetual ‘Baronne Prevost’. Photo by the author.

The best climber to watch for is also a Bourbon, one called ‘Zephirine Drouhin’. This thornless, mannerly climber loves colder temperatures as a result of its heritage from Damask roses. Dark neon pink blooms full of fragrance are sure to please, especially when trained on arbors that allow the flowers to “drip” from above.

I predict that some of these roses will appear on the covers of our gardening magazines this year. Mother Nature has primed them for stardom!

About the author: Mike Shoup is the owner of the Antique Rose Emporium. Visit his company’s Brenham and San Antonio display gardens for endless ideas on landscaping with roses. To order roses online, visit

Posted by Neil Sperry
Back To Top