Rose Cuttings – November, 2010

‘Paul Neyron’. Photos courtesy of Mike Shoup.

 “One should garden for the nose, for the eyes will take care of themselves.”
  Robert Lewis Stevenson

A garden with beautiful flowers in a multitude of colors is certainly eye candy for the visitor. But the soul of the garden is the memories and emotions stirred by the plants’ fragrances. All of us have revisited a time in the past where a specific fragrance, like someone’s perfume or cologne, a freshly baked apple pie, or even freshly mown grass, evokes the exact feeling of time and place when it first occurred. It may suggest the changing of seasons, a past romance, or just the memory of a seemingly simpler time in life.

‘Duchesse de Brabant’

The situations created by fragrance are more powerful than we give credit. In my mind, without it, living is flat and two-dimensional. That’s what I love about growing the old garden roses.  Bouquets are like a bag of memories. My favorites are:

‘Cramoisi Superieur’ – Like pepper with a touch of fruit
‘Duchess de Brabant’ – Hints of raspberries
‘Independence Musk’ – Sweet, musky, sultry
‘Chrysler Imperial’ – Floral lemon Pledge
 ‘Paul Neyron’ – Damask perfume
 ‘Maggie’ – Woody, thick and manly
 ‘White Lady Banks’ – Violets
 ‘Eglanteria’  (foliage) – Green apples

Grow a few and see what memories await you. If not, you will have at least created memories that await you in the future.

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
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