We grow several roses, and they are just about at their best right now. Some I like for their hardiness (in a Canadian climate, that matters a lot). Others like Celsiana have a perfume out of this world. Some do a job particularly well (see, on the left, how Dortmund covers an arch or, on the right, Nearly Wild looks against a fence). This post is about one particular rose I almost discarded, but which turned out to be my very best.
Even if Shakespeare has Juliet say "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet", I think that names influence us a lot. Some years back, I was given a rose called "Tootie's Rockin K Rose". I almost did not keep it, simply because I thought the name was ridiculous. It was snobbishness on my part. The garden was then almost empty, so any gift was welcome. I planted it just to cover some ground.
This rose has turned out to be my most reliable. However, I will probably never know its actual name as it was mislabeled. Tootie is supposed to have a strong perfume, is a MINIATURE rose and can grow up to 30-45 cm tall (I read all this from the original label which I still have). My rose does have a nice perfume (not very strong, though), but the bush is about 1 m 30 cm, and each bloom is the size of a peony (see below). Not only is it not a miniature, it has the largest blooms of any rose I grow. Before they open completely, the buds are pointed like a florist rose and open a strong pink that fades to a softer pink in the sun.
|Peony held next to Tootie to show its size|
Each year, it blooms profusely in late June to mid-July, with some flowers over the rest of the summer. It is always healthy and not much affected by "rose slugs", a caterpillar which is the bane of roses in this garden. They eat rose leaves leaving only a brown skeleton. In short, it is a very healthy and robust rose.
Tootie was named after a woman rodeo champion, so perhaps I should just call it the workhorse rose!