Thursday, July 1, 2010


Rose breeders are forever casting their nets into the world of films, fashion and famous females...(OK supermodels, but I like the alliteration) for names of roses. Recently, a rose called "Gaga" has been introduced, which is the latest in a string of female celebs having their name attcahed to a rose. Most go down in the ignominious flames of the forgotten and formerly famous; witness the Roses "Claudia"; "Naomi" and "Barbara Bush". On the other hand some roses become incredibly popular for many years, indeed more famous than the person after whom the flower was named. For instance who can remember one of the very first super-models known simply as "Vendela" after whom the classic ivory rose is named. Hardly anyone, yet the rose endures on the merits of its classic shape color and reliable performance, not too mention the stunning productivity, making R. Vendela a hit with growers and florists alike. For that matter think of the Peony Sarah Bernhardt named after a turn of the century (19th century that is) French diva whose beauty was reputed to be beyond compare; her legacy endures well into a second century thanks to the breeder Victor Lemone who bestowed one of his greatest creations with her name.
Of course one of the more superficial flavors of the month seems to be Vampires and Werewolves. We already have R. Vampire and R. Dark Vampire from Schreurs, and just introduced is the new R. Twilight from Olij Rozen. In fact I received a sample of the first flush a couple of  days prior to the premier of the latest installment of the Twilight saga. It is an attractive spicy orange, somwhat similar to Free Spirit, but I believe that there are more than enough roses featuring this palette. Howver, one never knows with roses, so we shall have to see how and whether a market for this develops. For my taste it is a bit brash, reminding me not so much of Twilight, that special bewitched time in the evening, but more of a gaudy sunset, with brash gothic overtones a la Vincent Price...or, um, like the Stephanie Meyer's books! Hello?! OK, there is no accounting for taste, but my preference would be for something a little more edgy, along the lines of Nosferatu or  the original "Twilight" introduced by Jackson & perkins in 1955 with dusky mauve to carmine tones and a gray reverse on the petals is much more stimulating...and reputedly had a strong perfume as well.
This too seems to have disappeared into the mists of time...

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