Tuesday, October 12, 2010


A few years back a variety was introduced called Farfalla. While it is a rather pretty and capricious name -  Farfalla means "Butterly" in Italian - the color scheme left a lot to be desired and would have been more succinctly named "Hooters"! That is because it is a creamy white rose with fat orange margins. I mean, who buys this stuff? For that matter who decorates in orange and white? Perhaps it has attained popularity in Russia where their understated and refined good taste is legendary?
The breeder is Nirp, about whom much can be said, but about whom you may say nothing if not that they are persevering. Nirp International of France brought us the rather fabulous "Supergreen", the very subtle "Amnesia" and the classic "Versilia". On the other hand they have also been responsible for lead ballons like "Twingo", "Tabasco" and "Farfalla".
Recently we received a shipment of "Pink Farfalla" from Ecuador which I had the opportunity to trial and review. In the state in which we receive roses, carefully packed in corrugated carton, the roses looked  like a variegated pink, a rather vulgar pink at that, and appearing for all the world to be the Las Vegas variant of the aforementioned "Hooters". After a couple of days in water the saturation of petal color stated to lighten and slowly change from pink to lilac. Also the gaudy pink margins started to bleed out of the petals. By day four the disco-duck was transformed into a very attractive lavender rose with hints of fuchsia limning the very edges of the petals.As the flowers started to fully reflex a very attractive fully double rose is revealed, with a somewhat casual loosely quartered petal structure.
The one drawback that I observed was some bruising to the petals, which in of itself would not be uncommon, but the complexion of the petals revealed the creases and bruises in a rather unflattering light. This is only noticeable at very close quarters, and as such would not be suitable for a bridal bouquet. On the other hand , given the trend toward garden roses and that full, overblown fin-de-siécle look, these would go along way to keeping a budget in check, worked in with legitimate stars such as Yves Piaget, Miranda, Baroness and so forth, to be adroitly used in large arrangements for reception areas or in garlands and adorning huppahs.

"Pink Farfalla" has some potential, but packing will be very important to ensure bruise-free flowers. Once hydrated it is a very hardy rose, with robust stems and glossy dark green foliage. Remember, even though the product you will receive looks quite pink, similar to 'Vogue', it opens into  romantic bloom with a  distinctly feminine hue of lavender. All in all shows some promise.

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