'Purple Pavement' has been given its time on Garden Musings, but there are many roses out there in rosedom with deeper purple hues, and a couple of them have started blooming here in Zone 6A. Among the purples, I grow the Old Garden rose 'La Reine' (right) currently blooming its head off, and the newer purple floribunda 'Rhapsody in Blue' (bottom left), just coming on. Both are the "most purplish" ever, a hypercolorful phenomenon that I feel is occurring in all my pinks and purple roses this year. I don't know if it is the result of the hot March/cold early April/hot late April weather here or something else, but the colors of many roses all across town are much deeper this year. I'm not complaining, mind you.
|'La Reine', in 2005|
'Rhapsody in Blue' (FRAntasia) is a newish shrub rose bred by Cowlishaw in 1999 and introduced into the United States in 2007. This semidouble rose opens flat with a nice smokey-purple color and yellow stamens, but I am so far underwhelmed by the (lack of) vigor in the bush and the slow bloom repeat. It reportedly grows to almost 8 feet in some areas, but it has yet to top 2.5 feet tall in my garden, partially due to extreme winter dieback in several of the 4 winters I've grown this bush. What the heck, I'll give it a few years, now that I'm 6A and not 5B, and see how it does over time.