'David Thompson' is one of the Explorer Series Collection of roses. It was released by Agriculture Canada in 1979 and bred by Dr. Felicitas Svejda. Named after a famous British-Canadian fur trader, 'David Thompson' is officially a medium red Hybrid Rugosa rose that repeats occasionally throughout the summer. My mature, 11 year old specimen has never grown lower than three feet tall nor higher than four feet tall, and it has is 3-4 feet in width as well, a rotund aging specimen much like the local gardener. The leaves are strongly rugose, and the flowers open quickly to flat semi-double disorganized disks with golden stamens. 'David Thompson is thought to be the result of an open pollination between 'Schneezwerg' and 'Fru Dagmar Hartopp'.
I thoroughly hate this rose. It holds a prominent spot in my back landscape bed and I have regretted placing it there from that first summer at this house. Why, you ask, do I hate 'David Thompson'? Let me count the ways. First, the official description of medium red really means, in similar fashion to other roses described as medium red, that it is really a lousy shade of glaring bluish-pink that clashes with the clear pink tones of 'Carefree Beauty' to the west and the pale pink of 'Fantin Latour' to the east (see the photo below). Second, the frequent white-streak added to the petals only make them look less refined. Third, even though a relatively small Rugosa, it is a thorny vicious beast, grabbing me every time I dare to shortcut across the bed within its reach. Fourth, although it doesn't sucker far, it does sucker, slowly expanding the width of the clump and threatening to take more lebensraum than it deserves. Fifth, the flat flowers are as uninspiring in form as they are in color, and they bring to mind a teenager's messy bedroom-nest, a phenomenon that I hoped to have left behind by this stage in life. Sixth, although described as being "strongly fragrant", it has only mild, if any fragrance, to my personal sniffer. All of that, and one more thing; the petals crumple quickly in the extreme heat of August, like fried pink potato chips.
|'Carefree Beauty', left, and 'David Thompson', right|
I did have a good laugh while researching this rose. A comment from "Monika" on the helpmefind.com listing for 'David Thompson' states it is an "ugly Rugosa thing establishing its sucking roots in my garden only because I mistook it for 'Henry Kelsey', but hey, it blooms!" Monika, whoever and wherever you are, I think that sums up my feelings on 'David Thompson' perfectly!