|'F. J. Grootendorst'|
|'F. J. Grootendorst' and 'Alchymist'|
The Grootendorst sports are all small-blossomed, very double, cluster-flowered roses, with an unusual petal shape that I refer to as "fringed". These are shrub-type roses with small rugose foliage, in the 5X5' range of size here in Kansas. The rose doesn't form hips, nor do the blossoms have any perceptible scent. Yes, these are atypical roses, but unlike Ms. Verrier, I would have rated their disease resistance as outstanding in my garden, and if they do possess a soul, it is one reflected by any number of hardy prairie plants. Certainly, I welcome both their profuse blooms, drought resistance, and their hardiness in my garden.
|Rosa Rugosa by Suzy Verrier|
Times change and classic roses go in and out of style and favor. All I can suggest for those who are intrigued by the Grootendorst roses is to try them and evaluate their performance in your own garden. Suzy Verrier seems to be moderating her previous stance, since her North Creek Farm nursery currently sells 'Grootendorst Supreme' and 'White Grootendorst'. Of the former, she comments that "Old prejudices aside, someone gave me one of these and I must admit Supreme has bloomed itself silly, been extra healthy, and I do like the bright deep saturated crimson-pink color in the garden." My compliments to Ms. Verrier. I've always felt that a true expert must be willing, at times, to change their opinions if new evidence seems pertinent.