The rose year here in Kansas has begun, and almost every Old Garden Rose and Rugosa is showing at least a bloom or two to heighten my anticipation. It's going to be a banner year of riotous color here, as it seems all my peonies, irises, and roses, with a few mere exceptions, are going to bloom at the same time. 'Marie Bugnet', 'Harison's Yellow', and 'Therese Bugnet' have already peaked and begun their slide from the limelight and I'm sad about that. But still to come are the highly-anticipated newcomers, all those new roses who will be introducing themselves to me for the first time.
Today, in fact, I gathered in the first bloom on 'Centrifolia Variegata' and I'm smitten, entranced, enthralled, and simply instantly and deeply in love with this demure lass. She is foreign-born, a legal immigrant to America that I obtained from a Canadian nursery last year, but I'll excuse her use of "eh?" and "loonie", and her love of Poutine if she keeps blooming like this. Don't you think her gentle stripes of cream and light pink are just the jam buster of perfection? This is the rose that I hoped 'Leda' would be. My one concern is that the fragrance of 'Centrifolia Variegata' is supposed to be strong, but I was underwhelmed by the bouquet of this first blossom.
'Rosa centrifolia variegata' goes by many aliases, among which are Belle des Jardins, Belle Vilageois, Dometil Beccard, and Cottage Maid. She may also be sold as Village Maid, but some believe that Village Maid is a Gallica of earlier origin. 'Centrifolia variegata' was bred by Jean Pierre Vibert of France in 1839, and even as a first-year bush for me, she just survived one of the driest, coldest winters we've had recently, a winter that knocked established Rugosas back to the ground. Her very double 2" blossoms open into cupped forms and then quarter or flatten in some instances to display a nice little button center. My year old bush is about 2.5 feet tall, but I gave her ample space to reach her 4' to 6' foot potential. Her foliage shows a Gallica heritage, and is rough, matte, and medium-green in color. There was no blackspot here last season.
Whatever name she goes by, 'Centrifolia Variegata' is striped and everyone knows my weakness for striped roses of any flavor. They capture the heart of ProfessorRoush like a Canuck loves beavertails.