Saturday, May 19, 2012

Carefree Bloomer

'Carefree Spirit'
I promised this post to some visitors to my garden (well, actually they were captive relatives quickly lured into a stupor by my incessant babbling about the garden).  During a garden walk, they had described a spectacular rose bush growing in their neighborhood.  As we walked further along the garden, seeing all the roses who still retained a bloom or two, they added that it was a "simpler" rose with few petals, and that it was red, and maybe had a white center.  I took them, in time, to my 'Carefree Spirit' rose and they proclaimed it as the rose they had seen, although mine was much smaller at two years of age then the bush they remembered.

'Carefree Spirit' (MEIzmea) does indeed put on a spectacular bloom display, and she will continue to bloom freely throughout the summer.  Introduced by Conard-Pyle in 2009, her actual origin is a little confusing as she is listed as being bred by both Alain Meilland or Jacques Mouchotte (a breeder in the House of Meilland) in 2007.  Do I sense some Gallic discord in the House of Meilland?  She is also listed in helpmefind as the result of a cross between a 'Red Max Graf' seedling and a seedling of 'Pink Meidiland' X 'Immensee', and in other places as a descendant of 'Carefree Delight', a previous AARS winner.  If she really has 'Max Graf' and a R. kordesii seedling in her background, even my limited knowledge of rose hybridizing would leave me to suspect that the bush is very vigorous and winter hardy, and indeed she is completely winter hardy in my climate.  This is indeed a tough bush, surviving and doubling in size during a summer and winter of drought, and the glossy dark green foliage requires no spray against fungus or beast.  So far, even the deer have left it alone. In 2004, the All American Rose Selections group stopped spraying fungicides at its test gardens, and Carefree Spirit was the first (and still the only) shrub rose after that revolution of care to win the coveted AARS award (awarded in 2009). Thanks to God that the rose marketers have grown some sense about the characteristics the public desires in new roses, because roses like 'Carefree Spirit' may yet rescue us from 'Knock Out' hell. If my garden visitors can recognize and covet such a rose, then so will the public at large.

 My 'Carefree Spirit' is about three feet tall, and she is supposed to reach 5-6 feet at maturity.  She bloomed in the late group of roses in my garden, with 'Madame Hardy' and 'Chuckles' and 'American Pillar' to name some other late roses, so she's bringing up the rear of the first rose bloom and starring in her own time.  I will admit that her allure is entirely due to the bounty of her blossoms because 'Carefree Spirit' is scentless to my nose and she isn't thornless either.  Ah well, no rose is perfect.  Except 'Madame Hardy' of course.  And, my readers, let us please choose to ignore the closeness of the phrase "bounty of her blossoms" to "bounty of her bosoms" in English.  I'm an old man, love of roses can possible be taken too far, and I should be allowed my small literary illusions without comment.


  1. This is a test of the word verification network.

    By the way, Carefree looks like flower carpet red. Wonder if it's a relative?

  2. Works . Tell me if you see an increase in spam. Of course I don't know how you can tell.

  3. Now you can say you are word verification free and put up one of those word verification free signs on your side column. And get needless comments like this from your commentators.

  4. Not related to Red Flower Carpet according to; different breeder, different lineage.


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