The rose season has started here and I should show you the first new rose that I'm excited about. 'Crested Damask' was a 2012 addition that I obtained as a rooted cutting, or band, from Rogue Valley Roses. She isn't much of a bush yet, but the raspberry-bubblegum-pink color you see here is just shouting to be noticed above the foliage around it. If she were a bigger bush she would stand out clear across my garden.
'Crested Damask', or ARDmarcrest, is a 2005 introduction from the breeding program of Paul Barden. This is a once-blooming, very double rose of about 3.5 inches in diameter that opens in almost-quartered fashion complete with button eye, and blooms in small clusters of 3-5 flowers. She is a cross of 'Marbree' and 'Crested Jewel'. I was interested to see 'Marbree' in her pedigree because the first time I saw 'Crested Jewel' in bloom I thought she had a resemblance to 'Rose de Rescht' and 'Rose de Rescht' is a parent of 'Marbree'. The fragrance is very strong and very old rose. The bright pink color speaks favorably of itself and pops out from the green foliage around it. And best of all, the 10 or 12 blossoms that I've seen so far have all been perfectly formed, unmarred by late freezes, winds, or sun. I've begun to take note of roses of dark color that get baked in my summer heat, and 'Crested Damask' is not among them.
I haven't needed to spray her nor did I see her get any blackspot last year, but she is still small-statured for me, currently about two feet tall and wide. Planting her into fall during our third year of drought and placing her under the shade of an adjacent five foot rose probably hasn't helped the growth of 'Crested Damask', but she survived last year's harsh winter without dieback and I can attest to her hardiness in zone 5/6 (whatever last winter was). I have seen conflicting information on the ultimate height of this rose; helpmefind lists her as a 5'-7' shrub, while Rogue Valley Roses lists her as 2'-3'. Paul Barden himself says she is likely to be a 5 foot shrub or more.
If you come by this time of year, look across the garden for a raspberry-pink splash, and then, as you draw closer, don your sunglasses to spare your eyes from her brilliance. As long as she stays healthy, 'Crested Damask' has a bright [sic] future in my garden.