Friday, June 19, 2015

Mary Rose and Cuthbert Grant

Sometimes, even ProfessorRoush wonders if the real purpose of his blog is to herald the joy of roses to the world at large, to serve as an outlet for pompous written expression or fire-fanning frustration, or merely to sound the gong of life and proclaim the joy of breathing still.  Today however, there is no hidden message, no subtle cynicism to digest.  I simply love the photo at left and so I'll discuss the rose in the foreground as a pretense for displaying the photo here.

The floriferous subjects here, taller and deep red Canadian rose 'Cuthbert Grant' behind pink and demure English rose 'Mary Rose', came together in a moment of May, 2013 to form a photo engrained in my memory.  I don't know if it was the lighting or the quiet evening ambiance or the wine color of 'Cuthbert Grant', but it remains one of my favorite impromptu garden pictures, imperfectly composed  and focused as it is.

'Mary Rose'
I've discussed 'Cuthbert Grant' before, and he remains one of my best Canadian roses, but I haven't touched on 'Mary Rose' until now.   She was one of the earliest David Austin roses I ever grew, and while she is not my favorite English rose, she has earned a place by persisting in this shady spot, thriving some years and barely hanging on in others.  'Mary Rose', or AUSmary, is a medium pink shrub rose introduced in 1983.  She is cluster-flowered, with double cupped blooms that are infused with a heavy fragrance.  She blooms in flushes, not quite continually, and her only real failings in my eyes are those delicate petals, short-lived in the ravages of my prairie winds.  I don't get to enjoy these blooms long outdoors, so I cut them and bring them in as I find them.  She is stout, seldom over three feet high and wide in my garden, and generally healthy, although she can lose her skirt from blackspot in humid weather.  This daughter of 'Wife of Bath' and 'The Miller' does seem to be reasonably hardy in Zone 5, experiencing some cane dieback, but she is seldom nipped to the ground. 

Average roses on their own, together the colors of these two roses are perfectly suited partners, the strong hues of the regal gentleman and the coy complexion of his shy lady blending seamlessly to complement each other.  If all the tints of a garden and all the marriages of men and women mirrored the devotion and bond between these two, as strong as the connubiality of myself and Mrs. ProfessorRoush (publicly avowed here in the interests of my continued health), then the world would be a better place and the garden a more beautiful one.


  1. Oh Professor what a way with words you have. I had some roses at one time, Penelope being my favorite but recently had to get rid of the last ones (New Dawn) due to rose rosette.

    1. Thanks. Oh, I feel for you with the Rose Rosette. Sad.

  2. You have convinced me to look into Cuthbert Grant. I wonder how it would do in Z5a Wisconsin? Your picture is just beautiful! Thanks for posting it!


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