Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Rapture of Spain

'Spanish Rhapsody'
Don't you often find that the outer "dress" may not be up to societal expectations, but nonetheless the prettiest lass often lurks beneath the burlap and ashes instead of the velvet and lace?   Isn't that what our folklore and fables tell us?  Well, it's true that 'Spanish Rhapsody' is more plain-clothed than the glossy dark green accoutrement of 'Butterfly Magic', but the matte and lighter green leaves of 'Spanish Rhapsody' are just as healthy as the latter.   And, in the "there-is-no-accounting-for-taste" department,  I'm personally more partial to the individual flower of 'Spanish Rhapsody' than that of 'Butterfly Magic'.  I'd like to say that I try to look beyond the garments at the beauty within, but in this case I guess I'm looking at the beauty above the garb.  The superficial ProfessorRoush.

'Spanish Rhapsody' is a pink blend Shrub rose introduced by Griffith Buck in 1984.  To continue the comparison with 'Butterfly Magic', I'd have to note that the single-stemmed blossoms of 'Spanish Rhapsody' should be fuller, double-cupped, as it were, with 17-25 petals, but she is currently semi-double for me.  Perhaps those blossoms will swell as the plant ages?  The blooms open up quickly to a flatter, loosely displayed form.  She is one of the stippled roses from Dr. Buck, and her colors are a wondrous blend of light red wine, light pink, and yellow, a truly unique rose.  I don't know what it means, but the pistils seem overly large in the bloom of this rose.  Am I perhaps imagining traits that don't exist?   I am sure that 'Spanish Rhapsody' smells better that 'Butterfly Magic', a moderate fruity rose fragrance.  She repeats, but my young bush does not bloom as freely or rebloom as rapidly as 'Butterfly Magic'.

I've only grown 'Spanish Rhapsody' this season, so I can't speak to her winter stamina, but I can say that she is another healthy Buck rose with good blackspot resistance in my garden.  My 3 month old plant is only a foot tall and about 1.5'  around this summer, a little more rotund than tall.  She is listed as a 1976 cross of 'Gingersnap' and 'Sevilliana', and since I'm not familiar with either of the latter roses, I haven't much to add there either.

If, like me, you find a buxom and decorated blossom more comely, then give 'Spanish Rhapsody' a try.  She's not as shiny in the garden, but she has her own charms.

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