Back Yard Herbalism: Roses are Here

The Hawthorn blossoms are finished, but oh my, the roses are blooming. I can smell them from the porch when the sun is shining on the petals.

I was very fortunate to move on to a piece of land with more than 40 rose bushes. Many of them are purely ornamental, and I’m fond of them, but they don’t set my heart pounding the way wild roses do.

There is, however, an exception. Remember this rose bush? It hadn’t been doing much, because it was in a bad location, so I moved it last year. It’s just started blooming, and has many many buds.

And I think I’m in love.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I have NO idea what kind of rose this is. I assume it’s been around for a while, judging by the size of the root when I moved it (see link above). And maybe I’ll never know, but I thought I’d give y’all a run down of the details and see if you have any idea of what general type of rose I’m dealing with. I know almost nothing about botany, so please be patient with my unscientific explanations. Some day I’ll get around to learning my terms, I promise, it’s just right now I’m too busy hanging out with the plants. Anyway.

She seems to have climbing/draping tendencies; her canes are all very flexy/bendy and they arch toward the ground:

I’m going to try to train her to grow on the nearby structure. And also, please ignore the weeds.

The leaves seem to me to be a bit more roundish and blunt than many of the other rose bushes I’ve met, but I tend to pay more attention to the wildish ones where the leaves are really serrated:

Thorns on this years growth are reddish; thorns on older growth are sort of green brown. They are quite plentiful, somewhat small, very sharp:

I think they’re pretty, especially with the light shining through them.

The buds are kind of round (and here you can see how they grow in clusters instead of one rose per stem):

Here’s one that’s just started opening:

And this one is probably  half open, maybe slightly more than half:

Fully open:

Hello Little Spider!

Hello Little Spider!

And the next two are nearly spent:

And the smell? It makes me swoon. They smell . . . oh I want to just crawl inside one of these roses and sleep. It’s the classic rose smell, sweet and drowsy and almost too much, but never quite.

My camera has actually picked up the color fairly accurately; it’s an interesting purpley violet color. Some of the petals are almost marbled or streaked with pale, pale purple. I gathered some petals for drying, and they  have white tips where they attach to the hip.

Did I mention the smell is intoxicating?

Does anyone know what kind of rose this is? If not, I don’t care, I’m going to do EVERYTHING with this rose, because with such a fragrance, she’s pure magic. But it’d be delightful to know.

I have to go stick my nose in her blossoms again now . . .


6 thoughts on “Back Yard Herbalism: Roses are Here

  1. I think you’ve got a Grootendorst variety, but I’m not sure which one. The only one I’ve seen live and up close is a pale pink one, but the thorn placement was the same, the leaves are the same, and the flower shape was pretty close. The smell is divine, to be sure. I hope someone with a bit more experience comes along and gives you a bit more information.

    *back to lurking*

  2. oh, a gorgeous rose .. those round buds are beautiful. I don’t know about types, although a friend of mine has some rose books and I’ll have a look next time I visit her house?

    Roses are just about my favourite thing ever … I like them big and blousy and heavily scented – the more old fashioned the better, especially the tea rose. and I like them just slightly overblown.

  3. Oh how I envy you. I love the old roses. With their cabbage petal forms and sweet strong smell. The color is just beautiful. Maybe try to propagate a few cuttings so you have more of her for the future- or to share…hint hint…LOL.

  4. I visit often but this is the first time I’ve left a comment. I don’t know why I haven’t said hello before but I will now, Hello.
    As for the rose, it is a beauty. I grow mainly antique roses. I had eighty varieties at my last home. I was only able to move ten here to my new place. It was a sad, sad time. Anyhow I don’t recognize the color of your rose. But with the scent it’s definitely an antique rose. The shape of the bud and the thorns will be the clues to finding it’s name.
    My favorite source for info on antique roses is,

    By the way, the old roses make the best rose beads. I have petals from my roses on the stove now waiting for me to find the time to form the beads.

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