Madame Isaac Pereire
The Bourbon rose, 'Madame Isaac Pereire',
shown above in Helen Cannon's garden, is one of the most richly scented
of the old garden roses. It's been around for quite awhile, having been
introduced by the French breeder, Garçon, in 1881. Helen and I
had enough trouble with the pronounciation of this rose that I went to
one of Pat Wiley's old Roses of
Yesterday catalogs to see what she made of it. I found that,
according to Mrs. Wiley, the last name of Madam Isaac's surname is
pronunced Par-ee-AIRE. This
after years of my pronouncing this rose's name the same as Perrier, as in the mineral water of
the same name. Oh,
you might have guessed, I have one of these roses, too. It was given to
me by a friend of Helen's son (and my son-in-law), Steven Cannon, a
young man from India named Arvind, who had raised it from a rooted
the years since I planted it in the bed directly in front of the house,
it's become buried in deep shade, with the result that it produces few
Every year I tell myself I must move it, and this winter, after looking
at -- and smelling -- the lovely near-magenta pink blossoms from
Helen's bush, I'm determined to do it. To the right is the result of
two barely opened buds Helen sent home last night with my daughter,
Melanie. These blossoms are the result of not quite a day in a vase
full of water on the window sill
(while perfuming the entire kitchen).
Both 'Madame Isaac Pereire' and the rose described below, 'Madame Louis
LeVeque', are troubled by thrips and other insects, which I describe
later on. These two fussy roses do have benefits of both beauty and
fragrance, however. They both bloom throughout the growing season, and
cachet of prominent places in Rose history.
Madame Louis LeVeque
Louis LeVeque' was introduced a few years earlier than
Pereire, in 1873, by the French breeder, LeVeque. The rose is a hybrid
moss with a light covering of moss on the sepals and stems. It has a
sweet fragrance and very pale pink blossoms (see photo at left).
It was some years after I planted this rose before I actually saw any
of these lovely blossoms, however. The problem, as mentioned
above, turned out to be thrips. I finally wrote to Patricia Wiley at
Yesterday, since I'd received the rose from that nursery. This was
back when Roses of Yesterday was still in
business and still sending out catalogs and roses (many of them to me).
I'd described my problem with LaVeque -- rose petals stuck together,
the buds never opening, turning brown on the stem. (See brown-stained
bud and contorted, half opened blossom below right.) Mrs. Wiley wrote
mail that it sounded like thrips and told me to put a piece of white
paper under the blossoms, shake them, and see what falls out. If it's a
lot of little black spots, I had thrips.
what she suggested and finished up with a sheet of printing paper full
spots. So it was a fact -- LeVeque had thrips! Up until then, my system
rose spraying consists of carrying a can of all-purpose stuff around
as the spirit moves me and zapping anything that looks
stressed. Now it was evident that I needed to be more systematic with
LeVeque -- that is, if I ever hoped to see one of her rose buds
open up into a full-fledged blossom.
So the following spring, my husband, Alan, after he sprayed both
orchards, left a little
solution in the tank and wetted the rose down well, including under the
leaves. This got to the thrips early on before they did any damage.
That year there was no thrip damage, the rose bush bloomed beautifully,
continued the treatment ever since. We have a low-spray
orchard, so the rose gets a good wetting the same time the apple trees
do, which is twice a season.
I should perhaps mention another reason for rose bud petals sticking
together for those readers who might live in an area blessed with
regular rainfall -- a long stretch of rainy weather. I'd
read this in a rose bulletin early on, I think in one of the gardening
produced in the eastern part of the United States. I wondered at first
perhaps I had been watering the roses too much, since in this semi-arid
clime, long stretches of rainy weather would be such a rarity as to
warrant headlines in the local newspapers. I did watch my watering for
a season, but the browning and dying of LeVeque's rose buds kept on
happening and eventually, as I say, the problem turned out to be thrips.
Climber John Davis
Davis' (classified as a shrub), is far from an old rose (see photo
though its growth habits
and blossoms resemble the best of the old species roses with the
added benefit of rebloom and resistance to disease. This rose,
launched in 1986 by the
breeder, Svedja in Canada from hardy Kordesii stock, doesn't reach the
height of its companion climber, 'William Baffin'. ('William Baffin' is
progeny, and is shown in the photo
on the other side of the porch.) But 'John Davis' is indeed a feast for
the eyes at the height of bloom in early summer. Its tumbling,
close-packed branches overflow with clusters of double blossoms (40
petals) that have a light, spicy scent, serving as a striking foil for
the tall, cascading branches of the 'William Baffin'.
Melanie's light pink climber, John Davis surrounded by
lower minature varieties, Early Summer 2004
closeup of the blossoms of 'John Davis' are shown at left, a sweet
all by themselves.
I should mention some of the miniatures in front of these two climbers.
The mass of small pink and white blossoms in the front on
the far right are those of the old polyantha, "Mignonette." This
miniature was bred in the nursery, Guillot fils, and introduced in
1880. The bush mounds up
to two feet and is covered with clusters of thirty to forty small
one-inch double flowers ranging from bright rose to blush white with a
good rebloom. The blossoms have a slight fragrance.
To the left in the photo is a newer polyantha, 'The Gift,' bred in the
nursery, Dermits, in the 1980s. Its tiny blossoms are single and pure
white with a sweet scent. 'The Gift' produces a prolific number of tiny
currant-red hips in the fall. Their long sprays can therefore serve as
wonderful addition to wreaths and winter arrangements.
photographed the front of The Granary many times in early summer to
capture this utterly charming group of climbers and the miniature roses
in front of them, and I've never yet felt that I've done the group
justice. There is simply nothing to compare with experiencing the sight
of them while walking along the road toward the barn. It never fails to
take my breath away.
Incidentally, be sure to click on QCFlower
at the head of this page for some great information on flowers and
All the best,
Photos - Joan Katherine Shaw
except where noted
for more on Roses:
A Miniature Rose Garden
Climbing Roses for the North
of the Middle East
on-line sources for roses:
High Country Roses
Antique Rose Emporium
Royall River Roses
Gardens, South Carolina
White Flower Farm