Fragrant Hybrid Rugosas

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After a seemingly endless winter and a spring that couldn’t quite get its act together, all of a sudden there are rose bushes again in the gardens.

Normally, by the end of May, I am well into my first flush. But as all gardeners know, we need to wait for Mother Nature. No matter what we wish for, the blooms will arrive when they are ready and not a moment before! We are off to a late start to our summer season this year.

Most Fragrant Roses

This spring’s earliest rose blooms are especially appreciated because it’s been such a long spell since we’ve had any… at least six months here in Southern New England. And so, how special it is that the earliest blooms are some of the most fragrant to ever grace any garden! The big hybrid rugosas are the first in my garden to bloom.

Blanc Double de Coubert

Last week ended with the first pure white blooms on ‘Blanc Double de Coubert.’ Her blooms smell like priceless Persian rose water! I brought in half a dozen of them to float in an antique compote on the dining room table and they have been perfuming the house ever since. They also attracted Rahjah, my big grey cat. He knows he’s not supposed to be on the table, but he just couldn’t resist the perfumed water up there…I’ve been shooing him off the table all weekend! Maybe I should float a rose or two in his water bowl in the kitchen!

Delicata

‘Delicata,’ a rose pink hybrid rugosa, broke open yesterday and caught my attention with her strong aroma…it seemed to say, ‘Hey! Pay attention to me!’ She is a delight for the eye and the touch and the fragrance…and she will continue to bloom all summer. All my rugosa roses have beautiful, limey-green, wrinkled foliage that leaves a clean scent on the fingers when stroked. The buds are very fat at the base and very long and pointed…they look like an extension of the cane until they break into bloom.

Magnifica

‘Magnifica’s first blossom opened yesterday. The petals unfold wrinkled, as they were folded inside the sepals, until they have a chance to stretch out in the morning sunlight. Then their perfume is released into the day, and the breeze carries it into my screened-in porch on the southeast side of the house. This fully double hybrid rugosa opens 4-5 inches wide and has hundreds of fat buds in all stages of development waiting their turn to perfume our home. Smells like happy to me!!

All the hybrid rugosas are great additions to anyone’s garden! Most of them grow tall and wide and they reproduce easily by stolons, or runners. It’s pretty easy to dig up a baby, put it in some potting soil in a container, and share with your friends. Or, you can give them a meadow and let them run free range! Most of them are reliable rebloomers, and many will form big, Vitamin C-rich hips while they continue to set bud and bloom! The big rugosas are extremely hardy and disease-resistant. You will not have to spray them; they are almost like miracle roses!

Try a few in your garden. They are easy to care for and will reward you with a summertime of color and fragrance and a lifetime of returns every spring!

Meet Marci Martin

Marci Martin fell in love with roses when she was a little girl, and the love affair goes on. She has been growing roses for…

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