My photo
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Mystery Rose

If you have any idea as to the identity of this rose please let us know! We've tried to find out for a few years from books and the web but failed. We recently took the above blooms out to the Antique Rose Emporium -thanks for the idea, Jean! Jean thought it might be 'Zepherine Drouhin' but when seen together, they weren't the same rose. The person in the A.R.E. office thought it was a modern pink climbing rose rather than an antique one which narrows it down to a few thousand named cultivars, I guess.

This mystery rose was planted sometime after 1979 in a SE facing border along the back wall of our house. When we bought the house in 2004 we didn't know the rose existed - Nandinas and crepe myrtle saplings filled the space. That fall we noticed a couple of thin, thorny wands waving for help over the top of the foliage. Cutting back and digging out revealed weak canes rising up from a knobby base. We shape-pruned, dumped on compost and hoped for the best.
By April 2005 the rose had rebounded enough to make a few flowers so we added a trellis and the rose has rebloomed each spring.

That first April the few flowers were enormous, a clear pink and very fragrant.
There seem to be around 40-45 petals. This rose is half-opened.

The buds are beautiful - high pointed and shapely. The thorns are large but not spaced too closely along the canes. I don't know how to describe the scent but when you walk out the back door at bloomtime you know there are roses blooming - so it's definitely a 'rose' smell.

The leaves are more matte than shiny and rather large. This year the flowers are about 5" in width .. .they've been smaller when April is very hot and dry.

Instead of nandinas and crepe myrtles smothering it, the rose now has hybrid Amarcrinum, pink cuphea and Dwarf mondo grass/Ophiopogon japonicus 'Gyoku Ryu' at its feet. This rose has bloomed every April since 2005 with occasional reblooms in June or in fall... any second flush of roses seems to be related to rain and moderate temperatures.
It's growing against the house under a roof overhang and unless I keep pruning it the canes will grow 8-feet to the top then bend and twist and head for the gate area in search of sunlight. I don't know how large it could grow if left unpruned.

Thanks for any ideas and help with identifying it.



Rachel @ in bloom said...

I need some climbing rose tips! How far back do you prune your mystery climber? Do you train it up the trellis? I've been letting mine kind of run free, but they need more discipline than I've been providing.

Annie in Austin said...

I prune it to keep it from circling under the overhang or from poking us in the eyes when we pass by, cutting some wands shorter to make layers happen. Usually prune it soon after a main bloom cycle.
There are just so darn many kinds of roses, and they want different things!