The Alternative Names and Why I Love this Rose so Much.
Today I would like to tell you about one of my favorite roses I have in my garden, which I purchased as a “Memorial Day” rose. It can also be found under alternative names French names “Millie Rose” (Thousand of Roses) and “Parfum de Liberte” (Perfume of Liberty). I like these names more since they reflects well the nature of this beautiful, unique rose with the strong rose scent and so profuse blooming habit. There is also one more name sometimes used for this flower, which I think links to its cultivator – ‘WEKblunez’.
The Memorial Day, or Millie Rose, is one of the most beautiful roses in our garden. One of the reasons I love it so much is the fact that this amazing flower practically blooms constantly from around the end of May to the frost and even beyond. Last year it was still blooming in my garden well into November and the last blooms were still there, where I have finally wrapped it in burlap to protect it from the winter. We had the first frost here last year around October 9th, but it still didn’t discourage this rose from blooming. Also in its second year in our garden, during 2016, it has grown to be more than 2 m – so almost 7 feet, even if it is described as a rose which grows only to about 3-5 feet. That’s why I have given it a name of the Queen of our garden. It was definitely the rose which bloomed the best last year for me and the most profusely, which one of the biggest blooms. The only other rose which bloomed similarly well, but with miniature blooms and no scent, was Abbotsford rose, which is just a small bush rose and I have it in front of my house and will write about it another time.
The Memorial Day rose was not only blooming, but had many flowers, which keep pretty well, even after some rain. The flowers are very large – about 4-5″ and I have noticed that the look of the flowers might change during the growing season depending on the time of the year, temperatures and the age of the flower. For example at the beginning of the summer the flowers were often the biggest and the petals had more visible ruffled edges then later in the season. When in bud the flowers often look much darker pink with some deeper red tones, and once opened, they are of various shades of pink with lighter shade of pink, or even white inside petals, particularly towards the edges.
More Information About the Memorial Day Rose.
It is so called “hybrid tea rose” class and it has very full flowers containing more than 40 or even about 50 petals. It has very strong so called “damask rose” scent, like the traditional rose. It was hybridized about 16 years ago – in 2001 by Tom Carruth, which patent number 16,572. It grows as upright bush and from my experience holds quite well even without additional support, unless it grows as big as the one in my garden and in this case some support would help to hold it up and prevent braking of the branches.
I see that the Memorial Day rose is recommended for growing in the USA/Canada growing zones 7 or warmer, but I am in zone 5 b. It is so much colder area than recommended for growing this flower, but as you can see, so far this rose is doing great in my garden and I hope it will continue to be this way. In 2004 the Memorial Day rose has won All-America Rose Selection (AARS) award.
The Memorial Day rose was created by crossing two parent roses – Bluberry Hill and New Zeland and I think it looks very similar to the second variety. The same gardener who created the Memorial Day rose, Tom Carruth, in 2011 obtained its so called “child” by the name of “Love Song“, via crossing it with 3 more roses. What a beautiful name for a rose. It looks a bit similar to the Memorial Day rose, but I think it has less colour variations in the petals and their pink shade is described as “mauve and mauve blend”.
How I Am Growing the Memorial Day Rose in Our Garden.
The soil is our garden is mostly clay, but I have added some peat moss and composted manure when I was planting this rose. Also I give to my roses some more compost at the beginning of growing season, and then, usually once a month a liquid rose fertilizer. Occasionally I add to the soil around our rose bushes some worm castings – natural fertilizer, which is already premixed with rock dust, to amend the ground with additional minerals. I think 2016 I have fertilized this rose last in with the liquid rose fertilizer at the beginning of August giving it still about 2,5 months to the estimated the first frost time in my area, which is about the middle of October. Some people say the roses in my region should be fertilized last at the beginning of July, but I think it is too long without fertilizer and then roses become too weak and easier fall prey of various insects or succumb to a disease.
My Memorial Day, or as I also sometimes call it “Mille Rose” in Italian, has grown the most from August to November 2016, when it was much less hot than in July of that year. We had the hottest year on record last summer (2016). It is said that this rose has good disease resistance, which I think is true. I noticed sometimes insects like to eat its leaves or buds, but I watch out for them and just remove bugs by hand, occasionally using mild and biodegradable insecticidal soap to discourage them. I am careful not to spry it on the open flowers, or when there is a lot of sun or too hot, or the plant can be damaged. To prevent killing the beneficial insects, it is best to use insect control when they are not around, so usually later in evening. I prefer just to pick the harmful insects by hand. They are usually aphids, which particularly like to attack sometimes at the beginning of the growing season. This year I have noticed a few light yellow beetles with black spots and I have just picket them up by hand as well. I use gloves to pick up the beetles just in case they can bite or produces poisonous chemicals, like blister beetle, which can sting if you handle the bug with your bare hand. This rose is so strong and vigorous in our garden that even insect or some occasional black spot on the leaves, seem not too bother it too much.
I have observed the Memorial Day rose performs well as cut rose with long stems. I have discovered one more desirable and very appreciated by me quality – its upper, flowering branches are almost thorn-less, at least in the rose I have. So I think it has all the characteristic of the best roses to grow in the garden and to makes the gardener and the visitors to the garden happy. Besides, because of its beauty and smell it also attracts beneficial insects like bees and butterflies.
Overall, as you can see, I am very happy with my Memorial Day rose so far and highly recommend it to you. I am not sure if it will grow as well in your garden, but I think it is worth trying if you like it. If you are already have this rose, tell us please what you think about it and how it is growing in your garden. Also if you like this article, please share it with your friends and subscribe to my blog. Thank you.
To find out more about how I have prepared my roses for the winter, you can see one of my previous articles.
You can see all the pictures from the article and a few more at a little bigger size in the gallery below.