Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I don't grow roses.

But three roses came with the house.

This free-flowering beast with cute little white roses adorns the front bed. Not really the best place fore something that grows wildly out of control, but it was there. I don't have any better plan for the space, yet, so it stays.

Smack in the middle of the side yard (looking very out-of-place, until you realize it is where there used to be a fence dividing front from back), there once was a rose. I don't know what it was - the rose died before I moved here, leaving only the rootstock.
I haven't bothered to dig it up, so I have some ratty-looking red roses over there.

In the terrace garden was this:

A Floribunda rose called 'Sunsprite'. Now, yellow roses are my absolute favorite. I don't wear yellow (don't have the complexion for it). I don't decorate my house with yellow. But I do love yellow in the garden (daffodils, anyone?). It is just so cheery.

Sunsprite is not just a yellow rose, it is a yellow rose with the sweetest scent. In flower, I can smell it all over the garden. So many roses have had the smell bred right out of them, but this one is perfect. Not that any rose is perfect here in humid Virginia. Black spot is a real problem, as are Japanese beetles. But when this one is happy (in my yard that is rarely), it is perfection.

My yellow rose was very old. 'Sunsprite' was introduced in 1977, but I'm pretty sure mine wasn't that old. My terraces were installed about the early-mid 80s. It is possible this rose dates to that time. It was a tree rose, and the stem was thick and gnarled.

In 2007 I was away for about a year. There was also quite a drought that summer, and much of my yard suffered, including this rose. It survived, barely, and limped along for another year. A hard winter ended its suffering. Like the rose in the middle of the yard, I haven't dug out the rootstock. This one is especially happy growing and flowering, so much so I even showed it off in my Bloom Day post.
(note the old rose trunk on the left)

But I miss 'Sunsprite'. Last year I looked for a replacement (even though I don't do roses), but couldn't find one locally or even reasonably-priced mail-order. I did come across one when I was in Wisconsin last year, but it was too big to take on the plane. I started looking for substitutions. I was leaning toward a 'Julia Child', which is very pretty, even though I knew the scent wouldn't be the same. But I didn't get around to buying one.

Then on Sunday I just happened to walk by a parking-lot plant sale. I smelled it before I saw it, and knew it had to be mine. So much for my plant-buying ban. Welcome home, 'Sunsprite'!

(oh, how I wish this were a scratch-and-sniff blog!)

No comments:

Post a Comment