I was so excited when I purchased this rose 2 seasons ago. I think–well maybe it’s too early in my rose experimentation to say this but I will anyways–I think that Gallicas are my favorite class of roses. This particular rose has such a rich history attached to it that I was super pleased to be able to add it to our garden. It’s one of my V.I.R.’s: a Very Important Rose. Apologies for not getting better/more photos while it was blooming, but I am including a shot of it while it was growing in a container by our front door so you can get a better gauge as to it’s habit (keeping in mind that this is only in it’s second year of growth and will get bigger.) I’ve since moved it into the garden so it can really have room to spread. Did I mention it sets hips? A rose reaches levels of perfection in my eyes if it sets hips; one of the prettiest images I can imagine is that of plump red/orange rosehips in winter covered in a layer of frost and snow. Lovely! I’m rambling (perhaps I drank too much coffee this morning), but wouldn’t it be delightful to grow this and R. alba semi-plena (the White Rose of York) side by side? (Still trying to get my little paws on semi-plena so if you have one I’d be willing to trade cuttings!) Anyways, if you’re planning next spring’s garden already, and why wouldn’t you be, this rose is a beauty!
EDIT: If you look closely at the above photos, you can see patches of powdery mildew on some of it’s leaves. We had one of the weirdest springs on record and many of our roses, well, freaked out. The powdery mildew on this and a couple of my other Gallicas completely resolved itself in our no-spray garden. It was gone by summer.
EDIT: 6/5/13 We’re having the same problem with powdery mildew. So maybe this is just something this rose does in the beginning of the year? Anyone else having the same issue? I’m not too worried–I think it will go away again like it did last year–but it is kind of annoying that it does this right at the same time that it is blooming.