Three roses from the garden for this morning. First is ‘Odyssey’ which I am sure I have mentioned before. I planted a dozen of these in a narrow (1m) bed in front of the house. I have said before about how awful the soil is and how the plants struggled at first because of the soil and the nibbling of rabbits. Well they are through this now and are not just flowering but actually making decent growth, giving a hint of how they will be in the future, a hedge of fragrant roses. They are underplanted with perennial violas in blue, which is probably a mistake because they make the roses look pinker than they really are. ‘Odyssey’ (FRAnski) was introduced in the UK in 2001 and is an elegant rose with almost single, lilac flowers. They have a decent fragrance and it is the stamens that make it so special. It has repeated all summer and, so far, there is no sign of disease.
Geoff’s rating 9/10
And then we come to ‘Dioressence’ (DELdiore). This is a French rose, bred by Delbard and introduced (as far as I can tell) in 1984, though I have a feeling it may be more recent. It is named after the famous perfume because of its amazing scent. The scent of the flowers is described as woody and mossy with strong geranium which is ironic of course because the ‘geranium’ in question is rose-scented pelargonium, but there we go. This is one to plant for its perfume and it is very good. The flowers are carried in small clusters, or huge clusters like this one, on strong shoots. I like the colour and the flowers are lilac, flushed with purple but I am not keen on the semi-double, rounded shape, but that is just me. One thing I have to mention is that this is the only rose in the garden that has any signs of blackspot. I will not write it off yet and it is not bad, but when I have antique roses next door that are free from disease it makes me slightly disappointed.
Geoff’s rating 7/10
And lastly ‘Starlight Symphony’ (HARwisdom). This is Rose of the Year 2019 and a climber. I have two, planted at the ends of the rose beds in front of the house and they will eventually get a pillar to climb up. After a few months of sporadic flowers there are now decent shoots being produced and I have hopes that it will perform well. It has healthy foliage and the flowers are pure white with attractive stamens. The scent is light. My only problem with it so far is that the substance of the petals is a bit thin so the flowers dissolve in hot weather or wind. I know I am in a windy place so I won’t condemn this yet but the flowers are not exactly huge so I would have expected better. Jury is out on this one really.