Friday, April 11, 2008

Did I Say ONE Rose?

We had a plan. It was a good plan. Four women, one Prius, a trip to the Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham without breaking the bank or buying more plants than we had room for in our yards.

The plan fell apart. Quickly. One woman had to back out at the last minute. Another claimed that her current post-layoff status left her unable to purchase any plants at this time.

That left two of us with too much room. Luckily we still had a small car. If not, we would have come home with a metal pig, a trellis, and maybe a purloined poppy or too. (Guilt, the law, and limited acceleration speed in the Prius put the kibosh on that latter idea.) There was talk of returning with a rented truck, but I think it was the heat and sun getting to us.

We were free, however, to take any of the plants listed above.

I thought these were the Madame Antoine Mari roses Lori wanted me to take a picture of. I had remembered arbor, and I thought I remembered near the front. Well, now that I home, I realize they aren't. But if you want photos of these particular roses, Lori, let me know. I took a bunch.

The Madame Antoine Mari roses from Lori's pictures had been pruned back because they had completely engulfed that arbor. I may have taken pictures of them, but, um, I forgot to take notes on any of the plants. (Sorry, Lori!) Geez. Can I just say that they were all pretty roses?

I tried to take a few pictures of the pairings of the roses with other plants. There were lots of roses paired with salvia, like these mutabilis (mutabilii?) paired with marcus salvia.

We followed the yellow brick road, muted by the bright afternoon sun, out to the fields where more roses bloomed.

Belinda's Dream had been on my short list of roses, but the emporium was out of them. I think it was because so many of them were blooming profusely throughout the grounds. The store also did not have the Julia Child rose I was considering.

The emporium had so many scenes and vignettes to take in that I occasionally felt like I do whenever I visit a mall--just a wee bit overwhelmed. A bit like this rose.

But whenever that happened, I found a nice shady bench to rest on and then I soldiered on. Shady, quiet vignettes like this stream helped cool me off.

The windmill wasn't spinning much, but it sill offered a clear sign that we were in Texas.

I have no idea what kind of rose this is. It's just pretty.

Here's the kitchen garden. As we were examining the potatoes in the far corner, I learned about when to harvest mine from a nice customer walking by. It reminded of the Spring Fling. No matter which garden I was in I could ask the name of a certain flower, and somebody had the answer.

This walkway leads to one of the many buildings on the property--although there is one less than there was seven weeks ago tonight. You could tell that the fire that destroyed the retail shop was still clearly on the minds of the people working there.

I'm a bit worried that I am getting a little overambitious with my gardening. I've only been growing more plants than I've been killing for a couple of years now. Roses just seem to have a whole 'nother layer of complexity to them than do other perennials.

This little bird bath added a nice accent in this bed. It's not a rose, but it is harder to kill.

I did not see the Souvenir de la Malmaison for sale. (It may be the pink one below that was blooming but not labeled.) And based on some of your comments, that may be a good thing.

No trip to Brenham can truly be complete without a stop at the Blue Bell Creamery. We had visited the roses for too long to tour the creamery, but we weren't too late for a dollar scoop of ice cream.

I hope one day to snooze like this:

And now, drumroll please, what rose(s) did I come home with? Based on your recommendations, I purchased a Duchess de Brabant, known to be Teddy Roosevelt's favorite. His name had come up several times during our drive to Brenham so when I loved the smell and look of the Duchess and then saw that Teddy loved it too, I bought it.

And then, I stopped an emporium employee and asked for her recommendation. I told her I wanted a hardy, repeat bloomer for Austin that had a great scent. Her eyes lit up. Then I added, "And not red."

She looked crestfallen. So I asked her to show me the rose she had in mind until I added that last criterion. She led us to the Cramoisi Superier: "This fine old rose has velvety, rich crimson flowers with a silvery reverse and a deliciously fruity fragrance. The double, cupped form of the blossoms is distinctive, keeping with the rounded shape even when fully open. Like all true Chinas, it is very nearly everblooming in a warm climate."

The smell really was amazing. And the rose turns pink in the center in cooler weather.

So I bought it too.

Thank god we ran out of room in the car, before I ran out of room in my bank account.


  1. Gorgeous photos, I wish mine looked as good.

    I can totally relate to the car and the nursery. I just bought an suv so I no longer have to stuff plants in the hot dark trunk when I buy too many.

  2. Jealous, very...not enough sun here for roses. The heavenly smell that the antique roses have...fabulously fun to shop with you, any pictures of the pig?

    clay and limestone

  3. Ok, so I saw the title of your post and cracked up! Yesterday I was making a bet with myself that there was no way you could drive all the way out to the Antique Rose Emporium and only come back with one rose!

    As for Belinda's Dream, never fear! Both The Natural Gardener and Barton Springs Nursery still have it! I saw it at Home Depot the other day, too. And at The Great Outdoors, which I'm pretty sure also had Julia Child, or at least they did last Sunday!

    Great choices, too, not that I'm biased or anything. ;) The only reason I chose Louis Philippe over Cramoisi is that the flowers seem a bit more blue-red than bright red, and I'm trying to keep my color scheme cool in the backyard. Cramoisi definitely has the superior scent. And now I think I need to step into my backyard and smell the roses! :)

  4. Thanks for the tip on the scented red. If only I had room for it! But I know that sooner or later something will croak, and then I'll have the space.

  5. I found you via the Spring Fling reviews... and although we garden in vastly different climates, I see that we shop the same!

    That rose is beautiful. And since I don't "do" pink in my garden, I wouldn't have bought it... I would have, though, if it was truly red. Does that make you feel better about it?! *grin*

  6. I like "Duchesse de Brabant"--I'll have to hear your experience with it to see it I want to get it myself.

    Another great place to get rose is from "It's A Jungle" off North Lamar near Braker. They propagate them themselves and have some that the Antique Rose Emporium doesn't. They even have classes to teach you how to make cuttings yourself.

  7. I can't wait to see pictures of the roses you bought. And I had no idea about the fire out there. Yikes.

    BTW, I would have bought the pig!

  8. Nice story of a fun trip, Vert - my Mutabilis came from the Emporium but I've never been there... it sounds dangerous!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  9. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing it with us all. Maybe some day i'll rustle up a van and go check it out for myself.