Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Unsolved Mystery

Speaking of the mysterious squill of two posts ago reminded me of another mystery that occurred in my garden. Years ago an acquaintance asked me if I would like to have some of her barnyard roses. She did not know what kind they were as they came with the property when they bought it. All she knew was they were the most beautiful white roses she'd ever seen. They were spring blooming only, she said, but they had an exquisite fragrance. I went to her house and was delighted to see the most gorgeous white roses--very large and blowsy. She was right: the fragrance was divine. I happily accepted her kind offer, and she dug up a nice clump of them for me.
I planted them in my rose garden among the pedigreed and named heirloom roses and the David Austins, and I looked forward to seeing them bloom the following spring. And bloom they did, with fragrant abandon. However, they were not white at all, but a sensuous clear pink. I was delighted as I prefer pink roses to white, generally.
When I told my benefactor that the roses were pink at my house, she looked baffled and said, "No, they are pure white." I believe she thought I'd lost my mind. It's an unsolved mystery. The only hypothesis I have is that the soil in my yard somehow affected the flowers, perhaps much in the way soil pH affects the color of hydrangeas. The mysteries of gardening are all part of the appeal, for me. Who knows what surprises the Garden of 2009 will bring? I can't wait to find out! Pink Bud photo by JulenaJo.


  1. That was a nice surprise for you.

  2. I wonder what would happen if said benefactor were to dig another clump and plant it elsewhere in her garden. Would it be pink or white? This might at least to some extent solve the soil pH theory. Since it's an old garden it probably wasn't grafted. Wonders never cease!

  3. Thia is a Puzzle.. Do you suppose the roots had been grafted in the past and the color you have is it's true color?.. I love roses... they seem to be the plant that grows the best here... they don't mind wind, the salty air or the sandy soil..