Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The First Rose to Bloom: Rose de Rescht

The first rose to bloom in the garden this year: Rose de Rescht. What a lovely old garden rose!

While many old roses bloom only once, in spring, Rose de Rescht is classified as a Portland rose and reblooms all season. This small class of roses is among the first European hybrids bred from Chinese imports. The class earned its name from Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Portland (1715-1785), who used her wealth to amass great collections of art and natural history, flora and fauna. She established a zoo, an aviary and a botanical garden, which is sadly long gone.

The Portland class, including Rose de Rescht, is repeat-blooming and fragrant, perhaps due to ancestry that includes autumn damask, 'Quatre Saisons' (Rosa damascena bifera). Rose de Rescht bloom are fully double pompoms of vivid cerise red, almost fuchsia, with hints of magenta. The blooms are not large, only 2-3 inches in diameter, but the intense color makes them pop in the garden. The rose is reliably hardy in zones 4-9 and will attain a modest size of 2 by 3 feet.

I found a wonderful article on the web, if you're interested in reading up on this wonderful rose: http://www.pswdistrict.org/text/articles/romnov04.html. As Rose de Rescht is one of the roses I planted late last season, I am just getting to know her myself. That first bloom is a winner, though. I'm sure it will be a long and happy acquaintance. Rose de Rescht photos by JulenaJo.


  1. Oh my gosh, so gorgeous I'm almost smelling it's fragrance!

  2. What a beautiful bloom! I really need to add some roses to my yard. I love how they smell!

  3. Looks almost like a 'Falstaff' David Austin rose. Very nice!

  4. Hi Julena~~ I can attest to the merits of this rose. Many years ago I received a division from a friend. It has performed well every year since. I found the foliage will look better and it will bloom more prolifically if it gets summer water. It gets really dry here from July through September and I confess I would ignore it But for the past three years I've been faithfully watering it and I've been duly rewarded. The fragrance is to die for! Mine barely has buds yet. Ohio is ahead of Oregon.

  5. Your first rose to bloom is beautiful! I planted 6 new bareroot roses this spring...hope they do well. Check out my deep purple rose (newly purchased with lots of buds) and she smells heavenly! Yikes, the poor doggie and skunk post. How's little Jeff doing?