Every Garden, dear friend, a rose

If you have planted and tended or restored more than one garden in your life, is there a plant that appears in all?

In Russell Page’s “The Education of a Gardener”, he writes

The rugosa rose, “Blanc Double de Coubert” goes into every garden I make and very frequently  into the flower border.”


A lovely rose, but not Blanche!

My oldest and dearest friend, who left this Earth 2 1/2 years ago, unexpectedly, loved roses.  She grew this rose and referred to her as Blanche!  Blanc Double de Coubert is a mouthful.  When I first met dear friend, she wasn’t yet the great gardener she would become.  Her main achievement initially was morning glories.  Roses that eventually tumbled over her stone walls, up trellis and through borders became one of her favorite flowers.  We propagated a very special rose, “Polaris” and it grew with abandon in her yard.  It is not seen in the markets, but a few years ago I spotted it at NYBG.

I do not have any roses in my Savannah garden.  Maybe someday I will plant one, and I hope I can locate a Blanche.  If not for this garden, maybe another.  I feel  that dear friend could be  among the clouds in a bower of white roses.  Or perhaps she is in a garden admiring a well grown Blanc Double de Coubert.  Page says,

The flowers are chalk-white, their petals silky and almost transparent and they have the delicious pungently sweet scent of their kind.

With or without a white rose growing in my garden, dear friend, your memory is with me there like a delicious and sweet  white rose named Blanche.

About Jayne in Georgia

Wife, mother, and owner of pets much loved. Gardener of three decades, amateur photographer, ardent about art, antiques and books.
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12 Responses to Every Garden, dear friend, a rose

  1. Pauline says:

    How wonderful that roses remind you so much of your dear friend. I love the colour of the rose in your main photograph, such a beautiful shade.


  2. Christine Yordan says:

    She was the rose queen and tough to beat in GC sweeps! This is the week that Constance Spry takes center stage, always will be the grand dame.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ELIZABETH says:

    What a wonderful memory of a dear friend! Thanks for coming to visit! So happy to have found you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think your friend is smiling that you think of her when you see a beautiful rose. When I see a Zinnia I think of my friend, John, Johnny Jump Ups remind me of my Mom, and Phlox makes me remember my Grandmother. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Karen B. says:

    What a lovely tribute to your friend. I now want to find this rose. It sounds heavenly. I used to give friends a rose when they lost a parent or a loved friend. Some of them have said to me that the rose still grows in their garden and helps ease the pain of loss.


  6. What a lovely idea! A rose can be more than a rose!


  7. What a lovely memorial to your friend. 🙂 Although I have had 3 gardens before this one (which I don’t consider “mine” at all) I haven’t had one specific cultivar always in residence. However, I deliberately planted honeysuckle in two of them because the fragrance reminds me so much of my childhood.


  8. That rose is gorgeous. I tend to name some of my plants too. For instance, Joe Pye Weed is just “Joe” and my Ernest Markham Clematis is “Ernie.” It’s fun. Great post! … You asked about Rodgersia on my blog. There are so many different cultivar names for Rodgersia. ‘Bronze Peacock’ is just the one that seemed to be popular in 2013, if that makes sense. I hope you can grow it in your garden. Shade with moist, well draining soil is what seems to make it happy.


  9. annamadeit says:

    What a wonderful tribute to a beloved friend! I’ve read that Russel Page book too – it is full of gems. A number of years ago, I had that very rose, but for some reason, it was never quite happy. I blame it on my garden being too shady. Eventually, I dug it up and gave it to a gardener friend with a lot more sun. It is much happier now. 🙂


  10. hoehoegrow says:

    What a rose to treasure! I have not come across it, but shall be looking out for it. The colour is so delicate. What a lovely way to remember your dear friend.I also lost a dear gardening friend, and there is so much in the garden to remind me of her. I think about her a lot anyway, but the flowers are constant reminders.


  11. debsgarden says:

    I once grew this rose! It was wonderful. I remember it for its fragile blooms and its fragrance.


  12. A lovely tribute to your friend. You can buy Blanc Double de Coubert from White Flower Farm, http://www.whiteflowerfarm.com/66857-product.html


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