Celebrate the Rose

Celebrate the Rose

As we mature, our lives take on different meaning. We becomemore attune to our surroundings and our appreciation for life changes. Some of us might continue to challenge the status quo, while others become steeped in tradition. I think gardening helps us discover which path our heart desires.

Specifically, I think growing roses hold us in a more traditional mindset.

Bee in a sunflower

Think back to the plants your grandmother grew.  Geraniums, Zinnias, Sunflowers, and Roses… gorgeous roses! These coveted memories of our grandmothers’ garden roses become the impetus to carry on a desire to have beautiful roses just like she had.

The classic favorites are timeless and they have become the gold standard in our rose gardens. We speak of them as we would an old friend for they’ve become a permanent part of our collection. When these roses have finally become tired and less productive, we hold onto them for as long as possible until we can no longer fight the good fight. Eventually we give in to their aged status and decide to finally replace them. We ceremoniously dig them up and give them a proper burial. We ruefully scour the catalogs for suitable replacements thinking maybe this is the year we will “try something different.”

But wait! What delightful new surprises grace the catalogs filling my mailbox!  

Suddenly, the desire to act with predictable decision making is uncontrollably thrown out the window.
Climbing Westerland

I regularly pay close attention to what comes out of the breeding program at Weeks Roses. The roses rarely fail to impress me. The new Climbing Above All™ is one that I’m excited to see because it’s being promoted as a modern version of the Climbing Westerland. Having blooms as salmon-orange as it’s predecessor but with a higher petal count and greater flower production.

Another rose that has piqued my interest is called Anna’s Promise™.  

Named for Anna, a character in the British television show Downton Abby, it apparently symbolized the heart and integrity of her personality. There are golden petals blushed in pink with a bronze reverse which look absolutely stunning. It boasts a spicy, fruit fragrance to boot. Sounds delish… is this a rose or a new dessert?

The Wake Forest University Rose

In its parentage is About Face™, which I have always admired. Its glossy green leaves have never looked worn or faded and the growth always seems to be strong and vigorous. Good as Gold™ (a 2014 Introduction) come from About Face™ and has been an impressive hybrid tea so far this year.

Another new introduction from About Face™ that we are quite proud of here at Witherspoon is The Wake Forest University Rose. 

This grandiflora has good disease resistance and a light apple fragrance on golden blossoms that deepen with cooler temperatures. We are honored to have a hand in producing and promoting this exclusive rose to the market with $10 from every sale going to the general scholarship fund and Wake Forest University.



I feel like this article would not be complete unless I mentioned some of the old favorites. These roses are tried and true, so we go to them time and time again. Peace is for sure one of those on my list. And, let’s be honest, so are the others in the Peace family. I believe the Peace rose is one hybrid that will remain in the hearts of rose lovers across the country. To add to this list, I would include Queen Elizabeth. This tall, pink beauty blooms in clusters and is a sight to behold! Did I mention she’s nearly thornless? Certainly my list is not complete without mentioning Tiffany. How can you not love the tall pointed buds?

These roses were introduced around the 1950’s when America was full of high spirit and optimism after World War II. The garden was a victory, family togetherness was time well spent and roses were in the hearts and yards of smiling gardeners.

Queen Elizabeth


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