The Hybrid Perpetuals dominated rose gardens during the Victorian era from the time they were first introduced until their eventual ouster by the Hybrid Teas. The main reasons for their popularity were their repeat bloom and hardiness. Though hybrid perpetuals do not re-flower as their descendants the Hybrid Teas do, they all have some re-flowering characteristics: an initial burst in the spring followed by a scattered few blooms throughout the summer or another burst of bloom in the fall.
If you would like to read more about the history of these beautiful, fragrant old roses read the pdf History of Roses: The Hybrid Perpetuals by Jerry Haynes of the Red River Rose Society in Texas. This is one in a series of articles he wrote on the history of roses; his series won an Award of Merit from the ARS.
Here is an excerpt from Jerry’s article:
. . . the changes experienced from 1820 to 1840 were on a broad front. in addition to an expansion of the color range, the new plants were completely different in appearance and nature from those which dominated the old rose gardens, requiring differing care; the look of the flowers both in bud and fully open was different, bringing new concepts and ideals; and, most exciting, some recurrence of bloom became expected of all mainstream roses.
Many of the roses referred to in Jerry’s article are hardy down to Zone 4b, so they would make good choices for the Spokane area. Some of these include:
- Marchesa Boccella: light pink rosette form blooms; very fragrant
- Paul Neyron: medium pink; possibly the largest flowers of any rose; blooms average 6″, and can be 7″ across
- Baronne Prévost: pink with lilac shading; prolific bloomer
- Reine des Violettes: violet-red with lighter center; strong fragrance
Leave a comment and let us know what your experience has been growing Hybrid Perpetuals.