Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Felicite Parmentier - My Favorite Alba Rose



Alba roses are among my favorite Old Garden Roses - They are very winter hardy, have good disease resistance and very fragrant rose flowers. It is hard to choose just one, but if I had to, I would choose the Alba Rose Félicité Parmentier, and not Köenigin Von Dänemark - Queen of Denmark - even though I am a Dane living in Denmark. Félicité Parmentier was bred in Belgium before 1836, by Louis-Joseph-Ghislain Parmentier. Félicité Parmentier is smaller than many other Alba Roses - rarely grows more than 4-5 feet tall and 3 feet wide, and have a more upright growth habit than the bigger more lax growing Alba roses. It grows and flowers well even in a fairly shaded position with only 3-4 hours of direct sunlight. Alba roses tolerate more shade than other groups of roses, but they still need direct sunlight to produce flowers. Like many other old garden roses it takes the plant about 4 years to form a nice little rose bush that flowers more and more each year. The first years it is best to prune it lightly and then cut the canes and laterals down by a third, after it has flowered. Shape the bush pruning it lightly in the spring - if you have more room you do not have to prune it at all, it will become more arching and wide. Only take out some of the older dead canes if needed.

It is the flowers of Félicité Parmentier that makes it my favorite Alba rose. In spite of the name Alba - meaning white, the flowers are not really white.
The buds have a yellow green colour and when they develop, we first see a little circular opening showing pink petals. As the flower develop it opens into blush pink rosette shaped flowers, that reflexes into a dome shaped or pompom shaped flower that fades to white.



The flowers are very strongly scented - not that the scent "carry on air" but when smelling the individual flowers they have a very strong sharp spicy rose scent that is wonderful. I often pick a newly opened flower of Félicité Parmentier and smell it and put it in my shirt pocket - during the day I many times smell the little rose flower - one of the best ways to get aroma-therapy! Even the glands on the sepals exude a spicy fragrant resin. The flowers are fairly small only about 1,5 - 2 inches/ 3-5 cm across.

Félicité Parmentier flowers for about 4-6 weeks here and if they promise rain I often cut a nice little bouquet, because like most roses with many thin petals they do not like rain much, which makes them unsightly.

7 comments:

Sheila said...

Just gorgeous!

chey said...

Beautiful Niels! I love this look.And look at all those buds!

Lenkin Design said...

Hi Niels. We're new to the gardenblogging world, but I have to say that it is a rarity that I see such thorough descriptions of plant life. Heather is an enormous rose enthusiast, and I will be sure to show off this blog to her as well. I'd love for you to tell me what you think of our new Heather Lenkin rose. Cheers.

-William

Niels Plougmann said...

Thank you Sheila and Chey -It really is a wonderful rose! It will will do better for Chey than Sheila, since it need winterchill to perform well. And It is rare that California gets musch winterchill - right, even though as I recall it happened last year.

Thank you visiting my blog William.
I try to describe my favorite roses and plants I know intimately and use in my garden and in my clients gardens. I can not imagine a garden without roses! There are many different ways to use roses in gardens. My niche among garden blogs is roses and sharing my knowledge about these. I hope Heather will like my blog too - I will also write about a lot of different ways to use roses in Garden designs. I understand that she has Studied here In Denmark too- Landbohoejskolen in Copenhagen I presume? I also like the pictures I have seen of her Tiffany Rose Garden.

I will check out your new blog - and see the pictures of your new rose named after Heather - I looked it up on HMF Roses and saw that it was Hybridized By Tom Carruth from Weeks roses and that Julia Child was the pollen parent. Julia Child has become a popular rose - so the Heather Linkin Rose At least got good genes! So far it does not seem to be widely availble - since only a limited number of the rose have been sold In Pasadena - It also takes a few years before a new Rose From America becomes available here In Europe - and about 5-10 years before a rose becomes popular.

Kathleen said...

That is one exquisite rose! I'd love to have her in my garden. I may have to look into that....

Nancy J. Bond said...

Absolutely stunning -- they make me think of weddings with their soft color. Gorgeous, and thanks for sharing them.

Teresa/ thegardendiary.com said...

I have ordered Felicite Parmentier for my garden next year. So excited to see your lovely pictures. Thanks