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Flowers of Eden

David Austin damask hybrid roses on the gazebo

Rosea refers to pink in Latin, it is a specific epithet for many genera. Genus Rosa refers to rose, now a rose doesn't need any introduction, does it? But a 'damask rose' certainly needs to be re-introduced, just as all heirloom roses should be re-introduced in our gardens. The fragrance of a damask, gallica or a moschata rose is unlike any other.

Left to right: Damask, David Austin, and Rosa gallica roses

In between the many centuries of hybridization, the true 'essence' of a rose is somewhere long lost. "A form of Damask rose was first noted in Italy in the 16th century which flowered more than once. Until the arrival in Europe of roses from the Far East, in the 18th century, the ‘Autumn Damask’ was the only rose to exhibit this repeat-flowering characteristic."

Heirloom roses are a must for every summer garden. They are polar opposite of a 'knock out', they don't re bloom again and again and might not have the brightest colors, but heirloom roses are the true roses, one with a fragrance to linger. But both hybridized knock out roses and heirloom roses have their place in a garden. For example, if you want to plant a rose by a high foot traffic area, full sun and low maintenance garden bed, check out the 'knock out roses'. Their newest colors in trade, faint apricot, coral pinks, soft yellows, the palette for 'knock-out' roses is plenty. On the other hand, if you have a cottage garden theme, or want to enhance a hardscape, a pergola/arbor/porch or a pollinator garden, heirloom roses would be prefect! You don't need a load of blossoms to enjoy these roses, one tiny blossom has plenty aroma for a whole garden and even the pollen pantry is plentiful!


Blooming currently in the ornamental gardens are also two unique flowers, Sinocalycanthus and 'Rut-pink' Dogwood. Sweet shrub, Calycanthus is a beautiful one for dappled shade or full sun gardens. But delicate pearly white blossoms of Sinocalycanthus are outstanding. Here is more info.: 2015_Calycanthus_Sweetshrub.pdf (

Rut-Pink Dogwood

Dogwoods are synonymous with mid-Atlantic spring gardens. They are a beautiful small tree or shrub for any semi-shade garden. But try 'Rut-pink' "Rutgers is introducing our first Cornus kousa in 45 years of breeding. This new cultivar, 'Rutpink', is trade named Scarlet Fire® dogwood, and is our darkest, most-consistently pink-bracted selection, with deep pink to fuchsia coloration at its peak. This new cultivar is the product of a long standing program of hybridization and selection of big-bracted dogwoods, in this instance the result of an open-pollination event of an unnamed pink-bracted Cornus kousa breeding selection held in the Rutgers University germplasm collection."

Scarlet pink or faint baby pink damasks or dainty pearly white Sinocalycanthus, this week, all of these blooms surely make the gardens at London Town feel like a garden of Paradise!

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