By Upendra Mishra
BOSTON–No doubt, roses equal love and romance. I have been fascinated by roses since my childhood. They bring memories of fragrance (and, may I add romance) of Indian gardens.
When growing up in India, I had never seen a rose without fragrance. In the United States, however, the story was different. We saw numerous varieties of beautiful roses in the US but very few with fragrance.
When I moved to Boston almost 30 years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to two rose varieties—Mr. Lincoln and Fragrant Cloud. When I started growing roses, these two became my favorites because of their fragrance.
Later I was introduced to several more fragrant varieties of roses, but I fell in love with the Double Delight. I must that I never had a chance to grow Double Delight, though.
Things changed this year. Recently, when I was hunting for roses, one store had six plants of Double Delight and I brought all six of them and added them to my rose collection this spring. I must say I am anxiously waiting to see the Double Delights bloom in my rose garden. I am also told that Double Delight is quite hardy for New England winter.
In addition to fragrance, the shape and color of Double Delight are amazing and striking. A Hybrid Tea rose, Double Delight is known for its large red and white blooms. Many say that flowers on the same plant look different from each other because of reflection of light from its natural pigments in the petals. We shall see.
If you are interested in fragrant roses, I will also advise you to try Fragrant Cloud, Mr. Lincoln and Perfume Delight. It is not too late to plant potted roses now in New England. You can buy them at most nurseries.
Fragrant Cloud also has an amazing shape and color and you cannot miss its fragrance when you pass by this plant when it is in full bloom. Even one single flower on the plant will make you smell the roses. Once you plant it properly and take care of it, it will keep coming back every year.
Jackson & Pekins, where I do my shopping for roses, says that the scent of Fragrant Cloud has notes of citrus, spice, fruit, and rosy damask all mix together, and the flower offers up unique coral-washed blooms with intensely plush petals. The blooms can measure up to five inches wide on average with up to 40 petals.
Mr. Lincoln is also hardy for New England weather. You literally have to take your nose closer to Mr. Lincoln to smell it, but this plant is the perfect and almost fool proof for New England. In addition, the shape, size and dark red color of Mr. Lincoln are admirable.
I should also mention a fourth variety of fragrant roses I grow. It is Perfume Delight. Nice, one bold color and incredible fragrance.
I order these rose plants online from Jackson & Perkins. They are reliable and bare roots they ship are healthy. It may be too late to order now because most of the good varieties are sold out early.
(Mr. Mishra is managing partner of the Waltham, MA-based integrated inbound marketing and PR firm The Mishra Group. He writes about his three passions: marketing, scriptures and gardening.)