Sunday, March 25, 2007


We have nearly a hundred kind of roses in our garden. They are mostly historical and English roses.

In 1996, when we started to develop our garden, we began it, as true intellectuals, by buying books. One of the first books was about roses (Halina Heitz, Roses – How they develop and blossom the best.) This was the first book in which I saw historical and English roses.

We immediately tried to acquire such roses in Hungary, but nurseries and breeders have not even heard about these sorts.

At the beginning of 1997 we visited in England the sister of Tamás who spent six months working and learning English with a religious order taking care of elder and handicapped people. She took us to one of the most renowned gardens of England, Wisley. At this occasion we did not manage to visit the garden, because Tamás and me got stuck in the shop of the nursery in front of the garden. (Two years ago I finally managed to pass through the shop and visit the garden, too. It is very interesting indeed.)

We left the shop with twenty-two historical and English roses. The salesgirls enjoyed our enthusiasm so much that when they got to know that we wanted to transfer these roses by plane to Hungary, they took them out of their pots, washed the earth off their roots, and packed them one by one for us. In addition, they gave us a gift as well, a book on English roses written and dedicated by David Austin.

Now the only question was how to smuggle home our roses, as we had neither time nor money to procure sanitary certificates, without which it was strictly forbidden to import plants to Hungary in those times.

We did not dare to check them in the luggage, fearing that they would break, so we thought that we would take them on board in our hand-baggage. As we had no bag to put them in, a colleague of Tamás’ sister gave us two large shopping bags. There was just enough room for the roses in them.

We entered the board with devout prayers. However, the stewardesses at the sight of our shopping bags – which exceeded by far the permitted maximum size of hand-baggages – looked at us with an almost unnaturally large smile, and one of them even asked us whether the shopping had been successful. We tried to keep poker face and replied positively – as it was the truth indeed.

Only much later we got to know that the shopping bags we had received from this old woman who worked as a volunteer with this poor religious order, had come from one of the most elegant supermarket of Britain.

Since then we also have tried to get new roses in Hungary, but still nobody understood what we were looking for. In our grief we purchased some home-made roses, but none of them spent more than one season in our garden. They looked miserably provincial on the side of our historical and English roses.

Fortunately after some years we discovered that the nursery Praskac in our neighborhood, near to Vienna also offers historical and English roses. And after 2004, when Hungary entered the European Union, we were also able to order via internet from renowned European nurseries (Schultheis, David Austin, Peter Beales).

I have to add that the roses purchased in this way are not necessarily more expensive than those to be found at home, but their quality is incomparably higher. And I also enjoy that I do not just have a “red rose” or a “yellow rose” in my garden (Hungarian nurseries usually go this far in the classification of roses), but all that rich cultural history too which is connected with these magnificent roses.

As I gradually make photos of all of our roses, I also publish them here in the blog with their most important parameters:

List of roses(The roses in brackets are not in our garden any more.)

historical roses:
Alba roses:- Amelia
- Belle Amour
- Blush Hip
- (Great Maiden's Blush)

Damascus roses:- Rose de Rescht
- Jacques Cartier

Gallica roses:- Cardinal de Richelieu
- Charles de Mills
- Complicata
- Empress Josephine
- Hippolyte
- unknown Gallica
- Rosa Gallica Officinalis
- Rosa Mundi/Rosa Gallica Versicolor
- Sancta
- Sissinghurst Castle
- Tuscany Superb
- Violacea

Portland roses:
- Arthur de Sansal
- Duchesse de Rohan
- Indigo
- Portland

English roses:
- Abraham Darby
- Ballerina
- Brother Cadfael
- Charles Rennie Mackintosh
- Claire Rose
- Comtes des Champagne
- Cottage Rose
- (Cymbeline)
- Dark Lady
- English Elegance
- English Garden
- Falstaff
- Francine Austin
- Gertrude Jekyll
- Grace
- Heather Austin
- Heritage
- James Galway
- Jayne Austin
- John Clare
- Jubilee Celebration
- Jude the Obscure
- Kathryn Morley
- L.D. Braithwaite
- Lucetta
- Mary Rose
- Noble Anthony
- Othello
- Pat Austin
- Redouté
- Saint Cecilia
- Scepter'd Isle
- (Shakespeare 2000)
- Sharifa Asma
- Sir Edward Elgar
- Summer Song
- Sweet Juliet
- The Herbalist
- The Prince
- The Squire
- Tradescant
- Winchester Cathedral
- Wise Portia

other roses:

hybrid musks:- Ballerina
- Cornelia
- Francesca
- (Kathleen)

Canadian roses:
- David Thompson
- Henry Hudson
- Jens Munk
- Martin Frobisher
- William Baffin

modern shrub roses:
- Westerland
- Bonica

Rugosa hybrids:
Belle Poitevine
- Dagmar Hastrup
- Gelbe Dagmar Hastrup
- Hansa
- Guna
- Parfum de l'Haï
- Ritausma
- Roseraie de l'Haï
- Thérèse Bugnet
- Zaiga

wild rose hybrids and shrubs:- Erinnerung an Brod
- (Frühlingsmorgen)
- Frühlingszauber
- Ghislaine de Féligonde
- Golden Wings
- Karl Foerster
- Kiese


CIELO said...

Wow... I'm so impressed! I love roses, but don't have nearly as many as you.... where do you live??
Pl/contact me...


AJP CROWN said...

I live in southern Norway, where it's quite cold in winter; of your roses, I have only Complicata and Portland. I've never made a list like yours, it's a good idea (I don't have more than ten or fifteen, so it wouldn't take long). There are lots of wild rugosa roses here. Do visit my blog if you want to see pictures of the Norwegian countryside. I'm adding you to my blogroll!

Templom Kata said...

Thank you for having included me in the blogroll. It is really honoring to be in such an excellent company! We have followed and enjoyed your blog for a long time, it has been also linked in Tamás’ Poemas del río Wang, and now I also inserted it in my garden’s blog.

Some twenty years ago as a sociologist I researched alternative ways of life. At that time I met some really impressive goats, and since then I have been a great fan of these noble animals. Here in the village they were traditionally kept, and for some years we had the privilege of buying goat-milk which I love very much. Unfortunately they are out of fashion now, and it is even a sign of poverty to keep them, so there are no goats around us any more. In lack of them, we console ourselves with a herd of newfoundlanders. I found them very similar to goats, and one of them even has the nickname “Goaty”.

Here is a list of frost-resistant Canadian roses, I don’t know whether you know them. We have some of them, and they function perfectly here.

Best wishes! Kata

AJP Crown said...

Ah-ha, likewise, thank you for including mine.

I love the pictures of your newfoundlanders. There are one or two of them here too, and they are beautiful dogs. I hadn't realised that they're like goats. Our goats are angoras; they don't give milk, but they have soft wool (mohair) that we clip twice a year.

Can you import Canadian roses into Hungary without any problems? That's wonderful. I can't import anything, only seeds. Norway isn't part of the EU, otherwise I'd probably have more roses. My favourite of our roses is this one, 'Aicha'.

Templom Kata said...

Yes, I have thought that they are that race, because their fur is beautiful. A Russian friend has made thread from the fur of their dog, and his sister has knit beautiful socks of it, and we also considered to do so with the fur of our dogs, but it is so huge work that we renounced of it with sorrow.

The Aicha rose is wonderful. It is very similar to Golden Wing, which is one of my favorites. We have no problem with the import of roses, although before joining the European Union we had also smuggled in a lot of them. That's why I know that each country regulates in a different way the import of plants. Are you sure that you cannot import roses from Germany for example? We bought most of our Canadian roses there, in a nursery called Schultheis: They, as it fits to a decent German company, have good Eastern connections, thus they also sell very good – absolutely frost-resistant – Latvian roses.

Megkoronáz A.J.P. said...

There's a woman I meet when I take the goats for a walk who's interested in knitting with dog fur, so I'll tell her it is possible.

Thanks for the rose links, I'll make use of them. Frost is the biggest problem of course, not EU rules, I think the roses you can buy here are grafted on to rugosa roots. I now see via your link that I can import bare-root roses from Peter Beales, so I must be out of date with my information. Beales' commentary about which rose will thrive where doesn't jibe with my experience, though.

Templom Kata said...

We usually comb out the dogs around 15 December. If the lady is interested, we can send her the crop.

In 1997 we brought also some old roses together with the English roses. The old roses, although we covered them for the winter, all died for the spring. Since then I have had a keen interest in the frost resistance of roses. Finally I have found some which also feel well in our cold (Z5, that is down to -29ºC) garden. The Portland roses and hybrid musk roses on my list are just on the critical border, but the others are stably frost-resistant here, although in the last years there were even two winters when it was around -26ºC for weeks even in the daytime.

I normally use Help Me Find to check frost resistance, as it is very reliable, and English roses are even somewhat more resistant than what it indicates. To my experiences Every Rose is also good. And Rose File has lists also for Z3 and Z4, and quite reliable ones, as far as I can check.

My experience is that the roses coming from nurseries in colder climate are more resistant than the rest. We had the best experiences with those bought from Praskac in Austria and Schultheis in Germany. From those acquired from Beales some have died as well as about a third of those bought directly from Austin. It is interesting that those brought from Wisley Garden have all survived.

I wish you much success!

Megkoronáz A.J.P. said...

Thank you so much for all this.

I don't often see the woman with the two shetland sheepdogs. If I see her before mid-December I'll let her know of your kind offer.

Thank you for the frost cross-references, I will check with them before buying. I'm interested to check out Praskac, too.

That's too bad about the Austen ones you lost. Wisley probably has scientists on site who may be more conscientious about correctly labeling their roses, The thing is that no one in England really has a clue about proper cold weather. I know, because I grew up there. I'd no idea myself that it becomes so cold in Hungary. That's colder than here. It's very rare for it to go below -15C. here, but we're by the coast, where it's warmer, of course.

SchneiderHein said...

Oh, what a wonderful story of your roses! I'm impressed about all your efforts to get them.
I wish you a beautiful autuum.

It's interesting to read that you've started with your garden in 1996 too :-)

Templom Kata said...

Liebe Silke,

ich danke Dir sehr. Ich wünsche Dir auch einen sehr schönen Herbst.

Mit Liebe, Kata