You can probably see why I fell for this Gallica rose when I saw it on a display table at the Celebration of Old Roses. Oh how I wanted it-- for two years in a row it smiled back at me from nowhere. I couldn't find it for sale.
Then one afternoon I had the treat of being in Nanette Londeree's gorgeous rose-filled paradise, and just off the top of my head came, " Do you have James Mason by any chance?"
"Yes," she said. "Do you want some, it suckers like mad."
Into the garden it went. I guess it's been 4 years of patient waiting for it to really take off– it's planted in a dryish area. I didn't get a perfect garden shot, but above you can see it from both this year and last. And sucker it does-- thank goodness that's OK in amongst the grevilleas and salvia Greggii.
Decorative sepals are immediately endearing.
James Mason, named for the English actor, was bred in the UK by Peter Beales in 1982. The stamens are protected by small petals, that wanted to be stamens-- or is it stamens that wanted to be petals? Does anyone know what that phenomenon is called? I often remove them, especially for pictures (not in yesterday's picture though).
Peter Beales is the author of Classic Roses, the first big-time rose book in my library– a gift from Artist Husband. How I went through its pages again and again to learn and sigh.
Find out more about Beales at his nursery's website.
I took this shot last year, and this is about all the blooms I had at one time. This year was much better.Thank you Nanette !