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.
A lovely branching cane, on day-one and day-two.
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.
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 !