Friday, April 18, 2008

Double Friday Flower blogging

What really amazes me about Los Angeles gardening is how micro climates and micro-zones vary. And here in my very own garden is a good example.

On the north side, under the oaks, it feels like a northern climate spring, with the blue pulmonaria, the columbine and irises in bloom, the late poet narcissus still fading.

But on the south side of the house, where the sun blasts in all day, it is full-blown summer. The brief heat spell we had this weekend has brought the buds out on all the roses, and they're raring to go.

This rose is always the first to bloom. It's a China Rose named "Eugene de Beauharnais" - said to be one of the roses tended by Josephine Bonaparte at Malmaison. It's named after her son by her first husband - the one before the short guy.

As a rose, it's kind of muddled looking in form, tightly packed blossoms open flat rather than tapered like the more familiar hybrid teas. And its brilliant color is liable to age to purple quickly, especially under the hot sun.

But the thing about "Eugene de Beauharnais" that's extraordinary is its powerful scent. This is a rose you can smell from 10 feet away. It's a pure rose scent, unadulterated.

I went downstairs to the laundry room this morning, and as I came around the corner of the house, the scent of this rose came to me, and I had to go get the camera and share it with you. Too bad we can't blog scent as well as sights and sounds!


skygge said...

I bought one of these last spring and you're right about the wonderful scent. The blooms last a long time in the house, too. It's a lovely classic. What a beautiful garden you have as well!

JCK said...

Love these roses...and the color. Incredible garden.