Los Angeles Times

One rose lover's armful of favorites

Few people have known and loved as many types of roses as Edie O'Hair. Her advice? Let tea roses find their natural habit instead of chopping them back. For climbers, if you don't have an arbor, let them tumble down a hillside as ground cover. Never stray too far from fragrance. When you plant roses, water deeply but not often. Treat them more like hardy shrubs and plant in mixed hedges with fruit trees, redbuds and irises.


FOR THE RECORD: Nursery address —An article about roses in Thursday's Home section gave an outdated address for Wine Country Flower Farm. The nursery is at 36580 Rancho California Road, Temecula, 92591. The telephone number remains (909) 587-6310.


Without further ado, here are a few of her favorite roses.

Tea rose: 'Safrano': an original "tea" rose from 1839 France. The name refers to the yellow color, and the scent gives credence to the explanation that tea roses were so named because they smelled like a freshly opened pack of China tea.

Damask: 'Celsiana': A true old rose from the 18th century. Muted gray-green foliage, ruffled pink flowers and a honeyed scent.

Floribunda: 'Gruss an Aachen': ruffled ivory-pink rose with muted olive-green foliage, damask scent, profound, subtle beauty.

Hybrid tea: 'Tiffany': a 1950s rose with crown shape, inside a touch of yellow. "It has everything — light damask fragrance, beautiful form and heavy bloom." As with all long-stem roses, don't prune it the first year, then trim discreetly.

'Helen Traubel': Named after the opera singer. "The flower is peach with an orange throat that opens wide to reveal yellow stamens. It has a heavenly honey fruit fragrance."

'Oklahoma': Dark, dark red fat blossom with a blunt nose. Rosarians complained about the form, so it never got its due. "Deepest, richest, heaviest damask perfume you can imagine."

Hybrid musk: Most bred by Reverend Pemberton: red 'Robin Hood,' peach 'Friar Tuck,' pink 'Maid Marion' and 'Pax'.

Shrub/climber cross: 'Sally Holmes': "It's a five-petaled white rose (pink when cold). It tears away, it's never without blossoms and has a wild wood honey fragrance that floats in the air."

English (David Austin) roses: "You put them in the ground, stand back and let them go." 'Symphony' is pale yellow with a big bloom and sweet light fragrance. 'Pilgrim' sends up enormous canes that flop over, but if you leave them alone, then the next year the canes are covered with pale pink blossoms — as many as 800 on one plant. Group on a hillside for glorious show.

Climbing tea noisette: 'Mme Alfred Carrière': "If I could only have one it would be her. Her color, her fragrance, the freedom of her growth. She can be a bush, a climber. When it's cooler in the morning, she's pink; when it's hot, she's white."

Recommended nursery: Wine Country Flower Farm, 36580 Rancho California Road, Temecula, CA 92591; (909) 587-6310, http://www.mothershood.com/flowerfarm .

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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