Sunday, June 30, 2013

Lit From Within and Glowing Softly

Alba Maxima or Great Double White,
(Rosa Alba Maxima)
Sometimes, just sometimes, something appears when you need it most. I really needed my Albas this week, and there they were, dishing out their texture and color and sublime fragrance all over the place. 

This one smells incredible, and I wish I could describe it properly and share its perfume with you.  It has also been known as the White Rose of York or Jacobite Rose, and it's an almost archetypal rose that has been around for centuries - the Albas may be much older than even the Roman Empire.  Rose scholars think that the white rose of which Pliny the Elder wrote so eloquently may have been this one - the man had impeccable taste.

Sir Graham Thomas thought that the early Albas were the offspring of a marriage between the dog rose (Rosa canina) and the fabled Damask rose (Rosa damascena), itself an ancient Middle Eastern cross of the Gallic rose (Rosa gallica) with the Musk Rose (Rosa moschata) thought to originate in the western Himalayas.  Characteristics of all four possible ancestors are as apparent in this bloom as they are in its lovely cousin, Alba Semiplena.

I have always loved the fact that at least one of my rose's magnificent and exotic ancestors is native to the most magnificent mountain range on earth.  I am (of course) sharing the blooming with my sister Barbara.


Laura~Pretty Pix said...

Beautiful image.. I love your work.

Tabor said...

So nice to pause and visit someone who understands these beauties from someone who falls in love with a show-off at the garden shop, plunks it into the ground and watches it struggle for years in the heat and humidity before letting it die an unnatural death.

Jennifer said...

That rose is so beautiful. I dream of having a rose garden one day when we buy a house. It's not feasible right now while we're renting.

I wonder if that particular rose would do well this far south?

kerrdelune said...

Yes it will, Jennifer - it's an antique rose and thrives anywhere it is planted.

kerrdelune said...

Tabor, my roses are all older varieties and thrive in a northern climate with little or no assistance from me - anything in my garden that needs special coddling does not last long. It is a good thing there are so many tough and decorative weeds in the world!