Give a Valentine's Day Bouquet that Lasts
By SUZY FISCHER, Urban Harvest
In two short weeks, flower shops
will be swarming with customers in
search of that sentimental
Valentine's Day gift that expresses
their feelings --
roses. In the
language of flowers, the color of
the rose determines it meaning. Red
conveys love and passion, pink
denotes grace and beauty, yellow
indicates friendship and white
As a Noisette rose, Jeanne d�Arc is a prolific bloomer with a strong musk fragrance. Bright red hips often appear at the same time as the flowers. Like hybrid musks, it will tolerate locations with less than optimum sun.
This year, whatever sentiment you
care to express, consider giving a
living shrub that will bear bouquets
for years to come instead of giving
cut flowers that will be ready for
the compost pile by week's end.
Antique roses (ones that thrived
before modern hybridization) and
hybrids designated as
Earth Kind or
Texas Pioneer Roses offer carefree
color and fragrance to Houston-area
Throughout time, the rose has been
one of the world's most favored
flowers. Botanists in search of the
perfect rose concentrated their
efforts on the Hybrid Tea category,
breeding flowers of striking color
with long-pointed buds. The new
hybrids came at the expense of the
plant's resistance to pests and
diseases and the flower's heady
More than two decades ago, an
antique rose resurgence began as
their hardiness, spectacular floral
displays and fragrance made them
welcomed garden additions. Today,
they are at home in gardens across
the country and their use need not
be restricted to the ornamental
garden, but can be included in the
edible garden as well.
Pound for pound, rose hips (the
fruit of the rose) have a higher
concentration of vitamin C than
oranges. Rose hips were another
casualty of modern hybridization,
but many antique roses bear
beautiful hips. They are used in
making jams, jellies, teas and
wines, and rose petals and rose
water are often used in Near and
Middle Eastern cooking.
The following are a few of the
antique roses that produce good
Ballerina is a repeat bloomer that
bears clusters of small, single,
light pink roses and grows to 6 feet
as a shrub and 10 feet as a climber.
Belonging to the Hybrid Musk
category, Ballerina tolerates areas
that receive as little as 4 hours of
sun a day.
Traditionally, Gulf Coast gardeners
have set aside Valentine's Day for
cutting back finicky hybrid roses.
Their breeding demands a specific
method of pruning to ensure good
flower production, yet the shrub
itself never grows into an
Basye's Blueberry grows to 8 feet
and resembles a blueberry bush,
especially as its foliage begins to
turn color in the fall. It is a
repeat bloomer and produces
fragrant, pink, semi-double flowers
and its stems are thornless.
Belonging to the Rugosa Rose
category, its foliage is thick,
leathery and deeply veined.
Chestnut Rose is a fragrant,
repeat bloomer that grows to 7 feet
and belongs to the Rambling Rose
category. The double, pink flowers
emerge from what looks like
moss-covered buds, and the
bristle-covered hips are said to
look like chestnut burrs.
Dana� grows to be a 5-foot shrub
or a 10-foot climber. It is a repeat
bloomer whose creamy flowers, which
are borne in clusters, begin as dark
yellow buds. As a Hybrid Musk, they
inherited their musky fragrance from
a distant ancestor, the Musk Rose.
Jeanne d'Arc belongs to the
Noisette Rose category whose plants
are prolific producers of flowers.
The small, semi-double, pure white
blooms have a strong musk fragrance.
It grows to 8 feet and is best used
as a pillar rose.
Penelope is a 5-foot shrub that
bears large, pale pink, clusters of
flowers that are semi-double and
fade to cream. This repeat bloomer
of the Hybrid Musk category has
fragrant flowers that appear
throughout the growing season.
Antique rose bushes on the other
hand, are nicely formed shrubs in a
garden setting, and most remain
evergreen through our mild winters.
Pruning can be performed throughout
the growing season to shape and
Suzy Fischer is a registered
Landscape Architect and principal of
Fischer Schalles, a landscape
design/build firm. Contact her at
This column is produced by Urban
Harvest. Learn about gardening
classes, community gardens and
orchards, farmers' markets and more