Sunday, July 15, 2012


When I started growing roses, I tended to go for big sculpted brightly colored blooms. I am told many rose addicts get hooked this way. My tastes have since evolved, or, to be more precise, expanded (my lawn and my wallet were the two biggest casualties) to include more rose classes and a wider variety of plant habits, petal count, and size and color of blooms.

Penelope, an early 20th century hybrid musk rose, was one such departure from the world of hybrid teas. With each year I have spent with it I love it more and more.

I bought it as a tiny twig which now towers above the hodge-podge of perennials around it.

My plant came from Roses of Yesterday, and, if my memory does not fail me, is grafted onto multiflora rootstock.

I especially like looking at it in the morning when the sun just begins to hit the wavy petals
It spent its first few years as a mannerly 4x5' shrub, but in the last couple of years started throwing out gracefully arching 8' long canes with huge clusters of blooms.

The lovely creamy apricot color of newly opened blooms has not faded yet
Graceful or not, 8' long canes are too large :), and I have been cutting them back in half. The rose does not mind pruning at all, and I end up with a fairly small and dense shrub.

Penelope's best features are its wafting fragrance, generosity of bloom and plentiful healthy foliage.

I am not its only admirer, there are plenty of others
However, I treasure it most for its charming simplicity, a cool serenity in the heat of the summer and an ability to hold its own in the riot of color around it.


  1. W tej róży można się zakochać. Piękne są jej przebarwiające się płatki. Cudowne i pachnące różami zdjęcia. Pozdrawiam.
    This rose to fall in love. Beautiful are its staining the petals. The lush and fragrant roses pictures. Yours.

  2. Masha, this rose Penelopa looks like light pink-yellow-white cloud! I love it!

  3. I get a lot of pleasure from this post!
    So incredible rosarium! Love it!
    I'm in love with the last picture!
    Fantastic multicolor!

    xoxo, Juliana

  4. How beautiful this rose is. I wish I could smell her scent.
    Have a great week ahead Masha.

  5. Penelope is so lovely with its cloud of peach and snow white blooms. Love the picture with the bee!

  6. You have captured this rose in such beauty....for us it grows wonderfully on its on root. Thanks for sharing Penelope to those who may not know of the wonders of the Hybrid Musk world....

  7. I think lawns are overrated. Glad to hear that your roses are taking over. You do a great job of companion planting with your roses.

  8. Like us, a garden should evaluate, that's the pleasure of gardening. You have a very nice collection of Roses!

  9. Penelope is one of my favourites. Its fragrance is so delicate and unique. (it reminds me sweet peas)

  10. What a beautiful rose. And I love that you surrounded it with all that color. Just gorgeous. It doesn't seem to mind being cut back.

  11. Thank you for sharing this beauty, Masha - it's outstanding, special rose

  12. Thank you!

    Rose Petals, I actually have another Penelope, this one own root, and you are right, it grows just fine, although a bit slower than the grafted one...

  13. What a gorgeous rose!! I wonder how well it would do in my humidity. Your borders are incredible!!

  14. Masha, if your garden is half as beautiful in person as it is on your blog, then it is a paradise for gardeners and photographers! I would probably spend all day fawning over Penelope if that beauty was in my garden. Gorgeous!

  15. Your Penelope rose is a beauty! It looks so delicate. I'm new to roses, what's the secret in keeping them blooming for a long time? I find myself pinching all the faded blooms. I'm wondering if I should fertilize, I have organic roses fertilizer. Have a great week!

  16. Lovely photos. I like the way the flowers fade from pink to white and the golden stamens.

  17. Thank you!

    Blossom Cottage Garden, there is no secret, it mostly depends on the type of rose, soil and water... Some roses bloom much more than others, and fertilizing depends on how poor/rich/amended your soil is. Usually, nitrogen is the nutrient most deficient. I use alfalfa a lot on my roses, not because it is very nutrient-rich (it isn't), but because it contains a growth regulator and promotes new healthy canes.


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