Shailer's Provence was the first rose I ever successfully rooted. The cuttings came from a rose that was growing beside a tree on Lansdowne Road in Spotsylvania County (Virginia), on property that was scheduled to be cleared to make way for new houses. I couldn't dig up the rose because it was growing out of a thicket of poison ivy ... so I cut as many pieces as I could safely reach, and I hoped that I could convince at least one of the pieces to grow roots.
I grew this rose for three years before I could find anyone to identify it for me. One day, I showed it to my friend Robert, and he knew instantly what it was.
Shailer's Provence blooms once a year. It is one of the first roses to begin blooming in spring, and one of the last Old Garden Roses to finish. You can grow it as a tall arching shrub, or train it as a small climber. The fragrance is lovely, and it has very few thorns.
I have two of these in the garden ... one of the few roses that I love enough to devote garden space to having duplicates. The first one is the one I rustled, and it lives beside a huge wild cherry tree in the Front Border. My second one started as a sucker given to me by Robert on my first visit to his garden. Shailer's Provence spreads via suckers, so you almost always an extra one or two to share with friends.
Robert got his rose as a sucker from a rose growing on a grave in a churchyard in the Northern Neck. One day while we were out that way, he took me to show me the mother plant. This is what we saw:
The rose had been chainsawed almost to the ground, but it was coming back with great enthusiasm. You have to love a rose that has this kind of will to survive.
Even though the rose on Lansdowne Road no longer exists, and the one in the Northern Neck churchyard cemetery is endangered, Shailer's Provence is safe here, and I brag on it to whoever will listen.
(written by Hartwood Roses. Hartwood Roses blog)