Friday, January 22, 2010

Flowers on Friday ... Shailer's Provence

It's a gloomy, rainy, sleety Friday here in Hartwood.  To brighten things up a bit today, I'll tell you about one of my one of very favorite roses.

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)


  1. This makes me so sad for all of the gorgeous rose plants that have been destroyed by "building"...thanks to people like you---some will be saved...Kudos to you...I love this rose!!! Will you have some of these for sale???

  2. first of all allow me to say how happy I am that you have joined my little meme this week!!!
    second...I am so challenged by roses...that I think you must have magic in your shovel to have such a beauty here!
    Third...what a fantastic story to go along with your rose bush!!
    Having a memory or good thought attached to a plant always makes it just that much more special...especially if you started it for yourself!
    Have a wonderful weekend...I do hope you will join the party again...oh...and don't forget to stop by this week...starting right now to enter and learn about the great give away that is being held on my blog this week! I know you will love the prize!

  3. Your roses are so inspiring! If I didn't have deer...or Japanese Beetles...


  4. I'm listening! Brag on, please! :)
    What you have done to save this beauty, Connie, is inspiring, and Shailer's Provence is a beauty!

    Here I am at a little over 10,000 feet up, and I have transplanted one tiny wild rose plant from our property to our foundation garden - fingers crossed that it will take. So, it is always such a joy to visit you and see what you are sharing. And may I say KUDOS to you and Robert for not only sharing the photos and stories behind these roses, but for nuturing them along for so many others to enjoy.

    I hope you have a lovely day,

  5. I'm really glad that this rose got so much attention. I love it, and I want other people to know about it.

    I inventoried the rooted cuttings in the greenhouse earlier this week, and it looks like I will have a precious few Shailer's Provence available. It's hard to tell at this stage sometimes, because there's still so much that can go wrong.

    ... Connie

  6. What a beauty! I'm amazed at the knowledge of people who can identify mystery flowers.

  7. The house I bought in West Virginia has a Shailer’s Provence. Every year when I prune it I dug up a few suckers by the roots and baby them in pots until I give them away so that it can be propagated. A friend just sent me a photo of the little one I gave her last year and it looks like a full grown 6 foot rose! It’s an amazing a beautiful rose.


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