Marianne, bred by Paul Barden, 2005.
This hybrid came from a seed lot from the year 2000 crop of crosses, and has been under evaluation in my garden since that time. It flowered for the first time in 2002 and was by far the best of a group of about 20 seedlings. It has improved in quality and generosity of bloom since then.
This Hybrid Gallica is a robust rose, as one might guess from a glance at its parentage. It has, in my opinion, inherited many of the best traits of each parent; the wonderful vigor and coloring of 'Abraham Darby' and the bloom form and disease resistance of 'Duchesse de Montebello'. The fragrance is a magical blend of fragrances from both parents, being neither entirely "old rose" in character, nor completely modern either. It is a strong scent that has ripe Peach qualities, as well as more traditional Damask tones. Blooms are borne in clusters of three and five, with the occasional single bloom on lateral branches. The previous year's basal growths tend to flower profusely at every node along the canes, making for a significant display.
The plant itself is large and has excellent vigor, making a five to seven foot shrub in three years or less. The foliage is dark green and semi-glossy, and very handsome when the rose is not in flower. It appears to have superior disease resistance, at least in my test garden, defending itself admirably from both Blackspot and Mildew. Having a Gallica Hybrid as the seed parent, 'Marianne' is a once-bloomer, flowering for four to six weeks in early Summer. However, I think this will not detract a certain kind of connoisseur from growing it. It is, to the best of my knowledge, the only peach colored Hybrid Gallica bred to date.
If I were to describe it in one phrase, I would say that 'Marianne' is like a peach-colored 'Charles de Mills', with its large, flat blossoms crammed full with swirls of petals. I'm very pleased with this hybrid and I hope others will come to appreciate it as well.
Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 2006, All Rights Reserved.