I have named all my rose bushes. This is dorky. I know it is dorky. It is also sad. But I've gone and done it, and I know my roses by these names:
Jackie Kennedy: A rose with a pillaring habit, thick sturdy branches and screaming vermilion blossoms. It has a very faint, true rose aroma and carries it's blossoms high.
Shelly Winters: A Crested Moss rose, double pink blossoms and dull green leaves, given to crowding itself, a fat, blowsy thing with fuzzy buds that smell like pine trees, blossoms that smell like rose baby powder, and thorns like rattlesnake fangs.
Miss America: Fourth of July. It's leaves are a super-shiny apple green and clean as clean can be, and it has a good sturdy structure. The ruffly blossoms are simple doubles, very distinctly red and white striped, yellow centered, with a medium true-rose aroma.
Miss Chi-Chi: Not just a little Puerto Rican boy in a dress, this landscape rose comes on like gangbusters with smaller, simple doubled blossoms striped with bright saturated yellow and tangerine. Smells very strongly of burnt sugar, and eats the neighbor's cats.
Mimimi: A flaming red-pink-apricot rose that smells like burnt cotton candy, loudly. Blossoms in one full, fat flush and then sulks until you trim it.
Fuck Me Baby: The Pillar rose 'Oklahoma' with soft, saucer-sized double blossoms of a rich, rich arterial red overlaid with a haze of soot. The aroma is rich and citrussy. Very sexy, very menacing.
Divine: Landscape ht form "American Red", doubled blossoms that are the most extreme RED-red that I have ever seen. The color literally looks like the reflective red lenses on a cars' brake lights, it is that saturated and bright, as though it were lit from within. Stops people on the sidewalk and begs them for kisses. Carries a round steak in it's underpants.
Carmen Miranda: Improved Josephs Coat. Unlike the traditional form, this plant is clean as a hound's tooth. Forest green shiny leaves, and messy, doubled blossoms that change color from red, through apricot, melon, lemon and strawberry to pale pink. Faint rose aroma. Attacks and kills tractors.
The Good Doctor: a nameless orphan rose I got for two bucks at K-Mart. Deep, rich red fully doubled blossoms. Smells heavily of true rose, and comes on in huge pompoms that bend the wands to the ground. Wants to pick your pocket as you walk by.
Valerie: Named after the woman who gave me the start, this is the climbing rose 'Sombrueil', with a doubled blossom striped with candy pink and white. The true rose-citrus aroma is so rich and strong that you can literally smell it from across the street.
Nooksack Methodist: Taken from a rose bush next to the Nooksack Methodist church, this is a shrub rose that bears small blossoms of an unusual rich pink shade white at the very base, with yellow centers. Medium fragrance, citrussy. Most years you will get more blossom than leaf, and in clusters of 15 or more small flowers. Will keep pumping out blooms (if culled) until the first good freeze, or Christmas, whichever comes first.
Black Beauty: Rosa rubrifolia. Red-black leaves and stems with a grey haze, blood red needle-thorns on new growth. Flowers are single pink apple-blossom style with a bright rose smell. In the fall it is covered in scarlet rose hips. Lovely strong, tall, arching vase form.
Mrs. Ol' Lady: Rosa rugosa Pink Grootendorst, tall, vigorous, cheerful and smells like Rose Heaven. Matte green crumple-textured leaves. It will give you a tap just to let you know what's what if you need it.
Ave Maria: Munstead Wood, a dark purple-red rose, doubled, that smells like the God of all roses in Rose Heaven, ruling all the roses rosily. A low arching shrub, voluptuous to the max, generous, and heavily armed.
Happy Birthday To Me: Cinco De Mayo, a taller arching shrub rose that smells of cotton candy and has wavy double blossoms that look like the skirts of flamenco dancers, apricot red and pink with a light pearly haze. Just gorgeous, and will kill you if it can grab you.
Mexico Rose: This is the paper-white version of 'The Fairy', and it will take over your whole world if allowed to have it's way. Imagine an igloo made of soft, small, white roses that smells like roses and is roses, and that is this rose bush after five years. I was told by the person who gave me the division that it was taken from the yard of a house where some Mexican people had lived, so it was probably a Mexican rose. The name just stuck in my mind. Faint rose aroma.
Broadway Shorty: An otherwise nameless miniature rose, perfectly double with octagonal blossoms colored screaming apricot red, smelling of true rose.
Night Owl: Actually, the name of this rose is Night Owl already. The petals are ice-white on the outside and rich lavender purple on the inside. Very striking, and smells strongly of citrus rose.
Runaround Sue: A thin, wandy, wavy red rose, smallish doubled blossoms that go from stop sign red to red-black and hang on for dear life. The stems are thin and long and go every which way. It will try and grab you.
Anne Boleyn: The Apothecary Rose, simple double blossoms all the way down each wand, colored a hard blue-scarlet that ages to a dark, dark red, like evil roses in a vampire garden. Smells heavenly, and heavily, of citrus.
Mrs. Pioneer: Zephyrine Drouhin, a climbing rose that produces apple-sized, baby-pink blossoms; complex doubles shaped like four leaved clovers, inclined to cabbage, with a 'Persian cat nose' green dot in the center. Has very few thorns. Smells gloriously of true old rose. My division came across the continent on the pioneer trail, and was obtained from the original plant, still growing after all these years!
Miss Lady: Rose Madamoiselle Cecille Brunner. Easily mistaken for Zephyrine Drouhin, Madamoiselle is a deep, true sugar pink, fully double and circular in shape, tending to cabbage in damp weather. Pure true rose fragrance. And thorns like a motherfucker, too.
Fuck You: Ht rose 'Intrigue' is a true murex purple, a high-centered hybrid tea rose prone to every disease out there, and food for every pest that exists. It hates me, hates where it's planted, hates its life, hates you, hates the universe and is unchurched and bound for hell.
Rosalie 'Hotsy' Totsy: This is the ht pillar rose 'Firefighter'. You cannot get a better rose for the money. The plant is a strong, pillaring vase shape. Thick, saturated rose fragrance, double blossoms that come in lush bunches, and the color -! Imagine a red ember that changes shades with every slight breeze, coated with a faint white haze of ash. It's all here. The blossoms look lit from within. The outer petal is hot orange-sienna, and the center is a yellow apricot shade that creates this unique illusion of electronic fakery, but no, it really is this gorgeous. It will also kill bears and eat them.