“The first thing you do when you buy a rose bush is plunging his nose in the flower to see if she feels something, says Matthias Meilland, the sixth generation of this line of rosiéristes founded in 1850 and whose company produces 100,000 and 200,000 plants per year. The client has a memory of the smell of roses from her grand-mother, his childhood, etc, The most important is that it can be found in the rose bushes contemporaries.”

After you have put the emphasis on colour, character dating back to the flowering and disease resistance, breeders have turned their attention to the fragrance. The trend in favour of the scented roses of ancient form was launched at the end of the 1980s by the English David Austin and the French André Eve. In the past considered a character an opportunist fragrance as a field of research full-fledged. It must be said that the genus Rosa which the range of the smell would be as vast as the colors, never ceases to give trouble rosiéristes, the transmission of this character being less than 1 %.

Ten years to create a new rose ‘Jubilee Papa Meilland’ reveals scents of geranium, carnation and white peach. Matthias Meilland

“The scent is not a dominant gene, confirms Jérôme Rateau, creator of roses by André Eve. At crossings, not only, most of the time, it doesn’t pass, but it is often linked to genes for susceptibility to diseases which are transmitted to them, alas!, very well. The challenge is to create roses for perfumes and for forms of old roses with the strength and the colours of the plants modern.” And when we know that the creation of a new, rosier, scented or not, ten years old (from sowing to the marketing of the plant), we measure the magnitude of the task.

as far as the rosiéristes can not yet define, and compose during the hybridization, the scent of their new pink. “This trade is empirical. With the same father and the same mother you can get plants completely different scenting or non-fragrance variety, ” said Pierre-Adrien Lagneau, manager of the rose garden of Truffaut. Thus, when the flower is fragrant, it is already very happy!”

failing to be able To play the sorcerer’s apprentices, breeders make use of the nose to analyze a posteriori fragrance of the new varieties that they are planning to put on the market. “The perfumers help us to describe the notes released by the flowers,” continues Matthias Meilland. They can feel the rose classic, the fruit yellow, red, citric, tropical, or releasing of the fragrance is spicy, woody, green, unusual… In our nursery, some plants emit smells of bugs crushed, putty, cut grass, of dung, of bread being lifted or peas that are not necessarily very pleasant… conversely , this variety that smells of Granny Smith apple that you bite could be selected.”

also read – SHEET PLANT: learn All about the cultivation of rose bushes.

‘Line Renaud’, a hybrid of contemporary, created by Meilland combines fragrance and disease resistance. Matthias Meilland

Not only the pyramids scent bloom in the catalogues (Meilland, Andre Eve, Delbard, David Austin, etc) but the fragrances are rich and powerful appeal to the general public. Rose, morello cherry, red fruits and yellow background on a foam fresh for the climbing rose bicolor ‘Julie Andrieu’ Delbard ; exhalations complex of Rosa centifolia , geranium, carnation and white peach for the ‘Jubilee Papa Meilland’, a pink red velvet created as a tribute to the famous – but fragile – Papa Meilland 1963 ; real smell and color of the rose of may, André Eve, the gardener of roses, designed in homage to the great rosiériste French; the scents of the absolute of the genus Rosa with accents gourmet fruit for ‘Olivia Rose Austin from David Austin’, winner 2018, the Grand Prix de la Rose of the national Society of horticulture of France (SNHF).

Fragrant and disease resistant rose ‘Julie Andrieu’ Nurseries and rose gardens Georges Delbard. Januario Helder/ABACA

In the same category of hybrid contemporary fragrant and disease resistant roses roses and blooming ‘Line Renaud’ and the flowers dragees good will ‘the Prince Gardener’, two creatives who feel divinely good of Meilland, have proven their worth. Just like the climbing ‘The Generous Gardener’ to David Austin who embalms the pink old, the musk and myrrh, or the shrub ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’, for which the flowers are fleshy and orange exude strong fruity notes.

As for the old varieties, the choices may be tough. Among the stars of the nurseries, the ‘Comte de Chambord ‘(1860) proves to be a Portland exceptional. This bush is vigorous (1 m) bears pink flowers lilac, very double with petals curled with a hint of “old rose”. In the same group, ‘Jacques Cartier’ (1868) bears flowers delicate pink, similar to peonies with a smell of lavender.

More wildvine and very rugged, the family of the roses of the botanical rugosa and their hybrids is characterised by flowers with petals simple or semi-double boasting an enchanting fragrance, continuous and sweet. Blow of heart finally for the first climbing up out of the story, ‘Blush Noisette’. This rose of Philippe Noisette, obtained in 1814, is perfect to fill small spaces. It is half-shadow as its many clusters of pink flowers and tender, smelling of cloves, are the most beautiful.

• The rose garden of André Eve is organising a weekend of open doors with various workshops and lectures on the varieties of the rose garden .

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