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Double Delight

Rose of the Month For April, 2004
by Nanette Londeree, Consulting Rosarian

If someone asked me what my favorite rose is, while I might pause for a brief moment to consider, I undoubtedly would come up with Double Delight. Not that I am particularly partial to hybrid teas, but this rose has so much going for it that it remains one of the most popular roses in commerce. Now, why is that? Clearly - color and fragrance. The color of each bloom is different, depending on the weather, the exposure to sun and the age or the bloom. The flower begins as a creamy white and the edges strawberry red. The intensity and amount of red is continuously changing, so that no two blooms are alike. Now, get close to the flower and inhale - a heady, fruity perfume that is good enough to eat! Add to this combination that the rose produces pointed urn-shaped buds borne singly on long stems and a strong, bushy plant that in our climate grows 4 - 5 feet tall and about three feet wide, and is never out of bloom. Double Delight is generally one of the first roses to bloom in the spring, and has a very short repeat cycle (only about six weeks). If you cut the rose in bud form, it can last as a cut flower for a week or more.

Double Delight was developed by Swim and Ellis and introduced by Armstrong Nurseries in 1977. It has won just about every prize that can be awarded to a rose: AARS in 1977, World Federation of Roses in 1985, the James Alexander Gamble award for fragrance in 1986 and more. It is a cross between Granada and Garden Party, and has a current AARS rating of 8.5.

As there are no perfect roses out there, Double Delight can be prone to powdery mildew in cooler climates, doesn't like to be sprayed, and can often have double centers. But these are pretty minor issues considered all this wonderful rose has to offer. I am so hooked on this rose, I now have ten plants, and generally have a least one vase of blooms in the house from April to November. A few blooms can perfume a whole room, and you can be mesmerized by the constantly changing beauty of the bloom.

Penelope Photo courtesy of: Petaluma Rose Company

Previous Roses of the Month:

March, 2004
Gartendirecktor Otto Linne

February, 2004
Little Artist

January, 2004

November, 2003

October, 2003

September, 2003

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