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Iceberg, Sally Holmes and Sombreuil
MAGiCal Roses For February, 2012
by Sandy Simon, Consulting Rosarian

Note: A new column this year called MAGiCal roses will be written each month by our Consulting Rosarians. Two or three roses will be highlighted from the over 130 rose bushes in our garden at MAGC (Marin Art and Garden Center). The garden was planted in 2004 with donated roses from Sunnyside Nursery, West End Nursery, Armstrong Nursery and Sloat Garden Nursery. We have added and subtracted roses each year. The garden is organic and no sprays are used.


'Iceberg' in our MAGC garden is a climbing white floribunda. Our climbing variety is actually a sport of the original bush floribunda and was discovered by Cants of Colchester in England in 1968. It is very floriferous over most months and grows vigorously. It has a mild honey fragrance, 25-30 petals, is free branching and disease resistant. Its parentage is 'Robinhood' x 'Virgo' and has an ARS garden rating of 8.4. It is excellent for softening the look of a trellis, archway, wall, or pillar. The original ‘Iceberg’ was bred by Kordes in 1958. It is also interesting that ‘Iceberg’ has two more sports; ‘Brilliant Pink Iceberg’ and ‘Burgundy ‘Iceberg’. All of the ‘Iceberg’ sports retain the great ability of the original ‘Iceberg’ in which the petals have great longevity and stay on the bush a very long time, so much so that they actually deadhead themselves.

Sally Holmes

‘Sally Holmes’

'Sally Holmes' was bred by Robert A. Holmes in England in 1976 and introduced by Fryer's Nurseries Ltd in 1976. A white shrub, with a hint of pink, its parentage is 'Ivory Fashion' x ‘Ballerina’. The buds are coral pink and open to blooms that are 3.5” across with just 5 petals. It is a single (4 to 8 petals) rose that is lightly fragrant. She has long, arching canes which have glossy, deep green leaves. She can be trained on a fence, pillar or trellis. She also tolerates a bit of shade. She will show a stunning display in spring followed by repeat bloom throughout the season. The height is 10-15' and the ARS garden rating is 8.9.



'Sombreuil' is a large flowered climber with white, very double, cup shaped blooms 3.5” across with 60 petals that form a flat old fashion rosette form and is early to bloom. She repeats all season. She has a delicious tea scent and grows 6-12’ upright, is disease resistant, and also will tolerate shade. Of unknown origin (circa1880), she was introduced in US by Melvin E. Wyant in 1959. The ARS garden rating is 8.7. She was named after Mlle. de Sombreuil, a heroine in the French Revolution.

These are some oldies but goodies, all of which have been in our MAGC Garden since its inception in 2004. They have been growing in my garden also and have brought all of us much pleasure. Their high ratings are justly deserved.

Photos of 'Iceberg' and 'Sally Holmes' are by Joan Goff. Photo of 'Sombreuil' is by Betty Mott

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