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Little Mermaid

Little Mermaid
Rose of the Month For October 2006
by Barbara Picarelli

I have a large hill behind my house and a fairly steep one at that. Having planted most of it in terraced areas, I still had a bare spot that needed something to help cover the clay. My ah-ha moment was carpet roses.

While these roses use the generic term of carpet roses, they actually encompass a wide variety of ground cover roses. They grow in a trailing manner covering large expanses of area. While they can and often do trail and cover the ground they can also be fairly tall too. My roses cover a ten foot length but stand about four feet high.

Probably the most well known of these is ‘The Fairy’, a small flowered plant, with blooms of pink clusters in very dainty sprays all over the canes. The foliage is glossy, and disease resistant. A very hardy rose, it does not lose its leaves in winter, has a spreading growth and covers a fairly large area quickly, sending out arching canes (or at least on my hill it did). This is an old timer, a polyantha, from 1932, and has parentage of Paul Crampel and Lady Gay. While I used it as a ground cover in the climbing form, it can also be used as a hedge in the bush form.

Another one I have used is ‘Nozomi’; this one is a white miniature climber, hybridized by Onodera in 1968. Again it has long canes that cascade, with tiny white blooms, however it does NOT rebloom once its spring profusion is over. ‘Rouletti’ is a miniature climber hybridized by Correvon in 1818 with the same characteristics of the others, with cherry pink flowers.

And lastly for this article is ‘Little Mermaid’, a lovely small flowered miniature climber with yellow blooms. It has a different type growth, more bushy than long arching canes, and its blooms have a light scent. This plant is a sport of 'Mermaid' and was introduced by Ralph Moore in 1995.

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