Monday, June 1, 2009

Rose of The Week - The Incomparable Cecile Brunner

What a magnificent rose. Cecile Brunner has been around since 1894, and for a few weeks every spring, is an absolute show stopper in MrMartha's garden.

MrMartha's plant is about fifteen years old and has grown into a huge magnificent pillar. Trained originally onto a fence, the bush is now at least three times as high as the original support, and holds shape by intertwining its canes. Most commonly thought of as a climber, some would call this rose a rambler.

Officially categorized as a Polyantha Rose, there are also non climbing and 'improved' versions which will flower repeatedly rather than the one grand show each year. The plant is covered with perfect miniature sized blooms in classic hybrid tea shape. Each bloom starts out a sweet blush pink, and fades to a pinkish white tone with age. Every bloom is perfection in its own right, and a large well grown mature specimen of the plant will be blanketed with literally hundreds, if not over a thousand blooms at its peak.

Read More for some additional details about this amazing rose, and more photos of MrMartha's showpiece in full glorious bloom.

The plant itself is nearly thornless, effectively disease free, will tolerate less than perfect soil, and even some shade. While it takes many years for Cecile Brunner to reach the amazing proportions found in MrMartha's garden, the plant will be well established and a beautiful addition to any garden after two or three years. It would do well planted against any fence, along the side of a house, on a strong structural support like an arbor arch or heavy pillar framework. It also takes well to being trained up into another tree as framework.

This rose is also commonly referred to as the "Sweetheart Rose" and also known as Mignon. The new growth appears as a deep rusty red tone, and the foliage when not in bloom is a leathery medium green that provides wonderful structure and background for other later blooming plants planted in front of it, or in the general vicinity. It is very fragrant, and a large mature plant in bloom will scent the entire garden, and probably most of the neighbors gardens as well with it's distinctive classic rose perfume.

Cecile Brunner was originally hybridized by Jean Claude Pernet, père (October 15, 1832 - March 31, 1896) was a French rosarian known for his cultivation of rose cultivars. He was born to a family of rose growers in Villeurbanne, Rhône, near the city of Lyon. His father, Claude Pernet, established a rose nursery in 1845. Cecile was apparently named after the daughter of another rose breeder.

Some lovely photos of Cecile Brunner used in rose arrangements are HERE.