A Fading William ShakespeareSaturday, July 01, 2006
For two days the subject here has been death and the celebration of life. Today I will celebrate death, the slow fading kind. With some roses, particularly with old gallicas. this fading is most beautiful with the crimson and crimson/red ones. As they age they go purple and sometimes they bleach into metalic gray. Rosa 'William Shakespeare' is an English Rose that was introduced by Shropshire rose man David Austin in 1987. For most, this gallica type (unlike gallicas it repeat blooms) was a poor performer and disease prone. In the year 2000 Austin introduced an improved but odd-named Rosa 'Shakespeare 2000' and took the 1987 version out of the market. In my garden the original William Shakespeare is a terrific survivor and is one of Rebecca's favourites because of its sweet old rose perfume and its startling rich crimson colour. The blooms persist and the petals seem to be almost indestructible. Here is proof that in fading, William Shakespeare is more than Gertrude Stein's, "A rose is a rose is a rose."