Rosa 'James Mason' - A Modern GallicaThursday, June 02, 2016
|Rosa 'James Mason' June 2 2016|
Actor James Mason died of a heart attack 27 July, 1984. His ashes were stored in a Geneva bank until 25 November 2000 when they were interred close to the grave of his close friend Charlie Chaplin. The reason was an extended lawsuit by family members. His son Morgan said the following in an interview for The Telegraph:
He would have been horrified by all this. He would have been horrified to be in a bank vault for all those years. He would have been happier sprinkled on a rose garden.
This is interesting for me as it may be the only information around that tells me that James Mason may have been a rosarian (a gardener into roses).
English rose breeder and expert on roses, Peter Beales (died in January, 2013) hybridized a rose called Rosa ‘James Mason’ in 1982. What is notable is that this beautiful rose, doing splendidly in our Kitsilano garden, is a modern Gallica. This is like saying Ford has come out with a brand new (exactly like the original one) Model –T.
Gallicas, also called Roses of Provins, are ancient roses. One of them Rosa gallica officianalis became the emblem of the Lancastrians. They are extremely fragrant but only bloom once. In this 21st century we want more of everything and with roses we expect them to be remontant (bloom more than once all summer into fall. But Gallicas have one advantage over many modern roses. They are extremely hardy and resistant to extreme cold and heat. Many of the Gallicas in my Athlone garden that could not move, because of space, to our small Kitsilano garden we took to our daughter’s home in Lillooet. It is the hottest spot in Canada in the summer and a cold desert in the winter. Our daughter has reported that the Gallicas are doing just fine and this includes one of my favourites Rosa ‘Cardinal Richelieu’.