Queen Elizabeth, bred by Walter lammerts, 1954.
I have to say that I never thought that I would ever own this rose, let alone sing its praise! Queen Elizabeth came to me by default as it was growing on this farm when I came here. I didn't recognize it at first, as I had no previous experience with it, but as I saw it growing about town, I found out that this was indeed Queen Elizabeth that I had growing beside the bridge at the corner of my garden. (Affectionately known as "lizzie-by-the-bridge"!)
This plant must have been placed here in its current location back in the heyday of its origin, which is to say, likely in the 50's or so. Some of the original wood is nearly as big around as my wrist, and the plant stands 8 feet tall now. It has suffered from endless years of neglect, but I have since taken two cuttings that are now thriving youngsters in 5 gallon pots in the greenhouse. The photos here are of one of those two smaller plants.
I have come to appreciate this rose for its glowing health, and its simple, but wonderful blooms, in spite of the fact that there is little scent to them. (only when the bloom first opens is there any scent, and it is fleeting, but very nice) As you can see here, the color of the flower is a rich, warm pink that eventually fades to a pale pink, and the form is quite open and flat when fully open. I would not always have appreciated this form, but now I find it to be quite attractive. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life, yes? The plant is very vigorous, resists disease to a reasonable degree, and blooms its head off. It's hard not to like a shrub like that, and so I have found a place in my heart for this "ordinary" rose.
Having spoken with Ralph Moore of California about breeding stock, I have decided to include Queen Elizabeth in my breeding plans, and have begun experimenting with it widely. Mr. Moore feels that this rose has much more to offer than breeding efforts to date has yet revealed, and so I will cross it with Austin's, Teas, Bourbons, and others to see what results I can conjure. This year I have bred it with roses like 'Souvenir de la Malmaison', 'Eugène de Beauharnais', and 'Lyda Rose'.
Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 1996-2006