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'Gloire de Dijon' X 'Abraham Darby'. Bred by Paul Barden, 2000.

A 'Gloire de Dijon' seedlingA few years ago I was determined to do some work hybridizing with 'Gloire de Dijon', the famous Tea/Noisette climber from 1853. Because of its spectacular beauty, many rose breeders of that time period sought to create more Teas in its style, and many did indeed succeed. Very few of these offspring were as beautiful or as popular as their glorious parent, but a handful are quite wonderful. (To name a few: Madame Bérard, Phyllis Bide, Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, Elie Beauvilain, Souvenir de Mme. Léonie Viennot, and Baronne Henriette de Snoy)

I decided that I wanted to make a stab it producing new roses from 'Gloire de Dijon', and so I crossed it with one of the more successful modern breeding studs, 'Abraham Darby'. About half of the pollinations took, but the following spring, the germination rate was disappointingly low. Still, I ended up with about a half dozen seedlings that appeared worth keeping. To date, this is the only one that has showed any vigor at all. I suspect that it needs to be grafted onto a vigorous rootstock to thrive, and so that is indeed what I am doing. A couple more years will tell whether or not it has any real value.

Keep in mind that this photo shows you some of the finest blooms it has produced all season. If you could see all the blooms that balled or dropped without opening at all, you would understand why I give this seedling only a lukewarm reception. The plant is about 2 X 2 feet, and always has a few blooms on it. I expect the plant may get large more quickly if I kept it disbudded, but I can't seem to remind myself to do it!

Individual blooms are about 3" across; not large for its type. They are always cupped, and crammed full of crumpled petals just like its Tea parent. There is also a lovely fresh fruity-Tea fragrance. I will report more on its progress once I get some budded copies going strong.

ARS merit rating: none given
Personal merit rating: undecided
Hardiness: Likely USDA zones 8 to 10, zone 7 in a protected location.
Shrub size: 3 feet tall X 3 feet wide, possibly more, depending on climate
Fragrance: 4.0, strong fruity Tea scent

Bon Silène Homere
Devoniensis Lady Hillingdon
Fortune's Double Yellow Mons. Tillier
Gloire de Dijon (Rise 'N' Shine X Gloire de Dijon) #1
Gloire de Dijon X Abraham Darby Sombreuil

Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 2005, All Rights Reserved.