Mystery Rose

Does anyone know what this is?

Today in my garden, one long bending cane bloomed for the first time — single roses with yellow centers — sprouting up next to a couple of “Betty Prior” rose bushes (c. 1935), a carmine-pink floribunda grown on its own root stock, as she has yet to open her buds.

I’m wondering whether the mystery cane sprouted from old root stock of Blaze, a row of which once grew along the back fence.

The red Blaze was not my choice of rose, but it was the only rose available in small-town nurseries when we moved here in the mid-1970s. Introduced in 1932 by Jackson & Perkins, Blaze is a large climber sporting bright red roses with little to no fragrance, as I recall. Soon I introduced other modern hybrids, such as the pink Queen Elizabeth and the white Lowell Thomas, to my new garden with varying success.

During one exceedingly cold winter with daytime highs of sub-freezing temperatures as a daytime high for weeks on end, I lost all eleven roses. That’s when I discovered the Old Roses, as advertised in the back pages of garden magazines. I found many of the heirlooms from my childhood. I did the research and learned that the Old Roses fare much better in this climate. I ordered one, then another, until I collected had specimens that have become named favorites, and I’ve not lost one.

So, my friends, who is this newcome, this intruder? Do I bid her stay and make her presence known?


Celebrating just over fifty years of holy matrimony, I am blessed to be a mother of two and grandmother of seven. Much of my writing speaks to the culture and tradition of the Deep South, where I spent the first thirty-five years of my life before relocating to the Pacific Northwest. As a poet and essayist, I’ve published both online and in print media. I launched this INVITATION TO THE GARDEN blog the summer of 2017 on I look forward to hearing your stories, too!

2 thoughts on “Mystery Rose”

  1. No idea what the newcomer is but that Betty Prior rose looks a lot like my mother’s rose thatI have here in Yakima. We brought cuttings from it with us in 2007 and they took off. Roses seem to really like it here.

    Liked by 1 person

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