Mr. Jefferson’s Roses

For anyone who loves flowers, roses, orchards and a great vegetable garden, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, VA is a destination to put on your To-Do list. The house itself is brimming with history, which you can almost feel as you enter the great hall where guests waited for their audience with Thomas Jefferson.


The main hall at Monticello

Today, the estate is thriving as a historical landmark, and the gardens having been painstakingly brought back to life by the Garden Club of Virginia after they almost completely disappeared following Jefferson’s death in 1826. Fortunately, Jefferson was a man of letters, and kept copious notes on his gardens and the proposed winding walkways. Between the sketches and the depressions that were found in the yards, the Garden Club worked tirelessly to bring the grounds back to what they must have looked like when Jefferson resided there. Letters and documents of sale between Jefferson and Bernard McMahon reveal the extent of Jefferson’s interest in horticulture. Not only were seeds sent from McMahon’s nursery in Philadelphia, but also from Europe each season.Bell-Garden

Every time I visited Monticello, I was drawn to the many varieties of roses that dotted the landscape. My most recent Regency romance evolves around one of Mr. Jefferson’s landscapers who travels to England to buy some of the many roses needed for the grounds. Between the outer double border parallel to the fence, the inner border next to the boxwoods and the northwest corner of the nursery, there were nearly 100 varieties of roses planted. I used the list of roses in the various beds at Monticello as a sort of laundry list that my hero ordered and arranged from the entirely fictional Mulberry Hill nursery in England.516f66a15cade2c7236f95c90c8b5b4e

Today, most of the roses that are planted on Monticello property come from the Tufton farm, one of Jefferson’s outlying farms that adjoins the Monticello plantation. The Leonie Bell Garden was made possible by a grant from Louis Bell in memory of his wife. During her lifetime Mrs. Bell spent years researching roses, giving lectures and writing articles on her preferred topic. Her book, The Fragrant Year, 1967, 51BsQarWJ7L._SX299_BO1,204,203,200_

which she also illustrated, is considered a landmark work. The planting list at the Garden today contains over 100 species of roses, dating from the 1500s. The garden tells the story of rose breeding and cultivation.rose_harisonii

Most early roses in America were imported from Europe and, although beautiful and sweet-smelling, had a limited amount of bloom time in the spring. It was not until the late 1700s that China roses were discovered by both sides of the Atlantic. These Chinese roses were not as pungent as their European counterparts, but they bloomed multiple times during a season. One of the early Chinese varieties is called Old Blush, a hardy pink rose. Today, many hybrids between the European and Chinese roses exist, and, if one plants in a judicious fashion, blooms can be found in any garden from spring to the start of winter.

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Léonie Bell Rose Garden Planting List




BED I Intro Date Type History Description
Aimée Vibert 1828 Noisette Sport of Vibert’s 1828 introduction white
Aimée Vibert Scandens 1841 Noisette climbing sport of Aimee Vibert. Curtis, intro. white
Archduke Charles pre 1840 China Laffay, breeder. rose pink w/ cherry edge, dble
Buff Beauty 1939 Hybrid Musk Bentall, breeder. Apricot-buff, dble, Climber
Camellia Rose c. 1830 Noisette Prevost, breeder. rose pink tinted lilac
Cécile Brünner 1880s Polyantha cross w/ Mme. De Tartas; aka ‘Rita Sammons’ pale pink form
Cécile Brünner, Deep Rose 1941 Polyantha Howard Rose Co, intro. sport of CB with deep rose base
Cécile Brünner, White 1909 Polyantha Fraque, breeder. original sweetheart rose. creamy white w/ lemon base
Elizabeth Navorro n/a Polyantha? (source R. Moore via D. Seidel) tiny pink
Faded Pink Monthly n/a Noisette pre-Civil War rose found by Mrs. Keays
“Hollywood Pink Cluster” n/a Noisette found in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, VA pale pink form
Mary Washington n/a Noisette old form, grown at Mt. Vernon 100+ yrs off white touched w/ pink
Miss Lowe’s Crimson China pre 1887 China close to wild form crimson
Narrow Waters 1883 Musk sport of Nastarana blush pink
Nastarana 1879 Musk Middle Eastern cv. introduced from Iran white
Oakington Ruby 1933 China discovered by C. R. Bloom (U.K.) crimson w/ white cntr. miniature
Old Blush 1752 China male Noisette parent, c. 1000 AD in China rose red, semi-double, shrub
Old Blush, CL n/a China climbing form of Old Blush
Old Gay Hill Red found China near Affleck nursery, O. G. Hill, TX (Welch) deep red semi double
Prudence Roeser 1840 Hyb. Perpetual Roeser, breeder (France) pink blend
Rosa roulettii 1800 China miniature, Canton; re-discovered, Switzerland deep red semi double
Seven Sisters 1817 Rambler early multiflora hybrid rose pink, variable, fully double
Single Moss Rose n/a Centifolia very rare, single for of 18th c centifolia rose pink
Single Pink China ancient China likely the wild type from China rose pink
“WalMart Noisette” n/a Noisette found outside Walmart in Florida medium pink, double
Alister Stella Gray 1894 Tea-Noisette Alexander Hill Gray breeder pale yellow w/ orange centers
Aunt Louisa n/a Noisette fr. Pres. Garfield’s Aunt Louisa’s garden pale pink, double
Bremo Musk n/a Musk found at Bremo Recess; documented ca 1815 dble & semi-dble white
Caroline Marniesse 1848 Noisette Roeser, breeder. white, double
Cramoisi Supérieur 1832 China aka Agrippina; South TX rich crimson, dble, cupped
Crepuscule 1904 Tea-Noisette Dubreuil, breeder golden orange, fading to apricot
Ducher 1869 China Ducher intro. pure white, cupped, semi-dble
Duchesse de Brabant 1857 Bourbon-Tea favorite boutonniere of Teddy Roosevelt pink, fully double
Elizabeth Navarro 2001 Polyantha Robt. B Martin Jr, breeder (U.S.) light pink
Fabvier 1832 China Laffay, breeder cherry rose-red paling to pink
“Gore Noisette” n/a Noisette Edgehill Cemetery in Charles Town, WV
Marie Pavié 1888 Noisette seedling of older Noisette; Algatiere, breeder pale pink to white; semi-dble
Mrs. Wood’s Lavender n/a Noisette
“Mt. Vernon Purple” n/a Noisette syn. Mrs. Wood’s Lavender-Pink cerise, dble
Musk Rose, Single ca. 1540 Musk original species-Eur. – Middle East pure white, single flower
Old Gay Hill Red n/a China Found in Old Gay Hill, TX cherry red, lemon heart, semi-db
“Placerville White Noisette” n/a Noisette found in Placerville Union Cemetery, very double white
“Prestwould Yellow” n/a n/a found at Prestwould Plantation creamy yellow, dble
Princesse de Nassau pre 1835 Musk-Noisette Laffay, breeder soft pink-cream, dble, cupped
Rêve d’Or 1869 Tea-Noisette Ducher intro. golden yellow, shaded apricot
Rose Edouard 1821 Bourbon Perichon/Neumann, breeders. Origin-India bright rose pink
“Washington Noisette” ca. late 1800s Noisette Charles Town, WV churchyard, Ella M & Louis Wm. Washington
Zéphirine Drouhin 1868 Bourbon Bizot, breeder. bright pink-cerise, dble
Archduke Charles pre 1840 China Laffay, breeder. rose pink w/ cherry edge, dble
Bouquet Tout Fait pre 1836 Noisette Laffay, breeder.
“Cato’s Pink Cluster” n/a Noisette From Carl Cato’s collection pink clusters
Cécile Brünner, CL 1894 Polyantha Hosp, breeder. Original sweetheart rose blush pink climber
Comtesse du Cayla 1902 China Guillot, breeder. Mutabilis form apricot-buff; lt crimson
“Cross Manor Noisette” n/a Noisette Kopel home in Calvert Co. MD.
Fellenberg 1835 China Noisette Tea/China/Noisette hybrid bright crimson-magenta, dble
“Fisher Noisette” n/a Noisette Thornrose Cemetery, Staunton, VA (syn. Bouquet Tout Fait)
Jaune Desprez 1830 Tea-Noisette Desprez/Sisley breeders. apricot-buff pompons w/ eye
Jean Bach Sisley 1898 China-Tea Francis Dubreuil (Fr.) China/Bengale silvery pink, glossy foliage
Le Vésuve 1825 China hybrid Laffay, breeder. X bourbon, Tea. lilac pink shades
Léonie Lamesch 1899 Polyantha hybrid Noisette x polyantha. Lambert, breeder. dark salmon pink; double
“Lingo Musk” N/A Noisette found. blush pink w/ rose edges
Louise Philippe 1834 China Guerin, breeder. crimson, dble
“Maggie Kyle” found Noisette aka ‘Bouquet Tout Fait’
Mme. Laurette Messimy 1887 China-Tea Guillot, breeder (France) salmon pink; semi-double
Napoleon Noisette
“Natchitoches Noisette” early 1800s Noisette found in Natchitoches, LA cemetery by Welch pink blend, semi-dble, cupped
Perle des Jardins 1874 Tea Levet, France double yellow
Perle d’Or 1884 Tea Polyantha similar to Cecile Brunner; Rambaux bred 1875 golden pink buds to yellow
Pink Joy 1953 Noisette (source: Ralph Moore, CA via D. Seidel) Miniature, pink
“Redouté Red” n/a China study name for rose still found in Charleston, SC
Rubens 1859 Tea M. Robert (France) white blend, pink shading
“Ruth’s Tiny Polyantha” n/a Polyantha found by Ruth Knopf
“Ruth’s Wavy Leaf Noisette” n/a Noisette Ruth Knopf, found, Charleston, SC pale pink
Slater’s Crimson China 1792 China (stud) R. indica semperflorens; to England by Slater dble deep red, low growing
Spice n/a Tea China possibly intro to Eur. In early 1700s satiny cream & pink, dble
“Temple Musk” n/a Musk found, Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, VA fully double white
“Tufton Musk Seedling” found Musk single musk x ‘Rambling Rector’ Multiflora rambler
White Pet 1879 Polyantha discovered by Peter Henderson (U.S.) white blend
Belle Vichyssoise 1858/1895 Noisette Bred by Moreau–‘Cornelie’; intro by Lévêque lt. pink clusters, dble
Blush Noisette 1814 Noisette Philippe Noisette seedling from Champneys’ light pink, fully double
Bouganville 1822 Noisette Vibert, breeder. rose pink, quilled petals
Céline Forestier 1842 Tea-Noisette Trouillard, breeder clear yellow w/ apricot, dble
Champneys’ Pink Cluster 1802-1811 Noisette First Noisette; John Champneys, Charleston, SC light pink, clusters
Clotilde Soupert, CL 1902 sport Polyantha similar to Bourbon roses white w/ pale pink center, dble
Common Pink China 1804 China first ‘Old Blush’ seedling sold in Paris
Cramoisi Supérieur 1832 China aka Agrippina; South TX rich crimson, dble, cupped
Creole Mme. Desprez n/a Noisette found
Fellenberg 1835 China Noisette Tea/China/Noisette hybrid bright crimson-magenta, dble
Fewell’s Noisette n/a Noisette found. blush pink; reddish canes
Gilbert Nabonnand 1888 Tea Nabonnand, breeder (France) large buff pink fls.
Green Rose pre-1845 China R. chinensis ‘Viridiflora’- may date mid 1700s “petals” are green sepals
Hermosa 1840 China Marchesseau, France. Fully double, rose pink
“Hollywood Pink Cluster” n/a Noisette found in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, VA pale pink
La Biche 1832 Tea Noisette M. Robert (France) syn. Mme de Sombreuil white, salmon-pink shading
Le Pactole 1841 Tea Meilleze, breeder light yellow
Marie Daly modern Polyantha selected sport of Marie Pavié medium pink, thornless
Mme. Alfred Carriére 1879 Noisette Schwartz, France fully double, white
Rival de Paestum 1841 Tea China Beluze, breeder creamy white; mahogany foliage
“Ruth’s Pink Musk” n/a Musk found by Ruth Knopf, Chaleston, SC
“St. Leonard’s Noisette” n/a Noisette sold as ‘Jean D’Arc’; Keays find in Calvert Co. MD
Wilmott’s Crimson China 1792 China aka White Pearl in Red Dragon’s Mouth bright red, dble, miniature