Without this perky rose, my second book would never have come to be. ‘Rouletii’ (also known as ‘Pompon de Paris’) inspired an entire rose alphabet, which then became the basis of my book, R is for Rose.
In 1989, I purchased the little guy in a gallon can from Vintage Gardens, at The Celebration of Old Roses. In those days I didn’t research a rose's growth habit. I just assumed it was a mini, since it had such tiny leaves and flowers. I planted the rose against a fence near a gateway to our back garden. When twelve-foot canes erupted, of course I was shocked, but also thrilled, because the canes would form an arch over the entrance.
‘Rouletii’ is one of the first roses to bloom in early spring. One morning, as I admired the swooping canes, fully clothed with blooms all the way to their tips, a thought passed through my mind. Make an R for the word Rose. Hmmmm----------oh----------my mind raced. Yes, I could form an oversized R, photograph it, scan it, and then use it as a decorative cap with typography. My life was all about roses, surely I needed a rosy R.
The rest is history. The letter turned out great, and when I saw its photo it dawned on me that the R was ‘Rouletii’s’ initial! I immediately wanted to make another letter. Thank goodness 'Lady Banks' was also blooming. I made a B. Next came the entire alphabet, but that’s another story. Let’s get on to the arrangements.
I assumed 'Rouletii' was difficult to arrange when it was time to take this picture for my book. The canes are long and quite prickly. This was an awkward attempt, but the vase, not the rose, was the problem.
Working occasionally with Martha Sturdy's resin vases (their breadth is about 5-inches) made me think I should give arranging 'Rouletii' another try. I wanted to see if I could contain both ends of the canes in long arcs. You can see that I added two vases together to maximize cane length. This arrangement was world's easier to put together, and it highlights the unique style of the blooming canes.
Small roses on big shrubs offer both grand and humble possibilities for arranging. This is one of my Mother's demitasse cups. If you wanted to give something like this as a gift, it would be good to tie the stems together.
Smaller yet, but how cheery!
Finally, 'Rouletii' inspired the artist.