My Favorite View and the Mystery Rambler

by Peter Winne

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The author’s favorite view at Elizabeth Park (Photo by Mike George)

In a previous post I wrote about my favorite rose at Elizabeth Park. I begin this post by presenting my favorite view at the park, namely a cluster of roses along the southern border of the park’s Heritage Rose Garden. The view is framed at the sides by three ramblers of varying shades of pink, at the bottom by a flowering blue ground cover called Nepeta Dropmore, and at the top by the park’s towering tree line against the Connecticut sky. Forming the view’s centerpiece is an expansive white climbing rose, which produces lavish clusters of fragrant, creamy semi-double blossoms in June. The best time to catch the view is just after the summer solstice when all four ramblers and the Nepeta are in bloom.

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Photo by Mike George

At the outset of writing this post I was convinced that said white rose was a Danish cultivar called Lykkefund. A local expert had labeled the plant as such, which the park’s rosarian confirmed when he compared it with another specimen by the same name. However, as I researched Lykkefund I found something that contradicted our initial identification: Lykkefund is supposed to be nearly thornless (Beales, 1997, p. 247; HelpMeFind), but ours has robust prickles. Other than that key difference, the two plants share similar characteristics: vigorous cane growth, fragrant off-white semi-double blossoms, and rich green, almost bronzy foliage. Lykkefund is a hybrid of the R. helenae species rose (Geografisk Have; HelpMeFind) so perhaps our white rambler also descends from helenae? This conundrum is a good opportunity to open source the plant identification process, so please take a look at the photos and send us your suggestions!

Whatever it’s called, the Lykkefund lookalike (say that ten times fast) is one of the most vigorous ramblers in cultivation at Elizabeth Park—a good candidate for planting at the base of a tree to allow its long, pliable canes to climb upward through the tree’s limbs. At Elizabeth Park we take a less laissez faire approach and train this robust rambler to a fence line in the Heritage Garden—a time-consuming undertaking to be sure, but worth the payoff of seeing its white blossoms expertly woven into its pink neighbors come June.

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White and pink blossoms interwoven on the fence line (photo by Mike George)

 

Enjoy these photos of my favorite view at Elizabeth Park, courtesy of Mike George!

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Sources:

Beales, P. (1997). Classic roses. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company, Inc.

Geografisk Have. Cafe Lykkefun. Retrieved from http://geografiskhave.dk/geografisk-have/cafe-lykkefund/

HelpMeFind. Retrieved from http://www.helpmefind.com/gardening/l.php?l=2.16826

 

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