This stunner is Rosa gallica “Versicolor” often known as Rosa mundi. It is sometimes referred to as Fair Rosamund’s Rose named after Rosamund Clifford, a mistress of Henry II in the 12th century. She was famed for her beauty but was eventually banished to a nunnery for her indiscretions. It usually catches up with you in the end. Like many of the old roses this beauty only blooms once, in early summer, and has clusters of semi-double pink, white and crimson splashed flowers very variable their design. As any rose worth its salt should be, it is also highly fragrant. It is thought to be a natural sport, or mutation, of the Apothecary’s Rose, Rosa gallica, thought to be the oldest group of garden roses with their prickly stems and compact habit. This dense growth allows it to make a very good hedge, one that is both beautiful and painful to intruders at the same time.
The location of this rose is on a strictly need to know basis. Someone out there has been informing the enemy where our roses are so we are high security alert. After all the Village Show is next week!