A classic tea rose, Duchesse de Brabant was introduced in 1857. Hardy zones 7-11, Duchesse de Brabant bears soft to bright pink fully-doubled roses of classic cupped old rose form. Fragrance is reliably intense, and health is excellent. Duchesse de Brabant has a mounding habit, eventually reaching 4 by 4 feet.
Duchesse de Brabant reblooms throughout the entire growing season. Highly recommended for beginners and experts alike.
According to a letter from his wife and printed in an American Rose Society publication, ‘Duchesse de Brabant’ was Teddy Roosevelt’s favorite rose; he often wore it as a boutonniere. 150 years after its introduction and decades after it graced the lapel of President Roosevelt, this rose is still a winner.
Large, lovely pink flowers bloom continuously on a disease-resistant vase-shaped shrub. The blossoms are distinctly cupped examples of the finest of the old rose ideal. Fragrance is memorable and guaranteed to stimulate even those of limited olfactory capability. Hardiness is better than most teas, and healthy, light-green foliage is slightly wavy.
Old roses in garden design
Modern roses (Floribunda, Grandiflora, Hybrid Tea) of the late twentieth century suffered from lanky habit and generally poor disease resistance. David Austin roses often have great beauty of form, but disease resistance of many of his introductions make them best suited for dedicated rose gardens with conscientious spraying for blackspot. The knockout roses are tremendous roses; the only problem is they are somewhat a victim of their own success…they are everywhere. Why plant something in your own garden (with the possible exception of oakleaf hydrangeas) if you can walk two houses down and see the same plant?
Old roses still provide an answer. There are plenty of varieties with good form, excellent disease resistance, and incredible fragrance. One drawback with the old roses is that many varieties only bloom once per year, at the beginning of the season. As mentioned in the beginning of this article, Duchesse de Brabant blooms reliably all season.