Alain Blanchard & CompanyFriday, June 23, 2006
Roses are like cats and babies, they don't perform on demand. I had the intention of posting two of my "spotted" Gallica roses. I attempted to scan Rosa 'Alain Blanchard' and Rosa 'Soleil Brilliant' together last night but Alain Blanchard (above, left) decided to close his petals and did not cooperate. So I left Alain Blanchard (Vibert, 1839) for this morning. Even that was difficult as Alain's colour did not scan as I saw the rose and I had to monkey with the colour balance. The lighter shocking pink spots are almost fluorescent. So here you see both roses alone, even though they grow very close to each other in the garden. Soleil Brilliant's spots are less noticeable and perhaps the reason is that it is a young bush in its first season in my garden. Langley rose grower Christine Allen handed Soleil Brilliant to me in this year's VanDusen plant sale. "Alex,you like odd roses. This is an odd rose." I found Alain Blanchard (not the kind of rose you can normally find in nurseries) at the Burnaby Garden Works. Many people believe that my spotted roses are like that because of Vancouver rain but that is not true. I find them fascinating and even more so when Rebecca pronounces their names in her perfect French. Because they are Gallicas they have an intense perfume but only bloom once. More than any other plant in my garden these Gallicas (even the unspoted ones) give you a reason to want to stay alive through the winter to see what they will do next spring.