Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Year With a Rose: 'Old Korbel Gold'

I got my 'Old Korbel Gold', a found Hybrid Tea, from Vintage Gardens almost exactly a year ago. I bought it because of my current interest in older Hybrid Teas, because the color was supposed to be complex and because Vintage describes it as "intensely fragrant". It seems to be one of their more popular Hybrid Teas (always a sign of a good rose) and they seem to sell out of it pretty quickly.

It has been with me for one flowering season, and has proved to be one of my most changeable roses. It produced its first blooms in early summer, and they were orange-yellow in color with a bit of red to them. The fully open bloom was interesting with lots of scrolled petals, almost like a cactus dahlia.

The blooms were very fragrant, with a spicy tea fragrance. I was very excited. The little rose turned out to be a very willing bloomer, and gave me another small flush in August. To my surprise, the blooms were pure yellow in color, without any red and hardly any orange in them at all. As often happens in the heat of summer, they had fewer petals. Unfortunately, I lost their picture due to a computer crash (I am not very good at back ups).

The next flush came in the fall, and the blooms looked different again (fortunately I do have pictures, too, this time).

The vibrant orange-yellow color was completely gone, replaced with a gentle apricot with a flush of pinky-red. The buds were very colorful too, with much more red to them. The shape of the fully opened blooms was also different, but equally beautiful, with petals not as tightly scrolled as they were in spring. The fragrance was still strong to my nose.

While it was certainly fun to watch this rose through the year, I was puzzled as to where I should put it in the garden. The range of colors it gave me was so wide I had trouble choosing a spot where it will not clash with the surrounding plants. I finally found a spot for it late this fall (more lawn was dug up in the front yard) and I am looking forward with much excitement to see what it will do this year. Roses grown from cuttings can be unpredictable in their first year, sometimes lacking strength to develop the same quality of blooms seen on mature plants, so I know mine might produce more consistent blooms in the coming years. Still, what an adventure it was to watch it grow.


  1. Absolutely gorgeous rose, Masha. I'd have been in trouble if Vintage had had it in stock. Probably bs prone here - but beautiful.

  2. Thank you, Sherry, and you are right, not only a HT but a yellow one will probably be a bs magnet:-(.


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