Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

'Downton' Inspiring New Hybrids

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

'Downton' Inspiring New Hybrids

Article excerpt

Keep a stiff upper lip, "Downton Abbey" fans.

I know the sixth and final season of the beloved British drama series said goodbye in March. But even though the show is done, "Downton Abbey" can live on in rose gardens and backyard landscapes throughout the country.

That's because Weeks Roses has introduced a new rose variety called "Pretty Lady Rose."

Inspired by the Lady Rose MacClare character on the show (played by Lily James), "Pretty Lady Rose" shares many attributes with the show's namesake, such as elegance and strength.

The deep-pink flowers on this hybrid tea bush are large (4 to 5 inches in diameter), with ruffled petals. The blooms have a sweetly scented fragrance with hints of peonies and spices, similar to the perfume a noblewoman from the period might have worn.

"Pretty Lady Rose" was hybridized by Christian Bedard, research director for Weeks Roses. He says the new variety is a fitting tribute to the popular British television drama.

"When selecting varieties for our collection, we looked for outstanding roses that reflected the strength and personality of the characters in the show," Bedard said in a statement.

" 'Pretty Lady Rose' has old-fashioned pink blossoms. We are confident that this variety will be an enduring part of beautiful gardens for many, many years."

The plant, which sells for $24.95, is dressed with medium-green glossy foliage.

The first rose introduced by Weeks Roses to honor "Downton Abbey" became available at garden centers last spring.

"Anna's Promise," named for Anna Bates (played by Joanne Froggatt), the lady's maid who is one of the key figures of the "downstairs" part of the drama, is a grandiflora with golden petals and a pink blush.

Even though the series has ended, there is talk of a full-length feature film in the works. So the officially licensed "Downton Abbey" Garden Rose Collection will continue.

Weeks Roses plans to introduce two new show-inspired varieties in 2017.

"Violet's Pride" is named for the Dowager Countess Violet Crawley (as portrayed by Maggie Smith). This variety will be a spice- scented lavender floribunda with a magenta heart that makes a dramatic statement in the garden.

The fourth and final variety in the series is "Edith's Darling," an English-style shrub rose that will boast pale yellow blossoms. "Edith's Darling" is named for Lady Edith's daughter, Marigold.

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Get out your appointment books and head to the cash machine.

May 8 is Mother's Day, and next Saturday is the mother-of-all- plant-sales day. The weekend schedule:

* Demarest Garden Club: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and next Saturday at United Methodist Church, 109 Hardenburgh Ave., Demarest. Information: demarest

* Rutgers Gardens Spring Flower Fair: 10 a. …

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