Rose of the Month #14
By Gaird Hamilton
This month, as the 14th in our “Rose of the Month” series, I am going to write on the rose which probably would have been my number one rose of the month except that I was avoiding difficult to obtain roses. I felt that the series would give people good ideas for proven roses which would be good to buy. Now I am forced to include a very hard to obtain rose because Pat and I won “Queen of the Show”with it, plus Stages of Bloom, Three Yellow or yellow Blend HT’s, Best Yellow, and it was in the arrangement that won the Kathy Leonardi Trophy for Pat. That rose is called “Solitaire”
The rose show results alone would make it a winner, but it is also wonderful in the garden where it grows vigorously on it’s own roots, with the cleanest green glossy healthy foliage on any of our plants. In a friend’s garden, who was having trouble with all of his roses having lots of powdery mildew because he had been ill and unable to spray, Solitaire stood totally unmarked while surrounded by diseased roses. I’m not going to say that it is totally disease free, but it is as close as you can probably come with a hybrid tea of this quality.
Now to the bad part. While this rose is readily available in Europe, according to the Combined Rose List, it is not available in North America. I got it some years ago from Pickering in Canada before they quit selling it. It was hybridized by MacGredy and has yellow flowers tinted pink with reverse yellow. It has 25 petals and a slight fragrance. It won RNRS PIT in 1985. Since I have been unable to buy any more “Solitaire”, I have made a number of cuttings and we have eight bushes growing in our gardens, plus a few more started. I can heartily recommend this rose to anyone who lives in our cool coastal climate. I only hope that some reputable company starts selling “Solitaire” in this country. In the meantime three of the Judges at our rose show requested that I bring cuttings of “Solitaire” for them to next year’s rose show.