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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Peter Beales Roses: New at Hampton Court ‘09

Posted by Graham Rice on 13 Jul 2009 at 08:31 AM

Rose 'Desmond Tutu' - New at the 2009 Hampton Court Palace Flower Show . Image: RHS  Peter Beales Roses is a rose nursery best known for its invaluable collection of old roses and for following in the footsteps of Graham Stuart Thomas in bringing information on old roses to a wider public.

But Peter Beales Roses also breed and introduce new roses and after some fine new introductions at Chelsea two more were introduced at the recent Hampton Court Palace Flower Show which came to a close yesterday. Both are connected to Archbishop Desmond Tutu who visited the show on Saturday to launch them..

‘Desmond Tutu' (above, click to  enlarge) is a shrub rose of modest height (1.2m/4ft high by 90cm/3ft) with classic, slender, pointed Hybrid Tea style buds which open to magenta red flowers, with white streaks on the backs. It was noticeable how little the colour faded once the flowers opened. The flowers, carried in generous clusters, mature into a rather rounded ball-like shape but, unfortunately, I detected very little scent. The Peter Beales catalogue describes it as "discreet"!

Rose 'Leah Tutu' - New at the 2009 Hampton Court Palace Flower Show . Image: RHSPersonally, I liked ‘Leah Tutu' (named for Desmond Tutu's wife) a lot better. Pale golden buds set against bright green foliage open to flat, multi-petaled flowers in pale gold shading to old brassy gold within when the flowers are at their peak. Again, the fragrance is less than stupendous but in this case the flowers are exquisite so perhaps the lack of fragrance can be overlooked.

For three years, 10% of the combined value of sales of both these varieties will be donated to the Tutu Foundation UK which works to foster tolerance and understanding between people of different backgrounds.

Plants of both varieties will soon be available by mail order from Peter Beales Roses.


* I just have two more plants to write up - I'm still waiting for some information about them, but I'll bring you news of a new Astrantia and a new Campanula as soon as I can. Then I'll post a list of all the new plants I cam across at the 2009 Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

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