The roses just started blooming in my garden over the last week, but while waiting for my favorite spring show, I’ve been watching the buds, which are sometimes as interesting as the flowers.
Crested Moss, or Chapeau de Napoleon (Napoleon’s Hat) is a sweet-smelling bright pink centifolia type rose named for its elaborate buds.
Experts disagree over whether Crested Moss is a true moss rose, an old rose class distinguished by the soft, “mossy,” pine-scented growth around their buds. Mme. Louis Leveque is definitely a moss. These fat buds open slowly to reveal pretty pink flowers.
To me, some non-moss roses have a more “piney” scent in the tiny, soft, sticky prickles around their buds. Botzaris is classified as a Damask, but it has lovely buds that release a strong pine scent when you handle them. It is often the first rose to bloom in my garden, and, along with its strong, old rose scent, that makes it one of my favorites.
Another rose with beautiful, pine-scented buds is alba foliacea. There may be more than one version of this rose is commerce, but I got mine from Vintage Gardens before they closed their doors. Its name comes from its leafy buds.
Finally, I think the rose in my garden with the wildest buds is Vick’s Caprice. It’s a nice rose with subtle pink striping and a decent scent–unfortunately not terribly cold hardy–but these buds are something else.