In 1867, a French rose-breeder named Jean-Baptiste Guillot produced a pink hybrid tea rose that launched the era of the modern rose.
Rosarians have never looked back. Or have they?
Old rose varieties that predate Guillot, or made from parent roses that do, have become wildly popular again in recent years.
Most only bloom once, but this deficiency is offset by their charming forms, soft colors, vigorous growth and, above all else perhaps, their scent.
They also tend to be more resistant to diseases and pests.
Rosarian Clair G. Martin notes in a new handbook on old roses that these antiques, once forgotten and almost impossible to find, now are commonly offered by rose catalogs.
''Never in our lifetime have there been as many Old Roses available to the public as there are right now,'' he writes in ''100 Old Roses for the American Garden'' (Workman Publishing, $17.95).
For rose lovers, it's hard to pick favorites -- each variety is lovingly presented and profiled. If only they had added scratch-and-sniff. ...
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.