It was quite a revelation when I discovered that some roses only have five petals per bloom. Having had the image of a red hybrid tea imprinted on my mind from childhood to be what qualified as a rose, I don’t think it ever occurred to me that a simplified version existed, which most likely lead to my initial reaction of, what’s the point of a rose that doesn’t look like a rose?
But my perception quickly changed, partly due to the lovely photos in Peter Beales’ book Passion for Roses, and also that I had read somewhere that single roses did better in part-shade conditions. Of course, variety is always nice, so when I made my list of “must haves” before making the order from High Country Roses, a couple of singles made it to the list, one of them being Ballerina.
She didn’t disappoint me.
Ballerina is a repeat blooming hybrid musk that I anticipate will keep me in lovely blossoms all through the growing season and should stay a relatively manageable size. If I remember correctly, she had a light scent in the mornings which disappeared by afternoon. Her open, single flowers offer a nice opportunity for pollinators.
The main problem I had with her was caterpillars making Swiss cheese out of her leaves as they did with all of my roses. With all of the rain we’ve had during this summer and fall most of the roses ended up with mildew on at least a couple of leaves, and Ballerina may have as well. Still, I expect her to be an easy going rose that shouldn’t give me much trouble in years to come.