Monday, May 10, 2010
These 'Crépuscule' are two of my no-care roses. One is on the horizontal fence in the picture, the other on the fence running up the slope. The sprinklers hit it, but that's all it gets in the way of care. 'Crépuscule' must depend on itself for everything else. No deadheading, no fertilizer. I did trim out some dead wood a couple of years ago, and I tied it onto the fence a little better than it had been, but that's it for care. 'Crépuscule' is classed as a Tea-Noisette, introduced by Francis Dubreuil in 1904. I got my copy 97 years later.
It is a pleasure to prune--or would be, if I bothered to--since it is just about prickle-free. What you see there in the photo has perhaps 5 prickles scattered somewhere about. The canes are not only smooth, but flexible and easy to work with even when several years old. The flower is fragrant, though not powerfully so. The individual flower isn't much--10 or 12 raggedy petals curling and flopping around a golden center, but when you have several hundred all at once, the effect is--not bad. Since it is a Tea-Noisette, it lacks cold hardiness, and it suffers from a slight case of mildew nearly all the time, but again, when you have several hundred flowers on display, who minds?
'Crépuscule', I think, would be a more popular rose today given a different name. It translates from the French as "twilight". When I see the name, however, I think of both "pustule" and "carbuncle", neither of which is particularly appealing. Pronounce it "cray-puh-shool" and you'll be close enough, but think of it as lovely as twilight.