Rosa 'Betty White' aka Rosa 'André le Nôtre ®'

Rosa 'Betty White':
Rosa 'André le Nôtre'
The chasm between American and French culture is made clear by two of the names for this beautiful Meilland rose. In France, it is named for André le Nôtre, the 17th century genius who created the gardens at Versailles. In America, it is named for a television actress.

Not just any television actress, of course. Few have had such an enduring career, and in addition, Betty White is a devoted advocate for pets, which I admire. But you must admit, there is a difference.

I call it 'André le Nôtre' in my severe moments, and  'Betty White' when I'm annoyed at the French. I've also been quite annoyed with this rose. It is a big, vigorous, robust plant, with canes like broomsticks.  Classic Meilland--they seem to value strong straight stems above all else.  The flowers are pale pink with a center tending to apricot, fading to an all over pale pink.  My plant will get at least as tall as the eaves of the house unless I hard-deadhead it, taking off 3 feet (1 M) after every round of flowers.  I admit that rust resistance is only average, though mildew is non-existent, and if you are within a very few miles of the ocean, or in a rainy climate, the large full flowers may struggle to open.  But flowering is excellent and regular, cutting stems long, straight, strong.   Fragrance is powerful and complex:  old rose, damask, spice. What's not to adore?  

The Thrips. These flowers display Thrips damage worse than any other rose in my garden.  I would photograph this beauty a lot more than I do, if only I could grow an undamaged flower.  Most always the petals are edged a dirty brown, the mark of Thrips.  Other roses, including just about all Austins, for some reason never show damage.  'Evelyn', for all her diva behavior, teems with Thrips, and you'd never know it 99% of the time.

Immaculate 'Evelyn', secretly teeming:
Rosa 'Evelyn'
In contrast, André gets hammered.  Ruined.  Since I don't use insecticides, there's not much I can do except dig the thing out or ignore it.  Ignore has been the strategy so far, yielding little satisfaction and no photographs.

However, the Thrips were stunned by our recent blast of hot weather, and because the blast was rapidly followed by a cool off, all of a sudden André produced some nearly undamaged flowers.  Not perfectly clean, because Thrips never sleep, but lovely.  Click click click, as fast as I could. 

Rosa 'André le Nôtre'

Rosa 'André le Nôtre'

I've also made a little progress on 'Yves Piaget'.  I want so much to capture the particular beauty of this rose, which is in the scallop-edged petals and the fluffy, tumbled opulence of the petal arrangement.  Still not quite there yet, but inching closer.  A few minutes after these pictures, the light changed and the petal edges whited out completely, ruining the image.  Almost just in time, here:

Rosa 'Yves Piaget':
Rosa 'Yves Piaget'

The scalloped curves and the abundant jumble of petals:
Rosa 'Yves Piaget'


  1. Is there anywhere Betty White isn't nowadays?

  2. these photographs are amazing! i can practically smell them!

  3. I wonder, did you have to lay on the ground and point the camera up to get that nice shot of Evelyn :-) ?
    You're making progress with Yves !

  4. She's 88 years old! Would that we could all be so active and thoroughly alive at that age! :)

    Thanks Lara!

    ks, my 'Evelyn' is 7' tall. Still laboring over Yves. It will happen, if not soon, then when I can afford a new camera!

  5. Hi Salemhill, yes I do grow 'Gloire de Dijon'--badly. I got it from someone who had had no success with it in a large pot. It has struggled along here.

    It was grafted on multiflora, which takes a long time to get established here. I'm nursing it along, hoping for the best because of the great beauty of the flowers. There's a picture of two flowers on the July 20 post if you are interested.


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