It has taken years, nay decades, to get a name on this pretty old rose but finally a visiting rosarian sorted it out for us. Mme Plantier is in the oldie but goodie class. It is currently smothered in fragrant white flowers, like soft pompoms measuring about 7cm across. The buds (and there are many more to open) are soft pink but that colour disappears entirely as the flower matures. Add in two more highly desirable characteristics. Basically it is thorn and prickle-free and it is so healthy that it keeps good foliage right through to autumn without ever having seen even the faintest hint of spray.
What is not to like? It is only once flowering and these days the majority of the buying public demand that roses repeat flower. We accept that a rhododendron may only flower for 3 weeks but woe betide any rose that fails to throw up blooms for 6 months. We must get close to 6 weeks from Mme Plantier and her all round performance is so good that we are happy to live with that.
The doyen of English roses, David Austin, has Mme Plantier on his recommended list and notes that it is a cross between an Alba and a Noisette. This may mean more to readers who are better versed in rose species and classifications than I am. All I can say is that it is a top garden variety in our experience.
First published in the Waikato Times and reprinted here with their permission.