The obsession that keeps Harald Enders awake at night is this: What if there’s a rose lurking in your garden—or more likely, your grandmother’s garden—that is the last living example of a rare variety?
An example: A rose called ‘Bardou Job’ was found, after having been thought lost for decades, in the abandoned garden of the prison director on Alcatraz island. “I am still waiting for that to happen to me,” says Enders, a rosarian who has spent years trying to save old German roses from being forgotten. Of the 1,800 or so cultivars bred between the end of the 19th century and World War II, many are extinct. More than 300 survivors grow in Enders’ garden an hour’s drive from Hamburg. “I do not have a favorite—or perhaps, I have quite a few,” says Enders, author of Bourbon Roses (available, in German, from Amazon). At Gardenista, we see why it’s difficult to choose
Above: Blooming in Jestädt, Germany. Image by Travel Maria, via Flickr.
Above: The rambler Tausendschon, with blooms that range from bright pink to white. Bred by Hermann Kiese (1865-1923), a nurseryman in a little town called Vieselbach, it now is available seasonally, for $14.95 per plant, from Vintage Gardens. Image by Malcolm Manners, via Flickr.
Above: Rosel Dach, bred in 1906, has small, pink flowers and no fragrance; $45 for a custom root from Vintage Gardens. Image via Garten Pur.
Explore more flora on Gardenista by look at ways to add color to the winter garden.