A Rose By Any Other Name

I was double-checking some of the rose names, looking at the David Austin website. Of course I got completely distracted by all the beautiful varieties and ended up reading description after description and admiring all the images. Then I stumbled upon the cultivar Sweet Juliet.
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We just wrapped up the January 2011 issue of Horticulture. I’m so excited about this one! It’s brimming with plants, from new introductions to award-winning “oldies but goodies” to the favorites of garden designers across the country. We also take a visit to an amazing rose garden at a public garden, where all the roses have been donated by the wonderful David Austin Roses.

Sweet Juliet rose

I was double-checking some of the rose names, looking at the David Austin website. Of course I got completely distracted by all the beautiful varieties and ended up reading description after description and admiring all the images. Then I stumbled upon the cultivar Sweet Juliet. Uh-oh. “Attractive, neatly formed and medium-sized rosettes in shades of glowing apricot . . . A delightfully fresh fragrance in the tea rose tradition, developing a cool lemon character as the flower develops.” Yes, that all sounds lovely, but I’m in even bigger trouble, because my baby daughter’s name is Juliet!

A name alone is possibly the worst reason to choose a plant. And I have no confidence at all in my ability to grow a rose bush. I just feel I would fail. Perhaps it would need spraying with chemicals I don’t want to use. Or the winter would kill it or I would prune it wrong. I’m just scared of roses. But then, I used to say the exact same thing about babies, and now I don’t know what I’d do without my sweet Juliet. And like many David Austin selections, this rose is reported to have great disease resistance.

And wouldn’t this rose be a beauty in my new front border, and the perfect commemoration of our first child? I’m a sentimental fool, but I can’t be the only one. Anyone else out there ever plant something because of its name? And were you successful? I’m going to be deliberating over Sweet Juliet all winter!