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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.

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!