I must admit I have surprised myself this year, few weeks in and I still haven’t had a Gallica as rose of the week and it’s about time I put that criminal act right so this week I have chosen the beautiful Duchesse de Buccleugh. This lovely once flowering rose delights us with her highly scented flowers for 3-4 weeks of the year from early June to late June. The Gallicas as a whole are one of the oldest cultivated plants in our gardens, thought to be grown since roman times and were the first group of roses to really catch the gardeners and rose breeders eyes. Many of thousands of hybrids have been bred over the centuries, many been lost to the ravages of time but we are left with some beautiful plants, both gallicas and also some many other hybrids have some gallica in their blood.
The Duchesse de Buccleugh breeding is something that is greatly debated in the the rose world some experts think it was bred by one of the worlds leading rose breeder in the 19th century, vibert in 1837 and others including the great Graham Thomas felt was bred by Robert in 1846. Who is right, we may never know, the work of tracing the rose back to the breeder is a hard one, lists lost in both time and the many wars that that raged in France over the centuries. Descriptions in French, no photos just 3-4lines in 170yr old catalogues. I almost feel that the history of who the plant was named after may hold the answer to who bred it, but will leave that up to you to decide
Thankfully there’s lots of information on the Duchesse de Buccleugh, born Lady Charlotte Anne Thynne at the Thynne family seat of Longleat in Wiltshire on 10 April 1811, home to lord Bath and it is still in the family today, On 13 March 1829, she married Walter Montagu-Douglas-Scott, 5th Duke of Buccleuchat St George’s, Hanover Square, London and became Duchess of Buccleuch. In 1841, she became mistress of the robes to Queen Victoria and though that role became good friends with her. Victoria also became god mother to her eldest daughter. The Duchesse was indeed a great gardener and worked hard on the garden at her family home, Drumlanrig Castle, Scotland. She stayed there until her husband sadly pasted away in 1884, after which she moved to Dinton park, slough, England, developing the garden until she sadly passed away in 1895.
This beautiful rose is at home in growing in most soils but unlike a lot of other roses will grow quite happy in tough, thin, poor soil, indeed the gallicas can be found wild in the south of France. They will cope with those tough conditions but look better in richer soils. These tough roses are also pretty disease free for roses and you can get away with spraying them. She is best grown on a rootstock as if they are grown on their own roots, they have a habit of being very friendly and spreading all over the garden. Can be made into a beautiful hedge
The rise can be found growing at Mottisfont Abbey gardens and can be found at the folllowing nurseries Peter Beatles roses, David Austin roses and Trevor white roses