If you ever come to visit my garden, I hope you come when the roses are in bloom. (Of course - I would freak out if someone actually wanted to come see my weed-filled garden!) Anyway, hypothetically, I hope on your way to my front door you stop for a moment to admire Ebb Tide, and drink in her fragrance. You see, I have Ebb Tide planted as a standard near my front doorway. In case you are new to gardening, a rose standard is just a rose on a stick. Sometimes they are referred to as tree roses.
Why would I choose to purchase Ebb Tide as a standard? First, because it is such a prolific bloomer. What a happy, cheerful rose it is! It is always one of the first roses to bloom in the spring, and blooms repeatedly throughout the summer and fall.
I also liked the fact that it is dark purple. (It is more smoky in cooler temperatures.) I don't grow a lot of purple roses, and thought this color was the perfect compliment to pair with my golden front door. I grow Julia Child on the other side. She is the perfect sunny yellow to match my door. (The rose, not the person, though I bet Julia Child was a sunny person, too.)
The most important quality, though, is Ebb Tide's fabulous fragrance. Because Ebb Tide is on a standard, the blooms are up close where their scent is quite noticeable. Its lovely aroma floats on the air with a wonderful perfume that is very welcoming. I love to linger there, filling my senses with its fragrance.
Oh, there are many reasons Ebb Tide makes the perfect standard to welcome visitors to my front door.
But really, the reason I bought it was because it was on sale! I knew nothing of this rose except it was a standard, it looked pretty on the tag, and did I mention - it was on sale!
But if I had known Ebb Tide before I purchased it, I would have bought it based upon all of the above. Prolific bloomer, sensational scent, beautiful color. Sometimes you just get lucky!
I am also lucky enough to live in a zone where the winters are mild enough I can plant my rose standards in the ground. And I now know what to look for in a standard. I think fragrance is the most important quality, since the rose is lifted to nose height. Since I've been spoiled to Ebb Tide's fabulous perfume, I could never buy another rose standard without an alluring scent.
This rose makes the traditional 'lollipop' standard. Some people prefer a climbing rose grafted to a standard, so that the rose canes hang down, blooming from top to bottom.
My standard was in bad shape when I purchased it (the reason it was on sale), and I have babied it for a few years now. The two words "standard" and "poor" should only go together in the financial world! Of all the things I've done for it, a hard pruning is what it responded to most.
Do you have a rose standard in your garden? Does it have a scent?