Christopher Marlowe is a great example. I bought this rose this past spring without first seeing its bloom, yet I still placed it in a prominent position in my main rose garden. I wondered if this act might become a tragedy. Oh, the suspense! Thankfully, I am very pleased with the way in which the story is unfolding.
Christopher Marlowe, the rose, was named after Christopher Marlowe, the famous playwright of the Elizabethan era. Although we may never know for sure, there has been a lot of speculation that Christopher Marlowe may have also been a spy! The reason there is speculation is because right before his death, he met with three friends who were known as spies. It was one of these men that stabbed Christopher Marlowe, leading to his death. The stabber received a pardon from Queen Elizabeth for this action, causing some to wonder if this was not in actuality an assassination.
And in another twist, some even speculate Christopher Marlowe wasn't really assassinated. Instead, he needed a new identity, and his death was faked. Because the writing style is similar (and some verses almost copied), some believe that the name Marlowe chose as his new identity was none other than William Shakespeare!
It's almost like the modern day mystery of the Elvis Presley sightings!
No matter the truth about the man, I love the rose. Fragrant, disease resistant, hardy in zones 5 through 9, it grows to around 3 or 4 ft. tall and wide. When I'm out in my garden, I can't seem to take my eyes off this rose. It's definitely noticeable - in a good way!
I think it stands out because of its very unusual color and bloom form. Most descriptions state this rose is red-orange, and it probably is in cooler weather. In my hot summer garden, it's pink, with a splash of magenta, a touch of coral, and fading to lavender. Yet somehow, it still seems to blend well with almost every color of the rainbow (except perhaps a bright red). Its numerous petals open wide and pull back, until the entire bloom is a ball of ruffles.
Need to add a little excitement to your garden (without all the drama)? Consider Christopher Marlowe - a rose that's perfectly named for a man whose life (and death) was full of intrigue.
I like your enthusiasm with your words. A spy mystery indeed. It's a lovely flower and glad it worked out!ReplyDelete
It must have been a big scandal during that time period! I love the rose, although I was quite worried about it when I first got it, because all I had heard was "the bloom color is very different". I guess I like different! :)Delete
That is really interesting about Christopher Marlowe. Strange happenings in the world of spies. Pretty rose.ReplyDelete
I've always loved reading a good spy novel, and it was quite interesting to read about the theories surrounding Christopher Marlowe. Knowing a little of the background of the names of my roses makes me love them (the roses) even more!Delete
Beautiful Rose and you give us the most interesting histories with some of these things. Loved the story on this one.ReplyDelete
Cher Sunray Gardens
I love hearing about the people behind the name of the roses. Such interesting history. I wonder how rose breeders decide upon a name. That must be a very hard thing to decide upon!Delete
I like that rose a lot, especially the small size, perfect for my smallish garden. How do you think it does with a shadier garden? Enjoyed the info on Christoper Marlowe, how intriguing!ReplyDelete
Most Austins actually like a bit of shade - at least here in super-hot Texas! So, I would definitely give it a try. And since Austins don't mind being pruned hard, you should be able to easily keep it even small. Good luck with it!Delete
Another lovely rose, Holley,but I'm resisting! I've just planted 3 new ones, including one double red Knockout, that I bought because of a couple of your posts. Is that it on your new banner at the top of the page? I love the new look of your blog, by the way.ReplyDelete
I hope you like your Knockout as much as I enjoy mine. Yes, that's it at the top of my page. I can't wait to read about your new roses!Delete
I'm very much in love with Kit Marlowe, the playwright and the man. (Perhaps because I once saw him portrayed by Ben Affleck, so I imagine him to have been devilishly handsome as well as witty and a bit of a cad.) Yes, I nurture celebrity crushes on dead poets and playwrights...ReplyDelete
-And that said, I don't think his rose will be on my short list; the name in itself is perhaps not reason enough to plant a rose ("That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet" etc., to stick with the Elizabethans), and there are just so many other lovely roses ahead of him in my books.
No, I don't usually purchase a rose just because of the name, although I've been tempted a few times... Anyway, there really are a lot of roses to choose from - those lists can easily become impossibly long!Delete
Holly, if the rose Christopher Marlowe is hardy to zone 5, I'll try to buy it and plant in my garden. I love its flower and color.ReplyDelete
It's hard to find a rose that can take zone 5 winters. This one supposedly can! I wish you good luck with it. I think it would be a beautiful addition to any garden. I think you'll really like it.Delete
I copied down the name of this pretty pink rose for next year. I have a spot up front for a short rose and this seems like a perfect candidate. Thanks for the recommendation.ReplyDelete
Sometimes it's hard to find a good, short rose. And I've learned the hard way it's impossible to keep a big rose small! :O I kind of stumbled onto this rose - but I'm so glad I did. It's been a pleasant surprise! Good luck with yours!Delete
Those roses look great!ReplyDelete
And I should have mentioned the foliage. It's a bit unusual in shape - reminds me of a holly leaf shape! Pretty, and interesting, too!Delete
I love surprises, so it's always fun getting a plant without being sure of the bloom (of course that also often leads to the moving of plants when it doesn't quite work with the color scheme!)ReplyDelete
What an interesting rose with an intriguing history behind its namesake!
You're so right - it can be a great surprise or a terrible mistake when a bloom finally shows its color! I was very worried about this rose, but it works well. I can breathe a sigh of relief! :)Delete
It looks like a good rose in your garden, and I hope it continues to please you. I got rid of mine because it grew like a drunken spider with long thin canes all in the dirt, but I hope you will have better luck. The blooms are beautiful...ReplyDelete
I know sometimes Austin roses can grow crazy - I like your description of a drunken spider! I don't think I'll be shy in pruning off any offending canes, although so far it's been well behaved. But I reserve the right to change my mind in the future! ;)Delete
Wish I had a bigger garden for all these beautiful roses. This one is quite special :-)ReplyDelete
Thankfully I have a large garden! It's been fun to have a lot of different roses. That allows me to learn more about them, and to figure out which ones are good for my garden, and which ones aren't.Delete
Love the rose and the story! I would need to annex my neighbors yard to grow everything I want. Hey, that's not a bad idea.... :o)ReplyDelete
haha - I think you could probably move the fence in the middle of the night when they are asleep! ;)Delete
Nice! It definitely has a unique shape. I can see why it would capture your eye when you're out in the garden!ReplyDelete
It's also continued blooming, even in our 100+ degree weather. That's eye-catching! :)Delete
Interesting history, especially the bit about William Shakespeare. I would recognise this rose by the scallop-shaped petals, almost like fish scales.ReplyDelete
I don't know how much evidence they have, but it's an interesting theory. I love the way the petals continue to unfurl, and so many of them! Fish scales is a good description!Delete
And yet another commonality between us...I love mysteries and spies as well...fascinating story and most enjoyable...as enjoyable as this rose that i will keep in mind as an addition where I can fit one in...wouldn't that be a hoot to plant one here and compare the 2 as they grow in our gardens...hmmm...me thinks I will do that!ReplyDelete
Donna, that would be so much fun! Roses perform differently in every garden, so it would be quite interesting to show the difference in the same rose in different climates!Delete
Beautiful rose and an interesting story about Christopher Marlowe.ReplyDelete
I always wonder how David Austin gets his rose names, but I love learning more about the history behind the names!Delete
The first picture it's so purple and the last picture it's coral. I love how alot of your roses change colors! :). Always enjoy reading your blogReplyDelete
I love when a rose changes color, too. I think it just gives it a little bit more interest. Thanks for commenting! :)Delete
My CM does well too. It deserves a better spot than it has. Yours is lovely. Did you see the 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' with Gary Oldman? They had to cut so much, but wonderful cast. Le Carre is my favorite for spy stories.ReplyDelete
Not sure how I missed this comment, but no, I haven't seen that movie yet. I'll have to put it in my Netflix queue!Delete