A handsomely illustrated guide to a celebrated Charlestonian flower and its international legacy
"This much-needed work shines new light on the importance of this versatile group of roses and gives full credit to the original breeder, John Champneys of Charleston, South Carolina. Nearly two hundred years on from the introduction of 'Blush Noisette', the Noisette roses are finally getting the recognition they deserve."—David Ruston, chair, Historic Roses Committee of the World Federation of Rose Societies, from the foreword
Utilizing nearly one hundred illustrations, this is the first American book-length history and analysis of the Noisettes, a class of rose born in Charleston not long after the American Revolution. The first Noisette rose was raised by South Carolina rice planter John Champneys as a hybrid seedling from the China rose "Parson's Pink" and the autumn-flowering musk rose, resulting in a vigorous climber that produces magnificent clusters of small pink flowers from spring to fall. Variations developed as the Noisettes grew in international popularity. Now an expert group of international contributors takes up the task of telling the story of this unique botanical contribution in a manner that appeals to lovers of old roses, amateur and professional gardeners, Southern history enthusiasts, and admirers of historical Southern gardens.
The informative opening essays describe Charleston in the early nineteenth century when Champneys bred the first Noisette, then chronicle the history of Champneys and his Noisette rose, and recount the early appeal of the Old Noisettes among amateur gardeners and breeders. Scientific essays address the botanical characteristics of the Noisettes and the popular subclass of Tea-Noisettes. The contributors also document the presence of Noisettes on Charleston's Heritage Rose Trail and at Hampton Park's Noisette Study Garden, dedicated to the preservation of the rose and education about its Charleston legacy. Included as well are a catalogue of Old Noisettes and reflections from a host of accomplished rosarians on their favorite Noisette roses. The resulting volume will garner as much appreciation as the beautiful Noisettes it celebrates.
Virginia Kean is a freelance writer, editor, and producer based in San Francisco. She is the cofounder and editor in chief of Rosa Mundi, the journal of the Heritage Rose Foundation.