Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Queen of England

After debating a long time about whether or not to purchase an arch and plant a climbing rose at the entrance to my herb garden, I decided against it because of too many other things to do right now, and wait till next year.

BUT today while walking by the local discount drugstore, I saw they had a table of various perennials for sale out on the sidewalk at incredibly cheap prices (€1.50 each for roses, blackberries, clematis, currants, raspberries, and several other varieties) and although I've made a point of buying all my plants and bulbs at quality nurseries up till now, just couldn't resist buying a climbing rose, figuring I had nothing to lose at that price.

So I am now the owner of a so-called "Queen of England" climbing rose. I couldn't wait to get home and research it. Upon perusing online rose forums, it turned out that this and other roses are being or have been sold in the past at many discount grocery and drugstores here, including Aldi, Schlecker, Lidl, and Plus. And there were lots of reports about people buying these cheap discount roses only to be surprised in the spring at finding they'd planted a white ground cover rose rather than the pictured pink climbing rose!

The other discovery I made was that "Queen of England" is not really a recognized name. The correct name is probably "Queen Elizabeth", a famous and well-established rose, but not usually a climbing rose. There does seem to be a climbing version, though.

The package is a little puzzling since there's no indication of country of origin. The information on the package is given in 9 languages. I wonder where thousands of this cultivar were produced for simultaneous sale at hundreds of discount outlets!

So I plan to do what one forum participant recommended: plant the rose in a container and see what comes up before deciding where to put it in the garden.

In the course of trying to find out about this rose, I discovered a truly wonderful website called which offers information on thousands of roses, peonies and clematis. It was here that I found the definitive information on what I've probably purchased.


  1. That is so like me. Many times, I have debating over and over about whether to plant something only to fall under the spell of the magic in nurseries and I usually ended up buying the item, not once but many times.

  2. I know - everything is so tempting and there are so many gorgeous flowers and plants out there!

  3. Hi Barbara, You may have not gotten a bargain but you are sharp to have done the research and hey, you've got a spot for a ground cover rose, right?

  4. Hello Barbara,

    I found your blog on Blotanical - Welcome!

    I like surprises, especially when a plant does more then I expect. I look forward to seeing what happens with your new rose.

  5. Oh I'm glad I'm not the only one who can't resist a bargain. Found you through Blotanical incidentally...

  6. Hallo Barbara,
    Eine Rosenwundertüte also,die Du mitgenommen hast! Da werden wir ja noch ein wenig warten müssen, um festzustellen, ob tatsächlich Königin Elisabeth in der Packung war!
    Ja, ich habe Deinen Blog über Blotanical gefunden, auch so eine Wundertüte :-)), Interessant finde ich die Tatsache eine Amerikanerin in 'Good Old Germany' schrebergärtern zu erleben, naja.... zumindest virtuell! Habe Dich auch gleich verlinkt!
    Liebe Grüße aus dem Berliner Umland

  7. Hi Scott and Liz, You're right - I'll definitely find a place for this rose, no matter what it turns out to be!