The most beautiful rose in the world
When rosarians ask me what I think is the most beautiful rose in the world the answer is simple: EVELN
IMHO this rose is a goddess. She is the cultivar responsible for switching my rose obsession from Hybrid Teas to English Roses. One of the things that is so spectacular about her blossoms is the clearity of the apricot/pink color. Although the color will bleach out in hot summer sun the colors are completely unmuddled by any kind of lilac or mauve tonality. When at their best the large blooms literally shine from across the garden. Speaking of size the flowers are very large in comparison to the shrub. This makes her stand out and in this respect she really does remind me of some of the highly developed Tea-Noisettes.
The perfect flower form doesn't hurt either. Form is somewhat variable but is ALWAYS beautiful. It can be either deeply cupped or quartered around a button eye. All too often it is a combination of both, starting out globuar then slowly opening into the quartered formation.
As for the fragrance it is simply out of this world! Not so much for its strength (although it is fairly strong) but instead for the quality and complexity of the parfume. This rose has numerious scents in her fragrance mix, some of which I'm at a loss to identify. I shall try: at the top there is a prominant fruity top note that smells exactly like ripe peaches. After that there is a very fresh Tea rose note followed by a subtle spicy finish that I believe is a light mix of myrrh and something else that eludes me (kinda reminds me of the Chanel no. 5 that my mother once wore).
Growth habit is nice too. When grown in the correct spot she is very vigorous throwing out long canes that gracefully arch. Shrubs of EVELYN grown as specimen plants where they are allowed to reach their full size are simply breathtaking (I once remember a cover of a garden magazine where this rose took center stage beside a colonial potting shed).
Of course this rose isn't without her issues. Simply put she can be bit of a fuss Diva. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Diva roses are just like their human counterparts. Sure they are demanding but when coddled and pampered they will put on a performance that outshines every other rose in the garden. In Evelyn's case her large sumptous flowers appear all over a graceful bush from spring till frost while spritzing doting admirers with her dreamy fragrance.
B-U-T she can be terribly fussy about placement, pruning, soil and spraying. She needs some protection from western sun (or else her pastel hued flowers will bleach out to white) yet isn't known for her shade tolerance. This rose wants, no demands, the sweetest spot in your garden; i.e eastern exposure without any competing shrubs or trees. She also frowns on hard pruning. Cut this rose back too severly and she'll pout by not growing. In fact, vigor is downright temperamental; either gangbusters or not at all. She also wants black loamy soil that is rich yet drains perfectly (I did say she was a fuss Diva didn't I?).
My sister grew this rose (grafted on Dr. Huey) to perfection for years in zone 7b coastal Virginia. Sis would lightly prune to shape several times during the growing season. She never hard pruned, only used organic fertilizers (high nitrogen causes The Jolly Giant Syndrome) and sprayed once every two weeks with a fungicide. The result was a dense shapely bush with big flowers all over the surface.
Sadly last your I shovel pruned Evelyn from my mom's formal rose garden. My mother's age and my sister's mental illness made it impossible for them to properly care for Evelyn. The poor thing was mostly dead anyway. Breaks my heart to write about it.
My EVELYN is own root from Chamblees and is starting her second year. She has been slow to build up stature but I don't care. I love this rose for several reasons, not all of them practical.
One of the happiest moments in my life was when I was a young man of about 25. I had just picked the first bloom off of the new EVELYN rose in my mother's garden. I held up the perfectly shaped (quartered) bloom to the early morning light and marveled at how the sun's rays suffused all through the flower illuminated it from within.
Then I smelled the rose:
I fell completely, totally, passionately, forever-and-ever in love with EVELYN.
Image of Evelyn by Cactus joe at Hortiplex
Here is a link that might be useful: Evelyn's Hortiplex page