6:31 a.m. 8/07/2008 John Cabot rose with gardener's article. Just Our Pictures of Roses


John Cabot
Hybrid Kordesii. Explorer Series, Canada, Svejda.1969
Arching growth habit.


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John Cabot rose bush
John Cabot rose bush in Christine's garden June 2008. File#_D2997 with comment from Christine

Down at nearly the farthest edge of the garden, just past the bare land where the dreamhouse will someday go, is a stand of three Explorers. The largest, and so far the most consistent of bloom, is John Cabot. This grouping is in full bloom at the earliest beginnings of my rose season, drawing the eye across all the plants still setting buds, past the developing color of the also early Hybrid Perpetuals and on across the bare dirt to a bold and brilliant splash of color.

Planted four years ago, John Cabot is now five feet tall with a spread of about nine feet. It is sufficiently dramatic and beautiful to have earned one of my earliest "Rose of the Day" accolades both this year and last. And John Cabot continues to display dramatic color well into the hot summer days.

In my garden, John Cabot seems to be on its way to forming a thicket. Two substantial suckers, bearing blooms of their own, have now joined the mother plant. One has been dug out and replanted. In doing so, I discovered that the mother plant root had encountered a substantial rock, and in response had surfaced and formed a new plant. So I am not quite sure whether it would sucker in other, more friendly, situations - but it is probably safest to assume that it would.

John Cabot #d5503   John Cabot rose
John Cabot File#_d5497

I have been quite pleased with this plant, especially when planted where one will be seeing it from a distance. The color draws the eye and the bloom period is long lasting. The flowers are a deep pink, somewhat near to red when fresh, shading to a mauve-pink with age. John Cabot has a wonderful early summer presence, presaging the general bloom in the garden. It glows in the distance, and shimmers close up.

As the rest of the mid-June garden picks up speed, John Cabot's peak is past, yet it still has remarkable color. The plant is full of fresh blooms among the aged purple petals, and the ground is carpeted amethyst with the fallen. It is a pleasing plant and, if it performs as it did last year, it will continue to look good for a long time yet.

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