Madame Caroline Testout Rose

Madame Caroline Testout Rose

When I was choosing old roses for the orchard, Madame Caroline Testout really appealed to me as the 'mother of all hybrid teas'. She sounded soft and gorgeous, and I had enthusiastic, misty visions of antique pink loveliness.

After growing in the orchard for over five years, I'm a little more reserved about her. Of course I admire the part she plays in rose history.

But She Needs Spraying...

But for me she simply isn't healthy enough. To retain any greenery she needs a rather strict rose spraying programme.

Such a pity, because my rose policy is rather no-nonsense (and almost no-spray). I've provided sunshine, good soil, fresh air, water, and a robust archway - so maybe my orchard is just too windy?

 Looking beautiful, as usual.
Madame Caroline Testout

Her flowers are gorgeous, of course - fat and delicately pink. When my camera gets up close and personal the bareness and general scruffiness are forgiven. But you won't find any medium or long shots of Madame Caroline Testout amongst my web-rose-garden photographs...

Oops. Some balancing comments are required. On many web-pages - see, for example, the delightful Old Garden Roses and Beyond - Madame Caroline is praised for having 'graceful growth and beautiful healthy foliage'.

 A beautiful new rose for me to enjoy.
Madame Caroline Testout

Many other (and more reputable) rose gardeners definitely disagree with my comments. Apparently in William Kordes' opinion she was the best rose in the world - and he's definitely an expert. So it might be best not to take too much notice of me!