Iceberg roses are found all around Australia, often in their standard form, gracing front gardens. I have inherited two in my front garden on each side of the door, standing sentinel like Hans Christian Andersen's Steadfast Tin Soldier. And constant they are, flowering for many months of the year, and requiring not much more than a feed and a water even in the harshest summer. They flower prolifically. The flowers tend not to be very big, but what they lack in size, they make up for in abundance. I find that once the current crop of flowers is spent and I cut the rose back into the shape of a large cob loaf, new growth will spring up and before too long another white blizzard appears.
This rose is one of my favourites. Some people think it's over-represented in gardens, but I think its reliability puts it right near the top of the list. It's quite resistant to rust, for one thing, and I don't think I've ever sprayed mine. The Iceberg was developed in Germany in 1958, and also comes in pink and burgundy these days. I've grown the burgundy iceberg and it's just as hardy.
When we lived on our olive farm we had iceberg roses in the garden along the front of the house. They also performed well and it gave us much pleasure when we arrived late on a Friday after a long trip from Sydney, to see them there. Better still, kangaroos seemed to disdain them, although they would eat plenty of other plants in the garden especially if they had grass-like leaves.
Recently, my husband penned this:
We are townies now, but
the Icebergs at the front door
are redolent of another time and
bring to recall those white orbs
that bobbed in the headlights as
we pulled up at the front of our
farmstead late at night after
the four hour drive from Sydney, at
last returned to our ancient narrow valley
to be greeted by the curtsying of snow-coloured
roses, (an introduced species) which had
patiently waited a week for our return
as we less patiently had for our reunion.
Do you have a favourite rose? There are so many beauties it's almost impossible to choose, but I'd love to hear about yours.
If you would like to follow my blog, you can put your email address in the box at the right-hand top of the post, and you'll receive posts direct to your inbox.