Austin's shrub rose Belle Story is an especially appealing plant in my
garden. It has gradually built size year by year. With 4 1/2 years in
the ground, it is now 4 1/2 feet tall by 4 1/2 feet wide and grows in a
nice vase shape. That's a lot of 4 1/2s. Whether this is a reliable
parallel of years and sizes, I can't yet tell. However, another plant
of Belle Story growing near here, planted up against a sheltering
building, is far taller - eight feet? Twelve feet? Though not
described as a climbing rose, that Belle Story is growing like one.
As my plant has matured, bloom production has increased, and this summer
has been nearly continuous. In mid-July it is briefly without bloom,
but new canes are ramping up for the next show. The blooms themselves
are particularly attractive. The buds are a mid-pink with a slight
dusky, bluish tone. These open to gracefully cupped blooms which frame
golden stamens. As the blooms age further, the color lightens just a
bit, and the flower is full of lightly ruffled petals. The buds open in
succession so that each cluster has blooms at all stages, and all the
stages are quite pretty.
This is a rose I love more with each passing year. It's eventual size
is a mystery, but it is planted where it has all the room it could
want. And the bigger, the better. With performance like this, Belle
Story is a rose I will always want in my garden.
Belle Story roses. File#D3960
~ Comment and Photography from Christine, Reno, NV 2009 ~