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The is the Bourbon (Old Garden) rose Zephirine Drouhin. It is a climber, completely thornless, and extremely floriferous. It has a very strong, classic (Damask) rose fragrance. It was bred by Bizot in France in 1868, and is considered an antique rose.
Zephirine Drouhin was the fourth rose to bloom in 1999; the color is a trifle too pastel, even with the digital camera. On the theory that you can never have too much of a good thing, here's another blossom, just opening after a heavy rainstorm.
In the few years since I planted it, Zephirine Drouhin has grown to cover the entire side of the deck -- roughly seven feet tall by eight feet across. I suspect that if I gave it more room, it would grow still larger.
I pruned Zephirine Drouhin back in the early winter -- it has responded by putting on a show of growth that includes a few hundred buds! It takes the prize for the first bloom of 2000 -- the first two, actually, as can be seen in the following photos. As always, the fragrance is exquisite!
Zephirine Drouhin, as always, is putting on a wonderful show this spring!
Zephirine Drouhin is the second rose to bloom in 2001.
It's late June, and Zephirine Drouhin has put forth a lovely cluster of blooms!
May, 2002, and Zephirine Drouhin has tied for second rose to bloom this year.
The entire bush is now in bloom.
It's Memorial Day weekend -- and this is what Zephirine Drouhin looks like. It is impossible to open the kitchen window or walk out on the back deck without being overwhelmed by the beautiful fragrance put out by all of these blossoms!
It's now the end of June, and Zephirine Drouhin is still throwing out blossoms.
It's the last day of May, 2003, the skies are threatening a downpour, but I had to run out and grab a photo of the first blossom on Zephirine Drouhin. With hundreds of buds, it will certainly not be the last!
It's the end of July -- second flush, anyone?
It's mid-May 2004 and Zephirine Drouhin is the second rose to bloom this year.
It's Memorial Day 2005 and Zephirine Drouhin has begun to bloom, the fourth rose to do so this year.
Early June and Zephirine Drouhin has taken off!
Well, here's a surprise for you. It's the 6th of May, 2006, and Zephirine Drouhin takes the honors for the first rose of the year. Heck, this is just about the earliest I've ever had a rose bloom! And, this one was hidden away in the shadows, right next to the deck -- I'm lucky that I saw it!
Two days later and I have this stunning blossom!
It's 14 June and Zephirine Drouhin is still in bloom!
It's 16 May 2007 and Zephirine Drouhin has taken honors as the second rose to bloom, giving me this beautiful blossom one day after Louise Odier.
20 May brings more and more blossoms.
Zephirine Drouhin's color gives the camera fits, especially in full sun (you can see the many variations up above). I experimented and shot the following photo in raw mode, then tweaked it a bit (as you can only do in raw mode) to get the following shot which does a pretty good job of showing the actual color of the flower without the pastel overtones.
Standing on the ground, I just can't capture the overall effect that Zephirine Drouhin has, so here it is photographed while leaning out of a second floor window. This one does a good job of showing you what the bush looks like right now. Overwhelming is an understatement!
7 June and Zephirine Drouhin is still going strong.
18 June and still at it!
Mid-July brings still more flowers.
Mid-April 2008 brings the first rosebuds, a tie this year between Zephirine Drouhin and Louise Odier.
The buds promise the wonders of fragrant blooms just a few days away!
The promises fulfilled, 17 May 2008, as Zephirine Drouhin ties with Gertrude Jekyll to become the second rose to bloom this year; Louise Odier, also an Old Garden Rose, was the first.
Zephirine Drouhin is beginning to put on her incredible spring show!
The riot of blooms continues into June.
It's now mid-June and Zephirine Drouhin is still going strong! That's a solid month of blooming without letup!
In the span of a few days in mid-May 2009, Zephirine Drouhin has gone from a single flower to totally covered in blossoms.
The beginning of June finds Zephirine Drouhin going strong.
Late June and into July.
Early May 2010 brings the bloom of Zephirine Drouhin.
The spring flush is underway!
It's Memorial Day weekend and Zephirine Drouhin is going strong!
Early June and still at it!
A rose for the Fourth of July!
Even after days over 100 degrees, Zephirine Drouhin has flowers for us.
It's mid-May 2011 and Zephirine Drouhin has opened up her first blossom.
Just a day or two later and Zephirine Drouhin has already begun the spring flush.
On 19 April 2012, a full month earlier than normal, Zephirine Drouhin opened up her first bloom, tying with Double Delight for first of the year.
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