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A Rose to Celebrate 125 Years of Vogue

In the last decade or so, hybridizers—the folks who develop new rose varieties by cross-breeding different types and even species—have produced hundreds of spectacular new offerings in a glorious array of colors, shapes, and sizes. And some even have delightful fragrance, which has been lacking in some of the readily available commercial roses.

Now, with all these new varieties, one challenge is naming them. So one solution has been to name them after celebrities and famous figures, which only adds to the flowers’ appeal. Some of the best known rose varieties include ‘Diana, Princess of Wales’, ‘Marilyn Monroe’, and ‘Elizabeth Taylor’, but there are many more.

So when Vogue magazine set about to commemorate its milestone 125th anniversary, a new blossom named for the style publication seemed like an excellent choice—especially considering that rose prints were all the rage in fashion this year. But Vogue’s rose couldn’t be any ordinary rose; it had to be as trendsetting as the magazine itself and with all the fragrance and beauty as the models featured within the publication’s pages.

While Vogue was in search of the perfect rose to match its image, hybridizer Brad Jalbert, of the Canadian breeding operation Select Roses, was discovering that his mad-scientist-like efforts to cross-breed his company’s own ‘Loretta Lynn Van Lear’ with the fragrant ‘Julia Child’ had proven, after many years of testing, to be a spectacular success. Jalbert, discussing this new variety on the Rose Chat Podcast, explained that early on, as he reviewed thousands of seedlings in his greenhouse (most of which never pan out), he knew this one “would be a star.”

The plant, now officially called the ‘Vogue Anniversary Rose’, will be available in September 2017 exclusively from Jackson & Perkins. It grows in a compact form to a height of about 2.5 feet, and its fragrance is described as a “delicious blend of citrus, honey, and vanilla ….” According to Jalbert, the color is “apricot with a bit of a golden glow, … and the stems are long enough that you could cut them and enjoy them indoors and have good vase life.”

So if you want to be in vogue, look for this fashionable new plant. It’s small enough that it could be grown in containers, and once it’s going well, you could snip a few blooms for a compact vase arrangement that will add delightful fragrance to your spaces.