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Duchesse de Brabant

Rosa La Comtesse Ouvaroff (Duchesse de Brabant)

My one-year-old Duchesse de Brabant is bound to become my favorite rose. I have only seen about five blooms total on it but it is just one of those promises of greatness. Already it grows in a shape that I like, tall but elegantly loose. Unlike Hybrid Teas or my favorite David Austin “Heritage” rose, it is not stiff, nor are the blooms upright cups. It is not slouchy, though. I guess I would describe it the way a bias-cut silk dress fits, shaped but draping and billowing when it needs to.

So I added another one this fall to my butterfly garden.

There is only one picture to show, because there’s nothing much to tell. But look at this: Duchesse de Brabant arrangement in a glass vase. I saw this photo both in a book about antique roses and on the website and it sung to me. I love antique-y, how the blooms look like a faded Victorian photograph, or a country cottage in an Austen novel. My little Clotilde Soupert rose has the same effect on me, only she is much more French.

Duchesse de Brabant is a tea rose, which are highly regarded as good roses to grow in Texas. They are hardy only to warmer climates. Like Hybrid Musks, many rose experts advise going lightly on pruning them, except to get rid of dead matter.

(Note: The illustration lists the name “La Comtesse Ouvaroff”, which was one of Duchesse de Brabant’s other commercial names.)

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