THE LAUNCH by York Minster this week of its own rose raised a few eyebrows in the white-rose county of Yorkshire. The new rose is pink.
The York Minster Rose (above, left) was introduced to the public on Monday with an inaugural planting ceremony in Dean’s Park, which lies on the opposite side of the Minster to the famous Rose Window (above, right).
Described — at some length — as “a repeat flowering floribunda bush with creamy full petals of a delicate pink flush, echoing the centre of the wonderful Rose Window”, the rose will be launched officially at the Chelsea Flower show in 2011, and commercially available the following autumn.
It was developed by Harkness Roses of Hitchin, and was chosen by members of the York Minster Fund and the Dean of York, the Very Revd Keith Jones.
“It will be a reminiscence of York Minster for everyone’s garden, and a beautiful memento of a place to remember,” the Dean said this week.
“It will flower for the first time in June, when the people of York will be the first to see it anywhere, outside the nurseries where it was developed.” Plans are already afoot for a garden party in Dean’s Park at the Minster to celebrate the rose’s first flowering.
Dean Jones played down suggestions in the local press that the rose’s pink hue might be a problem for dyed-in-the-wool Yorkshiremen and women.
“The colour echoes the centrepiece of the magnificent Rose Window,” he said. “It has warm cream and golden tones as well as pink, which will pick up the wonderful colour of the magnesium limestone from which the Minster is built. I don’t think it will upset anyone.”
Feedback on the York Press website suggests that locals are evenly split over the pink rose. “You can plant it with your Dahlia Bishop of York and don’t forget a Judas tree and a passion flower!” said one reader. “Anything that gets the British horticulture trade going gets my backing. Let’s show the Dutch that we’re still the best.”