Let’s take a closer look at the “middle”
I agree with some fans of the relatively unattractive “middle”, although only partially. In semi-double and especially simple flowers, after the pollen has fallen out, the bumblebees have flown away, and the stamens have dried up and darkened, the petals also begin to crumble. Self-cleaning is a very important advantage of the variety. Even if the petals are not completely crumbled, it is still a signal for pruning.
In double flowers of the classical form, the petals will dry up rather than begin to crumble cleanly. The faster you cut the wilted flower, the sooner the next wave of flowering will begin. As the flower ages and depending on its shape in the final phase of life, some roses look unsightly. This primarily applies to light varieties, especially small white flowers with short stamens (dark stamens look untidy spot).
If the inflorescences are large, then you have to gradually remove the faded flowers. In the double flowers of the classical form ,the “middle” is shown more often when the petals themselves are no longer suitable for anything, in the dense double flowers, the decorative effect mainly falls due to the decay of the petals.
Each variety (even if it is healthy and well developed) has its own possibilities, but the choice is so great that you can experiment indefinitely. Some fans are advised to reduce the requirements for the rose. Sometimes such a list of requirements is put forward that only an artificial product can satisfy them.
Stamens can be admired
No matter how much landscape designers tempt the reader with species roses, while amateurs are not ready for this choice. I urge landscape designers not to play only on this dull note, but to be involved in the process of forming a wide range of unpretentious and decorative garden roses. Few people trust pictures from foreign gardens anymore.
Even among RPOs who have a lot of advantages, there are varieties that are long blooming and pure fade. We admire the stamens and bees for a short time, then some of the petals fall off, and a couple of them (of dubious neatness) linger, guarding the forming fruit, literally sticking to it. Pruning is not carried out, but we wait for the fruits to turn red and dress the bush in a new headdress.
Lovers of roses should not be afraid of the prospect of stamens only in a five-petalled flower. There are many varieties of both semi-double and full-fledged double, to which the stamens only add beauty and charm. Don’t take the stamens as an annoying inevitability, look for new experiences and admire them as an ornament or a work of art.
To demonstrate the stamens, I chose examples from all the garden groups. To begin with, the stamens were admired by many generations of rose lovers before us, even among the old roses (contrary to popular belief) there are many half-double roses with naked stamens. You can recall the imperishable Gallic rose of the XVI century ‘Versicolor’, which is admired to this day, despite the “middle” of a semi-double flower with stamens.
The remontant rose ‘Frau Karl Druschki’ (Lambert, 1901), an unsurpassed star among white roses, blooms neatly and is not at all shy of its stamens. It is difficult even to estimate the number of her fans in the world over the past century.
The pearl-white fragrant flowers of the rose floribunda ‘Margaret Merril’ (Harkness,1977) are considered by experts to be the standard of beauty and elegance of a flat-cup-shaped flower, and the stamens are an ornament. This beauty, still included in the catalogues of the largest nurseries in the world, has another drawback — it shows a tendency to black spotting.
Some even tea-hybrid roses are proud of their stamens. A spectacular rose in cold pink shades (with a slight admixture of blurred purple) ‘Souvenir Louis Amade’ (Delbard, 1998) stamens do not spoil in any way, and if you add the strongest aroma of anise and tarragon, resistance to diseases, then the arguments against the open “middle” look like a child’s whim.
The modern climbing rose ‘Amadeus’ (W. Kordes ‘ Söhne, 2003), a vigorous and hardy variety, would have lost a lot without stamens. Its terry flower opens in a luxurious bow of red velvet with an elegant decoration of gold.
The charming flowers of the Rambler ‘Open Arms’ rose (Warner, 1995, h=2.5 m) do not spoil even the dried bundles of stamens.
When you look at the rose ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ (Gowlishaw/Warner, 2002), the memory feverishly searches for analogies in color, and the eye is riveted to the center of the flower, to the combination of yellow and blue.
A person who is unbiased in relation to the variety should intuitively appreciate this advantage of the flower. Remove the yellow center — and there will be a dull, sad and even gloomy flower.
Techniques of seduction
Especially try to like simple flowers, they even have a few special techniques of seduction. Stamens are always thick, high, sometimes “plump” (as in the variety ‘Pimprenelle’, Delbard, 1997), the bundle is neat, does not fall apart and looks like an elegant bouquet. Even the anthers of some varieties are uniform, elegant and fluffy.
Sometimes a flat flower in the first moments of life takes the role of petals into the background, in the shadow of someone else’s happiness. This expressive effect occurs in pure white and cream flowers. The most win — win technique is a peephole in the center of the flower. Especially expressive is the white eye on a red background, as in ‘Paso Doble’ (Meilland, 2008).
If you look at the different flowers more closely, it becomes clear that this technique is found in the arsenal of many varieties. For example, the flower ‘Avalanche Rose’ (Delbard, 2002) also has a peephole, but on a pink background it is blurred and at a distance of a few steps is already barely noticeable. Although its value is not lost, it gives the impression of iridescence of color, especially with large inflorescences. Such roses are very much appreciated in the garden. A tiny pink flower with five petals, and so many possibilities!
Compare with the flower ‘Paso Doble’ (Meilland, 2008) – a white eye in a large (8 cm) bright flower and at a decent distance remains an ornament, giving the plantings elegance.
I have a lot of different examples in stock on this topic, I do not encourage you to choose one of the proposed varieties, but I will be glad if you start looking for and finding beauty in any flower.