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"Mrs. Frances Pickles" rose Reviews & Comments
Discussion id : 136-311
most recent 30 JAN 23 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 30 JAN 23 by J.E.Leahy
I have been hunting around the garden looking at all the tea roses I have growing, particularly in relation to leaf shape, colour and armature. The stipules on many are similar in shape to that of ROR Mrs. F.P. (see photos) and there is a variation in spines on the leaf stem - some like Mrs. B.R. Cant and Rosette Delizy have pronounced spines whilst others such as Hugo Roller seem to lack spines altogether.
Mrs Frances Pickles was a local farmer who emigrated from Northern England to WA in the late 1800s with her family. Her brothers followed and one had the farm next to mine, on which there were a number of early and mid 20th century roses. This rose is possibly one purchased around the early 1900s as there was a row of older roses growing along the side of the original homestead on Karralea farm. Many of these were removed when Frances's Daughter-in-law remarried and left the farm. The plant I currently have in my care was given to the local museum without a name and languished under a large specimen of Crepuscule for decades before I removed it and resurrected it.
If anyone is interested in growing this rose I have plants available for Western Australia growers.
Discussion id : 136-227
most recent 26 JAN 23 SHOW ALL
Initial post 21 JAN 23 by J.E.Leahy
Di Durston (Perth HRiA) is investigating three roses that look similar to ROR Mrs Frances Pickles - two being Laurette and Rubens. Looking at photos of Laurette it looks closer to Mrs Frances Pickles than Rubens. Could it be???
Reply #1 of 8 posted 21 JAN 23 by Patricia Routley
What makes you think “Mrs Frances Pickles “ could be a tea, and not a hybrid tea?
Reply #2 of 8 posted 24 JAN 23 by J.E.Leahy
I have compared the old and new leaves and sepals to some other yellow flowered Teas - Bouquet D'Or, Lady Hillingdon, Devoniensis, Reve D'Or and find that the leaf colour on both older and new leaves corresponds with the classic tea colouring. The leaf shape is more lanceolate than ovate, although this could be misleading as the leaves of Mons. Tillier are more ovate than other tea roses.The sepals of Lady Hillingdon curve upwards as they age. The Shrub is open and looser in shape than early hybrid teas I have growing here and the flower shape corresponds to that of Reve D'Or , Bouquet D'Or , Devoniensis, and Mme Lambard. see photos.
Reply #3 of 8 posted 25 JAN 23 by Patricia Routley
Judy, your comment is most interesting. I have been growing “Mrs. Frances Pickles” for 20 years and have only ever seen it as being a hybrid tea. It is so good to have new eyes looking at it - and sharing their thoughts.

‘Bouquet d’Or’ and ‘Reve d’Or’ have a lot of noisette in them.
Flower shape: “Mrs. Frances Pickles” outline can vary from rounded to pointed.
I would call “Mrs. Frances Pickles” leaf shape oval or ovate.
The description of lanceolate I have been using is: “Lance-shaped, being broadest at the centre, but three or more times as long as broad with an acute apex [pointed tip] and a rounded base”. (Think of Sir Galahad on his horse with that long lance.)
Recently I found prickles under the midrib - in past years I noted that under midrib was smooth. What do you find?
Both of us need to photograph the stipule.

What I do find fascinating is your comment on the sepals of ‘Lady Hillingdon’ curving upwards (I will later take and add photos of this trait to the ‘Lady Hillingdon’ file). On April 20, 2010 I added a “Mrs Frances Pickles” hip photo with sepals curving upwards. So, looking further… the parentage of ‘Lady Hillingdon’ we need to read the references for the yellow-white ‘Madame Hoste’ to see what we can find.

In the meantime, it would be good to have thoughts from Margaret Furness and Sue Zwar on what class they think “Mrs. Frances Pickles” might be - tea or hybrid tea?
Reply #4 of 8 posted 25 JAN 23 by Margaret Furness
I haven't grown it myself, and the photos taken at Renmark were, as always, in a hurry. I didn't question the HT classification.
Reply #5 of 8 posted 25 JAN 23 by billy teabag
It's worth having a look at the prickles. Laurette and the rose sold as Rubens are the same rose and it is often completely devoid of prickles. Strong new growth can have some prickles when young but most do not persist as the wood hardens.
I grow the rose sold as Rubens (ex Melvilles Rose Nursery, ex Ruston Roses, ex foundling from Blakiston Cemetery) and one propagated from the Laurette that grew in the Heritage Rose Garden at Pinjarra (ex Walter Duncan, who propagated it from a named plant growing in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens). They have grown side by side for over 20 years and are indistinguishable.
I haven't grown "Mrs Francis Pickles".
Reply #6 of 8 posted 26 JAN 23 by HubertG
I don't grow this rose and am only going by the photos, but the unopened buds look rather untealike as does that long-shaped hip from Patricia from 20 Apr 2010. The flower does have that slightly cabbagey that look you sometimes see in 'Caroline Testout' progeny.

I'm wondering if it's one of those Dickson Hybrid Teas from the pre-WWI period which seem to contain a lot of Tea blood. Purely speculation, but if Dickson produced essentially thornless Teas like 'Alexander Hill Gray' and 'Molly Sharman Crawford' and used such Teas in his breeding programme, a relatively thornless Hybrid Tea could be the result.

I think a big clue to solving its identity must lie in its relative thornlessness.

My other thought was an ancestor or sibling of 'Columbia' (because of its few thorns). I had a quick look but nothing obvious stood out.
Reply #7 of 8 posted 26 JAN 23 by Margaret Furness
Interesting idea, but maybe another of the near-thornless Teas. AHG has only one descendant listed, and Molly S-C has none. Perhaps that green centre of Molly replaces functioning reproductive elements.
Reply #8 of 8 posted 26 JAN 23 by HubertG
Yes, that era seemed to have a lot of Teas and Hybrid Teas which were borderline to categorise into one or the other. For example, 'Mrs Herbert Stevens', which incidentally seems to have hips that have upright sepals. I think of it as a Tea. Its given pedigree says otherwise (although I doubt that's correct) but I have no doubt there's some hybridity in its background.

I looked at what hips I get off my 'Lady Hillingdon' and don't see any marked tendency for upright sepals.
Discussion id : 127-545
most recent 30 MAY 21 SHOW ALL
Initial post 14 MAY 21 by Patricia Routley
Sharing observations from personal correspondence

Judy to Patricia May ?, 2021
I have rescued Mrs Frances Pickles from the Mount Barker Museum garden and have her in a pot to recuperate from years of neglect and she is rewarding me with fantastic new leaf growth and now the most exquisite flowers. Such a refined blend of apricots and creamy cream! I am looking at the buds which are very round with sepals which only reach half way up the forming petals. The tops of the buds are flushed carmine but all of that is lost when the petals mature and the bud opens.

Patricia to Judy May ?, 2021
That’s interesting Judy. A long time ago, after getting my rose from Mrs. Pickles daughter in law, Helen in 2003: I called into the Mt. Barker Police Station to see the plant there. They had no record of it and it was not on the big blackboard map of the roses in the garden. The American man, Philip Robinson who addressed the 2006 Busselton conference, visited here on the post conference tour and thought “Mrs. Frances Pickles” was similar to the American foundling “St. Helena Very Double HT”. I distinctly remember us standing in front of the rose here and agreeing that both only showed the orange-yellow “sometimes”. The 1912 date was the same in both the foundling and ‘St. Helena’. However, as there are very few American comments on the identification of “St. Helena Very Double HT”, or responses to my queries in ‘Antoine Rivoire’, I am up the creek without any paddles. One person may think it is....... but it normally should take a consensus of people who grow the rose, to agree, publicly.

Judy to Patricia May 6, 2021
The scent has a distinct overtone of myrrh .

Patricia to Judy May 6, 2021
That is disconcerting. It looks like an Austin and there are many Austins at Mt. Barker.
But my 2003 cutting came from Helen Hall at Manjimup. I have tried to contact her and called around many times, but no joy. I wonder if she took a cutting from what she thought was Mrs. Pickles’ rose at the police station.

Judy to Patricia May 7, 2021
Definitely the rose came from Helen Pickles/Hall’s house on the farm. It is the same rose I saw growing there when I first came to Mount Barker in the early 1990s and was picking grapes at Karralea. Had to drive past the old house (Frances Pickles House) to get to John and Jan’s vineyard. The roses were mainly on the eastern side so visible on the road through. Apparently Helen gave a plant to the museum when she was leaving the district so this is the one I am growing now. I actually dug the plant from the museum up as it was struggling under a huge Crepuscule and it is now growing away beautifully in a big pot. I will put a plant back in there when the cuttings I have taken get big enough as there are Pickles descendants looking for it!! There is a possibliity that that may have been a reason for the rose not continuing on as a mainstream one - because it smelt different. I will check scent again when the next buds open.
Reply #1 of 1 posted 30 MAY 21 by J.E.Leahy
Judy May 31,2021
I have checked the scent of a second flower - medium to strong old rose scent with a hint of citrus when first open but as the bloom aged the myrrh scent became more evident - not strong as in David Austin roses but there all the same. My husband said it smelt odd- not quite like a rose should!
Discussion id : 127-378
most recent 14 MAY 21 SHOW ALL
Initial post 6 MAY 21 by Patricia Routley
For Judy Leahy - Thanks for your photos Judy. I am so happy you are growing this rose as I know you have a good knowledge about Mrs. Pickles who was one of the pioneers of the Mt. Barker district. I am still no closer as to what this rose may be.
Reply #1 of 2 posted 11 MAY 21 by Mila & Jul
What a wonderful rose! I had Mme H. Cambier in the past (ex SGH) and my copy had more apricot / shorter petals in the center...
Reply #2 of 2 posted 14 MAY 21 by Patricia Routley
Many thanks for that Mila & Jul. I think it is wonderful too - just exquisite!
I really appreciate your comment as it has helped me to eliminate one of the possible identifications. ‘Mademoiselle Hélène Cambier does seem to have a darker centre. Fortunately, this foundling was propagated and is now growing in the Petticoat Lane garden in Penola, South Australia. That makes three gardens who are growing it that I know of. Unfortunately, Penola volunteers have not yet discovered that HelpMeFind is a great way to share their observations on this old rose. Thank you again. I’ll do some more sharing myself in another comment.
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