Columbia - Fabulous! The color of her large, perfect blooms gently unfolding from long, pointed buds has been described as hydrangea pink or 'glistening' rose-pink merely alluding to the vibrant pink, shaded with just a hint of salmon and lightly brushed with silver highlights. Glistening in the early morning glow of the sun or basking in the rays of the setting sun, this rose seems to radiate a glow unlike any other.
Hybridized in 1916, Columbia was a cross between Ophelia, a chance seedling of Antoine Riviore and Mrs. George Sawyer, whose heritage boasts Joseph Lowe, a salmon-pink sport of Mrs. W.J. Grant. It seems that Columbia has combined the best of her heritage to form a beautiful flower. She won the American Rose Society Gertrude M. Hubbard and Portland Gold Medals in 1919.
It was rustled from a bush growing in San Marcos in front of an old home built in the early 1900's. It had grown to a twelve foot height and had been known to be the cause of many a fender bender as motorists looked at the blooms rather than the car in front on the busy street. The 'Old Rose Advisor' written by Brent C. Dickerson states that this is a "good, but not strong grower" and he is right. This rose also takes a bit longer than most to root. He also writes that it will "not spot in a bit of shade and does scorch in the sun," unusual for a hybrid Tea. For that reason I have it in a (real) Jack Daniel whisky barrel, growing on the pool decking, shaded from the extreme, hot afternoon sun by a tree growing nearby.
The original bush in San Marcos is shaded by the home from the extremely hot, afternoon sun and receives full morning and mid-day sun. Both shrubs receive at least six to seven hours of full sun each day, however. Neither like having their roots messed with and love a healthy side dressing of manure in the spring and fall.
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