I bought this lovely nearly-black-crimson rose, Rosa Astrid Gräfin von Hardenberg as a rooted cutting from Gertrud at the Jardin Manatouet at Antin in June. Our boiling hot, dry summer meant that it has been forced to stay in the pot, watered and generally protected. And yesterday morning, earlyish, the first bud broke, and the flower emerged with the dewdrops still on it. It is an even darker red than the photograph shows, with a very tightly folded centre, which by the afternoon with some sun, had unfolded almost completely.
And the petals do a lovely thing, they sort of reflex themselves into points, and the central stamens are slightly exposed.
With such a grand name, I was intrigued to find something out about the woman after whom the rose had been named. And this is Astrid, Gräfin von Hardenberg. She was a daughter of Carl-Hans von Hardenberg, who was a member of the unsuccessful von Stauffenberg plot to assassinate Hitler. Imprisoned under sentence of death in Sachsenhausen camp, he survived as the Russians took the camp the day before his death sentence was carried out. After German reunification, the family estates were won back and Astrid created the Carl-Hans von Hardenberg Foundation which supports youth and community development in the Silesian area, now a part of Poland.
A rose with a very interesting historical back story. The rose itself won the gold medal at the International Rose Competition in Rome in 2002. I adore it. I have to find a good spot for it in the garden. Thank you, Gertrud!