Copyright © 2017 Leongatha Horticultural Society

Then a breakthrough. Loch residents confirmed that the rose they always called  (let's abbreviate) LPO is definitely the stripey one around the corner – Veilchenblau. No no! The Leongatha mob roared – never Veilchenblau! It's nothing like Veilchenblau! Be that as it may. To date, and probably forever, no-one has been able to readily identify Leongatha's Loch Post Office Rose – or roses.

The Feature Rose display table at the 2015 Leongatha Rose Spectacular demonstrated the detection process outlined above in full detail, with plants, flowers, photos, and names of all the protagonists who knew the Leongatha side of the story.

The show judges and a couple of other visiting experts took great interest in the dilemma. While they were pretty sure what it was not – Paul Ricault, Rose de la Grifferie were suggestions – no-one could confirm that the Leongatha LPO Rose is, as was generally thought, Victor Emmanuel. Though the form is more or less okay, the colour, problematic at the best of times, really did not offer much of a clue. The very useful ready-reference 'HelpMeFind' website is, in this instance, not much help. The type/colour bit says 'Dark red Bourbon'  but in the description it has 'Purple, ages to Violet'! One rose bible, Botanica's Roses, describes it in the caption section  as 'Old, bourbon, deep red, repeat flowering' then further down refers to 'velvety black' petals!

So, through all this meandering, we can only reasonably confirm a few things. In Loch, where this prickly problem started, the LPO Rose is Veilchenblau. The name of the rose that in Leongatha is known as LPO is not known. It is possible that the Leongatha LPO rose plants came from two different bushes. And it is extremely unlikely that it will ever be accurately identified. No matter- it's a great filler in a big country garden.

Now as for the 2016 Feature Rose - the selection has been made, reliable sources have been contacted and we think we have another great story. Touchwood!..Ouch!

Lillian Brittain

Leongatha Rose Show Committee

A Rose is a Rose part 2

take me to part 1