“In the Yard” column for March 8, 2013

The Francis Meilland rose is the only rose selected as a 2013 All-America Rose Selection, said Allen Owings, a horticulture professor at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station.

This is the last year of AARS, Owings said. It’s being replaced by America Garden Rose Selections.

See blooming Meilland roses at the Burden Center, 4560 Essen Lane at I-10, in April.

“The rose garden is in bloom around April 15, plus or minus five days,” Owings said. Call (225) 763-3990 for more information on Burden or visit http://www.lsuagcenter.com.

Antoine Meilland survived World War I to see his first post-war rose garden wiped out by beetles. By 1932, Meilland’s rose nursery was famous in Europe. That year, he signed a contract with the Conard-Pyle Co. of Pennsylvania, a relationship that continues.

The Francis Meilland is a tall, hybrid tea rose with a very large bloom and strong fragrance. Meilland’s Peace rose doesn’t do well in the South, Owings said, because it’s very susceptible to blackspot.

In 1945, Meilland offered to name a rose after Field Marshal Alan Brooke for Brooke’s role in the liberation of France.

Brooke thanked Meilland but declined the honor. His name would soon fade, Brooke said. A better name, Brooke suggested, would be Peace. The exquisite Peace would become one of the best-known roses in the world.

Ed Cullen

Advocate staff writer