Ana Matilde is my Rose......
It was with Poulsen Cream White Covers as well as Pink Elsies and Soft Pink Pippi Långstrump's that Ana Matilde, my beloved maternal grandmother, charmed us all when visiting her rose garden in a small Ecuadorian coastal town, her hometown. The contrast of these beautiful Floribunda flowers against the mid-afternoon pure blue sky felt like a dream, and the sweet, delicate fragrance in the air took you on an astral voyage. Rose flowers and Ana Matilde are so deeply connected subconsciously in my vivid childhood memories. It is until the present times that I cannot go about admiring a beautiful rose flower without Ana Matilde on my mind. In fact, each time I have the wonderful chance to bring home beautiful blooms, I say: 'Abuelita Ana Matilde is with us".
Reminiscing about my grandmother's rose garden has allowed me to learn a bit about the origins of this precious plant and its splendid blooms and how Rose blooms have been in existence for over 30 million years. And that the sublime Floribundas I enjoyed from my grandmother's garden as a child, are interconnected to the genesis of hybrids, beginning with the 1867 La France, a hybrid tea rose.
Latin for "many-flowering", Floribunda was developed by crossing hybrid tea roses with Polyantha roses. The purpose was to create roses that bloomed with the plenitude of the Polyantha rose -- these come in a spray of blossoms with clusters of 3 or more blooms -- in tandem with the beauty and color of a Tea Rose Blossom. Magnificently created by Danish Roser, and Dines Poulsen circa 1924, it was in the United States via the American company Jackson and Perkins (J & P) that Floribundas were introduced at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.
Ana Matilde's lovely Rose Blooms were her garden's heart. Walking her garden while peacefully and gently stopping to intake the glorious fragrance of the blooms was the biggest joy from my childhood. You will be happy to know that I have planted Floribundas in my home garden, in hues of cream and pink. I call them my Anitas. They are home. I am home with my Bellisima Ana Matilde.
Written by Maria Cedeno
Maria resides in Pine Bush, New York with her husband and three children.
Photos: Maria's beloved Maternal Grandmother Ana Matilde, Else Poulsen (1924)