Sunday, February 25, 2018

'Honey Dijon' the Rose

When I first started breeding roses, I knew that as an amateur, I would have to focus on novel type roses to "get a foot in the door" since the major commercial rose breeders had their own well established breeding programs that produced the full range of classic rose types: hybrid teas, floribundas, climbers, shrubs and miniatures.  It was not hard for me to focus on novelty since my eye always seemed drawn to the unusual roses.  That being the case, my first real commercial rose variety was 'Honey Dijon'.  My objective in choosing the cross that led to 'Honey Dijon', was to develop a strong growing, golden brown rose.  I have found that rarely will I get the exact result that I am trying for in breeding roses, but was very lucky in choosing to cross the two roses 'Stainless Steel' and 'Singin' in the Rain' to get just what I was looking for.  'Honey Dijon' was released by Weeks Roses in 2005 and is still available in a couple of countries outside of the USA.  It may be making a comeback here in the USA since it's color is back in style.  The photo below is courtesy of Weeks Roses.

Although the plant below is not the original 'Honey Dijon' seedling (I lost that one several years ago), it is a first generation clone (meaning that the cutting was taken directly from the original seedling).  The poor old rose had probably not been pruned for 10 years or more.  This year I thought it was time to give the rose a good pruning and a chance to put on a nice spring show.  Something wonderful about roses is that the "old" can be made "new" again.  And in a way, if we are willing to grow, so can we!


  1. Looks like it grows very vigorously own-root. The color on this rose is absolutely amazing, there's a sparkle to it.

  2. I sure hope it make a come back in the U.S. I was devastated when I lost my plant during a move 3 years ago and could not find a place to replace it. This is one of my favorite roses!

  3. I adore my Honey Dijon roses. Even though my rose garden is relatively young, and the plants are small, the Honey Dijons are really doing so well: vigorous and strong growers, with multiple flushes of blooms through the season. The flowers are phenomenal: when I have a vase of only Honey Dijon blooms, visitors are dumbstruck, and always go up for a close inspection. They always ask "what ARE these?" because the flowers appear to have been cast from dull clay, they are so matte and monochrome, and yet so exquisitely formed. I'm always really proud to say "They're Honey Dijon roses: aren't they just the most amazingly beautiful flowers EVER?"

    Thank you for creating such a wondrous and astonishing hybrid: it is a source of continuing joy for me, and an ongoing source of bafflement and delight for my visitors and guests. When the famous interior designer Elsie de Wolfe first laid eyes on the Parthenon, in Athens, she is reputed to have exclaimed "But it's beige! That's MY colour!!" I feel the same way about Honey Dijon: it's a classic masterpiece, and it's beige... that's MY colour!