Lucky and a rose conundrum: This is definitely not lilac-pink!

Rose Lucky (poss)

Lucky? But certainly not unLucky! The beautiful bloom of a rose labelled Lucky but which is probably a different variety.

AROSE by any other name . . .  or rather, a rose by any other colour? I found myself asking these questions after gazing at the first blooms of floribunda variety Lucky today.

Bearing such vibrant orange-red flowers immediately reminded me of the veteran sensation of 1960 – Super Star – which burst onto the scene that year in a shade that had “colour break” written all over it.

My bush of Lucky was one of several bought from Handley Rose Nursery & Plant Centre in Sheffield a couple of years ago, but when I checked the nursery’s description of it I was in for a double-take moment when the colour was revealed: Lilac-pink. A scan through other nurseries’ Lucky all showed up the same.

Well, there’s no way my Lucky could be so described and, yes, I had a beady-eye look at the label which clearly stated “Lucky”, just in case there had been some sort of error over identity.

No complaint here, of course, as whatever my rose is called is a clear favourite with me. Could it be Super Star? Absolutely no, as that old warrior – now struggling to ward off disease and declining in availability – had dull, matt foliage, not Lucky’s shiny armoury.

As for Lucky itself, it was voted Rose of the Year for 2009 and described by Handley as a “phenomenal floribunda” and one that will win “praise and adoration from both modern and old-fashioned rose enthusiasts alike”. I think I’ll join that club!

Incidentally, all my roses from Handley have performed outstandingly, all of them bought bare-rooted and all among the most reasonably priced I have known when bought this way.

Come the autumn, however, and customers can take their pick of more than 200 varieties in many different forms.

As for me, I count myself Lucky to have this one to admire . . .  whatever its label and despite this piece of botanical bafflement. 432921


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