Table setting with vintage rose catalog

Vintage Rose Catalog

Antique roses captivate my interest. The delicate form, alluring fragrance, and charm of these beauties fascinate and delight. Dozens of varieties have found their way into our garden beds. Our English garden was created to feature 24 favorites. Antique roses have limited availability in local nurseries, thus are typically purchased from an online catalog. My mother’s generation relied upon published catalogs. Hal S. Dover published the vintage catalog featured here.

Table setting with vintage rose catalog

Roses of Yesterday & Today will be featured reading after breakfast. Let’s look through it together.

A month ago, I was working outdoors, and looked up to see a friend purposefully approaching the patio. She placed a treasure in my hands and we peered through it together, with laughter and wonder.  A local antique travel event uncovered this find, a 1951 copy of Roses of Yesterday & Today, the artistic vintage rose catalog from Lester Rose Gardens in California, which is still in business today.

L. L Prevost botanical print on cover of vintage rose catalog

Lovely botanical print by J. L. Prevost on beautiful aged rose catalog.

This piece of antiquity belongs to you, she insisted. “I know you have the perfect spot for it”.

“When I saw this (image of ladies having a tea party), I thought of you and knew you had to have it,” said she as we gleefully studied the intricacy of the drawing.  Before I could soak in the wonder of it all, she slipped away to get ready for her theater date with husband to celebrate family that evening.

Tea in the Garden

Roses abound in this image of ladies in their finest, with large rose corsages, and fresh roses on their hats, being served tea by a cherub in the rose garden. Sweet friend knew how much I would adore this image.

“I know you have some of these roses in your garden,” said she. With excitement, we quickly thumbed through the catalog. Some of my favorites are listed in the aged text, as well as a few that are new to the garden this year.  Enjoy the timeless descriptions and the vintage clip art.

Roses of Yesterday and Today

Carefully composed rose descriptions are engaging. Vintage clip art images add to the charm.


Roses of Yesterday and Today Rose Catalog 1951

Souv. de la Malmaison Cl. Bourbon (1843) is a personal favorite and referred to as having much charm, a refreshing fragrance, being grand, and enchanting. I absolutely agree!

Here are a few photos of Souvenir de la Malmaison Climber, from our garden.

Buds of SDLM

Buds of SDLM growing against a rusty rose trellis next to a stone bench.  I love every stage of this rose. Note the tinge of green in the outer petals?



SDLM, Cl. with streaks of deep pink in the outer petals. You can see the ruffles starting to unfold in the buds.



Ruffled blossoms of Souvenir de la Malmaison, Cl. This Climber is a sport of SDLM, Rose Hall of Fame, queen of fragrance & beauty.

Quotes about Cornelia, the other rose I would like to feature: “Summer flowers are good but the large, pyramid-shaped trusses of autumn blooms are superb…of a rich coppery-apricot, flushed pink, and tinted terra-cotta in the bud. Bronzy foliage..very fragrant…”

  “Welcome to our select company, fair Cornelia!”

Cornelia, hybrid musk (1925)

Cornelia, hybrid musk (1925)


Cornelia, hybrid musk (1925)

Cornelia makes a great climber to fragrance our 1900’s porch.


Cornelia, hybrid musk (1925)

Cornelia, hybrid musk (1925) looking toward the pomegranate tree and cottage garden.


Vintage Rose Catalog

Roses featured on inside cover and title page of vintage rose catalog.


vintage rose catalog

Introductory page features Keats. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever; it’s loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.”

Time spent studying the images, reading the descriptions, and savoring the details has been delightful!

“A garden is preeminently a place to indulge individual taste…one does not achieve a lovable, livable, intimate rose-garden until one has put one’s self into it…worked in it…dreamed in it, studied and brooded over it.” Louise Beebe Wilder, 1916. (page 2 in the introduction)

Thanks for taking a bit to study this new treasure with me.  Friendship is a blessing!

Grace to you

, , , ,

4 Responses to Vintage Rose Catalog

  1. Rhonda September 19, 2016 at 4:00 pm #

    I love the Wilder quote at the end………”brooding over the garden”………..putting ones self in it. The pictures are scrumptious, the book and your words, too. I’m reading as I am frying chicken in the kitchen! I love spending time with you, even when it is not in your back yard, your garden or kitchen!

    • autumn September 20, 2016 at 6:14 am #

      What a delight to log on and see your beautiful roses! Thank you for showing me some of that famous southern hospitality when I popped in unannounced the other day. The lavender cookies were as delish as they looked in your pictures. I have to admit, I thought about swiping that beautiful serving plate while your back was turned :). I wonder, do you tell your husband all those beautiful dishes/glasses are for the guests only?

  2. Connie in Hartwood September 23, 2016 at 7:39 am #

    There is something very special about old rose books … reading what was written about them long ago, sometimes when our now-antique roses were some of the newest on the market.

    • withendlessgrace September 23, 2016 at 11:09 am #

      Connie, thanks for your insightful comment. I can imagine you have some wonderful rose books in your collections. The more I learn about roses, the more I realize that I don’t know.
      Another thing I love about this catalog is the thickness of the pages. The deckled edges make it extra appealing to me. I’m glad it’s been preserved in someone’s collection all these years.

Leave a Reply to withendlessgrace Cancel reply

Ephesians 1:2-23

%d bloggers like this: