New Rose In My Garden: “Pope John Paul II” – Hybrid Tea

I recently added a new hybrid tea to my rose garden. “Pope John Paul II.” This lovely white rose was introduced by Jackson & Perkins in 2006. It was hybridized by Dr. Keith Zary and is a cross between the roses “Secret & Fragrant Lace”.  It is said to be one of the most durable white hybrid tea roses in commerce today.  I have also verified with my own nose that it does have some fragrance! A light citrus scent. Woot! Woot!

This rose is named in honor of the beloved Pope John Paul II was specially selected by the Vatican and is now planted in the Vatican gardens overlooking St. Peter’s Basilica. 

While I am not of the Catholic faith, I had and have a great respect for this man. When he died some years ago, I remember writing a few things I have learned from him. They were brought to mind as I planted this rose in my garden. 

  1. Prayer Matters. It was said that John Paul II spent at LEAST 6 hours per day devoted to prayer. I often wonder what I could accomplish with such a prayer life. Talk about empowerment!
  2. Live Simply. When the Pope died, his only possessions were a few writing instruments and a few odd trinkets. He knew that in spite of the pomp and circumstance of his life, in the end, very little is required.
  3. Never Give Up. Despite an assassination attempt, John Paul II never gave up on himself or the millions who looked up to him. His devotion to the church, its people and to Christ was apparent in all he endeavored. 

This white rose holds a special place in my garden and stands as a reminder of a life well lived and an enduring faith.

Below are the very first blooms of this rose in my garden.

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About Chris VanCleave - America's Favorite Rose Gardener

Christopher R. VanCleave – America’s Favorite Rose Gardener Nicknamed "The Redneck Rosarian”, Chris VanCleave is passionate about gardening and growing roses. He is an active member of the Birmingham chapter of the American Rose Society, serving two terms as President. In 2007, he created the Rose Chat Podcast which has reached over a half a million listeners with news and information on growing on growing the world’s most beloved flower, the rose. He was a contributor to the 2015 Southern Living Gardening Book, has appeared on P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home television show and was featured in the June 2015 issue of Southern Living Magazine. Locally, Chris serves as Chairman of the Helena Alabama Beautification Board where he has spearheaded efforts to create a sustainable landscape in one of the top one hundred places to live in the United States. His writing is seen at and on his popular website;, where he chronicles his gardening adventures and explores an intrinsic mix of life, faith and gardening. An agent of change with over 20 years’ experience in process innovation, Mr. VanCleave is leading the charge to reinvigorate horticultural societies and helping them to reach their full potential in the social media age.
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18 Responses to New Rose In My Garden: “Pope John Paul II” – Hybrid Tea

  1. Jo says:

    Beautiful post!


  2. This is such a lovely rose Chris! Pope John Paull II must be an outstanding garden performer! How do you think it would do in zone 9?


  3. jim says:

    I imagine that it would be beautiful ‘en masse’.


  4. Teresa says:

    What a nice reminder of a beautiful life … a beautiful rose.


  5. Rachel says:

    Beautiful flowers. Six hour a day? Wow, that would be so enlightening, I imagine. Happy WW!


  6. What a lovely rose, I hope it brings you much joy.

    My photography is available for purchase – visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!


  7. Susan Hemann says:

    that is the rose I have been wanting!! Lovely Chris.


  8. Reblogged this on The Redneck Rosarian and commented:

    With all the hoopla in the press recently over the current Pope’s retirement I remembered this post written in 2011 upon my planting of ‘Pope John Paul II’ hybrid Tea roses in my garden. The life of a Pope is filled with such pomp and circumstance, yet also full of solitude fortitude and rectitude. . Something to consider, yet again…..


  9. Pingback: New Rose In My Garden: "Pope John Paul II" - Hybrid Tea | Natural Soil Nutrients |

  10. Very timely re-posting, Chris. I love all roses, but white are among my favorite. This one is superb! P. x


  11. Now that spring is almost here could you please comment on what type of spray program you use. I have been reading Paul Zimmerman’s blog in which he claims spraying chemicals causes harm to soil quality and therefore does not use them. Could you comment


  12. lesley McClave says:

    I have two of these roses and LOVE them ! They have done very well in my 6a KY. garden. I think I might add another! Thanks for the beautiful pictures and I know you will enjoy this rose. Lesley


  13. Certainly a lovely rose.


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