The beloved chef lends her name to an equally exuberant rose.


If you have a shelf of Julia Child cookbooks in your kitchen, you need a row of ‘Julia Child’ roses in your garden. Rosa ‘Julia Child’ is a lovely rose cultivar that produces vibrant butter yellow roses. The golden blooms are borne heavily on lush, glossy green foliage. They’re floribunda roses that repeat bloom in big, free-flowering clusters all season, and they’re a perfect match for the celebrated chef who lends her name to the shrub.

These roses hit the scene in 2004 and were bred by Tom Carruth by crossing the roses Voodoo x R. soulieana, Summerwine, and Topnotch. The resulting plant was also launched in the U.K. (where it’s named for the television show Absolutely Fabulous), and in Australia. Weeks Roses, who originally introduced the rose, describe the history of the rose, saying, “Just before our wonderful American icon left us, she selected this exceptional rose to bear her name. Julia loved the even butter gold color & the licorice candy fragrance. […] An awesome AARS award winner—a right & proper honor for a dear friend.”

The flower’s popularity can be traced to its gorgeous golden blooms, its repeat blooming pattern, and long blooming season. It’s also quite resistant to disease. A very heat-tolerant planting, this rose is suited to warm temperatures, which give the shrub a longer blooming season. Ordinarily, these bushes are quite compact and grow to heights of 25 to 30 inches and widths of 20 to 25 inches. As a landscape planting, the rose is quite versatile and can be used in flower beds, containers, and borders.

Personifying roses through their names is part of the fun, and the personality of the celebrated chef certainly fits this vibrant rose. This one has a classic rose form—full, round, medium-size blooms with a sweet, licorice-smelling perfume—and is hardy in the garden. It’s a wonderful planting for a Southern garden—won’t you plant some this season?

What roses are blooming in your garden this season? Do you have any favorite yellow roses in your garden?