Joseph Pemberton’s Hybrid Musks

The term ‘Hybrid Musk’ was first used 100 years ago in 1917 to describe the rose Pax which had been bred by the Rev. Joseph Pemberton from Havering-atte-Bower in Essex. Pemberton used Trier a repeat flowering multiflora rambler in many of his crosses and he went on to develop a whole new race of roses, shrubs with clusters of beautifully fragrant blooms in delicate hues.

They were certainly ahead of their time and although a few won awards they didn’t achieve great popularity until much later. Today they are highly regarded, many good enough to be given AGMs (Award of Garden Merit) from the RHS like Cornelia, Penelope and Prosperity. Although termed Hybrid Musks they actually have very little of the true musk rose (Rosa moschata ) in their ancestry. After his death in 1926 his sister Florence and gardeners the Bentalls carried on his breeding work producing such great roses as Buff Beauty, Ballerina and Robin Hood.