I always let the first rose bloom on the bush to encourage pollination and for good luck. It's not as dark as I thought it would be, but the dense petals and lovely scent are just as enchanting as ever.
The color perplexes me. The cranky old bush used to put out a few blush roses with golden hearts like this every so often and then abruptly stopped for a couple of years. I wonder if a harsh winter has an effect on the color . . .