‘Baby Love’ was bred in the United Kingdom by Len Scrivens in 1992 from a cross of an orange blend miniature called ‘Sweet Magic’ and a seedling that was a cross of an unnamed seedling and the light red species, ‘R. davidii elongate’. Modern Roses 12 lists nine registered roses for Len Shrivens – the only one available in this country besides ‘Baby Love’ is the light pink floribunda, ‘Pretty Lady’.
Introduced in the United States by Heirloom Roses, ‘Baby Love’ is classified by the American Rose Society as a deep yellow, single miniature with a garden rating of 8.0 (not be confused with a light pink miniature also named ‘Baby Love’ and introduced in the same year). ‘Baby Love’ has mild licorice fragrance, semi-glossy leaves, is vigorous, and blooms continuously. It was awarded the Royal National Rose Society Gold Medal in 1992 and the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit in 2001.
‘Baby Love’ is free of powdery mildew and black spot in most areas of the United States, and Helpmefind.com states that it “represents a breakthrough in rose breeding – a yellow rose with excellent disease resistance!” Two other comments found on this website state that it is “exceptionally healthy” and “considered one of the most disease-free roses in existence.” It is the parent of 18 registered roses and grandparent of 33 more, including the disease resistant shrub, ‘Home Run’ and the new mini-flora, ‘First Impression’, hybridized by Dr. James Sproul. ‘Baby Love’ is used extensively by amateur hybridizers as it can reliably pass down powdery mildew resistance to its offspring.
By Gail Trimble, Master Rosarian
Edited for the website by N Londeree, October 2021