David Austin Enchantment Continues

I am putting in another David Austin bed this year. I know. I know. This is not a big surprise, but aren’t you just a little curious about which ones I chose to plant in the new bed? There are hundreds of beauties to choose from and they’re all beautiful.


What David Austin Says:
Boscobel’ bears beautifully formed flowers of rich salmon colouring. They commence as red buds which open at first to pretty cups, gradually developing into perfectly formed blooms of classic rosette formation. The numerous small petals are of varying shades, mingling to provide a most pleasing effect.

Why I Chose: Michael Marriott of David Austin said it was amazing. He has never steered me wrong. Rose Chat interview with Michael … here.

Golden Celebrations
Golden Celebrations

What David Austin Says: This is one of the largest-flowered and most magnificent of our English Roses. Its color is rich golden yellow and the flowers are in the form of a giant, full-petalled cup. It has excellent shapely growth, forming a nicely rounded, slightly arching shrub with ample foliage. It is very reliable and easy to grow. An ideal rose to mark any celebration or important event.

Why I Chose: I have succumbed once again to rose envy. All the pictures on Facebook and Twitter made this decision for me.

The Generouos Gardener

The Generous Gardener

What David Austin Says: A rose of delicate charm – its flowers being beautifully formed; their color a soft glowing pink at the center, shading to palest pink on the outer petals. When the petals open they expose numerous stamens, providing an almost water lily-like effect. It has strong, elegantly arching growth with polished dark green foliage. This rose would produce a wonderful effect towards the back of the border. It will also make an excellent climber.

Why: It was a wonderful Christmas gift!

The Ingeniouso Mr. Fairchild

The Ingenious Mr. Fairchild

What David Austin Says: The flowers are in the form of deep cups filled with crisp, upstanding petals – similar to those of peonies. The colour on the inside of the petals is a deep pink touched with lilac; the outside is of a paler shade. Looking at the bloom in more detail, one can see that the edges are an even deeper pink, giving a most delightful fringed effect – particularly in the earlier stages.

The growth is ideal with spreading, arching branches building up into a well-rounded, mounding shrub; its flowers nicely poised on its branches. It is very healthy and harmonises beautifully with other plants and perennials in a mixed border.

Why: This is another wonderful Christmas gift. Someone loves me.

Darcey Bussell

Darcey Bussell

What David Austin says: Its beautiful flowers are produced freely and with excellent continuity. When young, their outer petals form a perfect ring around an inner cup; gradually opening out to form a perfect rosette. The color is a deep rich crimson that takes on a tinge of mauve just before the petals drop.

Why I Chose: Big winner at the Biltmore Trial. And, did you notice the color?? Basically, I just couldn’t live without it. 🙂

Do you grow David Austin roses? Have a favorite?

Here is a favorite David Austin from last summer…


Charlotte & Neighbors_13_01

David Austin Gardens
To see a video of the beautiful David Austin gardens read on.

2014 Rose Introductions: David Austin

David Austin English roses with their old world fragrance and form are modern roses that are so reminiscent of the old gallicas, musk and bourbon roses that I love. The English Roses are some of my favorites — mixing old with new is what my cottage garden is all about.

Every year for the past 20 years I get completely giddy when it is time for the new English rose introductions and I am never disappointed. This year’s introductions are exquisite and are promptly going on my wish list!

Take a look…


Boscobel-a classic English Rose with pretty cupped flowers that evolve over time from deep salmon to deep pink, and a delightful myrrh fragrance with hawthorn character laced with hints of elderflower, pear and almond.

Heathcliff_PolHeathcliff-a brilliant new deep crimson addition to this hard-to-achieve color range, with a beautifully shaped flower and singular fragrance of Tea Rose and Old Rose played off a minor base note of elegant dry woody cedar.

tranquility_polTranquillity-a glistening white rose in a perfectly rounded rosette shape, with a crisp light apple fragrance.

royal_jubilee_polRoyal Jubilee-a stand-out beauty even amongst other English Roses, Royal Jubilee’s luscious, large, deep pink semi-double flowers are presented on an airy upright bush of exceptional strength.

The Lark Ascending_PolThe Lark Ascending-a very different look in an English Rose, with gently cupped flowers of just 22 petals in a heavenly warm apricot shade splashed with gold at the centers.


Michael Marriott

This week on Rose Chat we had the pleasure of Michael Marriott of David Austin English Roses as our guest. He brought us up to date on David Austin, Sr., the new introductions and provided us with many tips for getting our roses off to a good start and keeping them healthy. You may listen to the podcast here.

It’s been said more than once that I might have a crush on Mr. Austin Sr. 🙂 … I wrote about that here.

Are you beginning to start your 2014 wish list?

Roses … Old and New

There are many types of roses from species (wild) and old garden varieties (OGRs) to the modern hybrids and landscape roses. And I love them all. I can honestly say that every class of rose is beautiful to me. Each has their strengths and their weaknesses.

OGRs are any roses grown prior to 1867 when the first Hybrid Tea, La France, was introduced. Most Species and OGRs have a one-time blooming season most usually in late spring or early summer. But what a season it is. Hundreds and hundreds of wonderfully fragrant blooms! This is something I wait all winter for!

The modern Hybrid Tea, Floribunda and Grandiflora roses produce blooms in waves throughout the summer and early fall. Many of these are fragrant as well, but the blooms are on longer stems that make them very popular in the world of florists.

Modern shurb or landscape roses give us disease resistance and season long blooms and fit very well in most any landscape or garden.

Here is a brief description of the most common types of roses…


Albas are tall, slender, upright bushes producing flowers of blush pink or white. Albas are very hardy and thrive under difficult conditions, even partial shade. They are almost completely disease-resistant and require little pruning. These roses have a strong, rich perfume. I have Felicite Parementier on order for next year. Another beautiful Alba is Madam Plantier.

Felicite Parementier


Bourbons were the roses of Victorian England. They produce beautiful, large, full old rose blooms on vigorous growing bushes with blooms of wonderful, heady fragrance. Many Bourbons repeat bloom. One of my favorite bourbons is Bourbon Queen although it does not repeat bloom for me.

However, when she blooms, she blooms. Last year I sent a picture of Bourbon Queen in bloom to The American Rose Society and she was chosen to be in the 2013 calendar. So, you could say the Bourbon Queen is a calender girl.

Bourbon Queen


Also known as Cabbage Roses have large blooms of many petals. Centifolia means 100 petals. These roses are summer flowering and extremely fragrant! I don’t have any Centifolias (yet), but there are two that are standouts in the rose catalogs–Fantin Latour and Tour de Malakoff.


Damask roses are very old, having been grown in Biblical times. They are known for their distinctive, rich damask perfume and beautiful pink or white blooms. My favorite Damask rose is Madam Hardy … amazingly fragrant white blooms with a unique green eye.
The Damasks I grow are Rose de Rescht and Madam Hardy.

Madam Hardy was named for the wife of Empress Josephine’s head gardener … Mr. Hardy. 🙂

Madam Hardy


These roses combine the best qualities of their parents–hybrid teas and ployantha roses. From the polyanthas come increased hardiness, low growing habit and continuous bloom and from hybrid teas they inherit their flower form and foliage. I have several favorite floribundas … three favs in my garden are Gene Boerner, Bill Warriner and Janice Kellogg.

Bill Warriner
Bill Warriner up close
Gene Boerner
Janice Kellogg


David Austin’s English roses came on the scene in the 1960s. The first English rose, the fragrant Constance Spry, was released in 1961. This new breed of rose combines the form and fragrance of the old roses with the repeat blooming and wider range of color of the hybrid roses. Two of my favorite David Austin English roses are Mary Rose and Charlotte.

And I’m adding a few more this year. You can read my thoughts on David Austin and his roses here. I’ll warn you, I am totally infatuated!



Gallicas are the oldest of the garden roses, having been grown by the Greeks and Romans! Gallicas are spring blooming shrubs with wonderfully fragrant blooms of pink, red and even some purples. My favorite Gallica is Rosa Mundi …. the earliest known stripped rose that dates back to the 1500s.

Legend has it that Rosa Mundi was named after Fair Rosa- mund, a mistress of Henry II, England’s monarch from 1154 to 1189. In The Book of Old Roses, Trevor Griffiths tells the story of their tragic affair. Henry was forced to marry a princess who, brooking no competition, is said to have murdered the lovely Rosamund. By Henry’s order, Rosamund was buried at Godstow Nunnery near Oxford, England, and each year on the anniversary of her death, he ordered her tomb to be decorated with masses of Rosa Mundi. -Virginia Kean / Historical Rose Society

Rosa Mundi


This group of roses is the result of crossing between hybrid teas and floribundas. The flower form and long stems are carried from the hybrid teas and the increased hardiness and abundance of flowers of the floribundas. One of my favorite grandifloras is Gold Medal.

Gold Medal


These roses were developed as hardy garden plants between 1840 and 1900, by crossing the Portland, Bourbon and Gallica roses and were mostly used as cut flowers. My favorite Hybrid Perpetual is Reine Des Violettes (Queen of Violettes).

Reine des Violette


Hybrid Tea roses are the most widely grown roses and most used as “florist” roses. Long, narrow buds open into full delicate blooms on long, sturdy stems. Blooming occurs in waves from early summer until frost. My favorite Hybrid Tea… well today… is the Peace Rose. Chrysler Imperial put on a show this summer too.

I am adding several new HT’s this year as I make my way into the world of rose exhibitionists. Read on for details.

Chrysler Imperial


Is a class of roses that originated in Charleston, South Carolina prior to 1812. John Champney, a rice farmer, received ‘Old Blush‘ from his neighbor Philippe Noisette, the superintendent of the SC Medical Society’s Botanical Garden. Champney crossed Old Blush with Rosa Moschata and Champney’s Pink was born. John Champney gave Philippe seedlings of ‘Champney’s Pink and Phillippe sent plants to his brother in France and the rage was on!

While visiting the Church of the Intersession in NYC last summer, I saw Champney’s Pink blooming in their enchanting garden. I couldn’t help but fall in love with this dainty, beautiful, fragrant rose steeped in history. I understand it is hardy to Zone 6. My garden is in Zone 5 but that is pretty close so I may have to try one. It would be such a nice addition to my old rose collection. Here is Champney’s Pink growing in the NYC garden…

Champney's Pink
Champney’s Pink


Polyantha roses are a cross between two East Asian species (Rosa chinensis and R. multiflora). The plants are compact and bushy and are rarely without blooms. My only polyantha is The Fairy Rose and this rose has been around since 1932. I love the clusters of tiny pink blooms. They look so nice in a mixed bokay of roses! These plants are very low maintenance and disease resistant!

The Fairy Rose


Portland roses are a natural cross between Damasks and China roses so you can imagine how wonderfully fragrant they are. These roses are vigorous growers, and were one of the first of the repeat bloomers. I grow Comte de Chambord and it has a fragrance that wows!

Comte de Chambord
Comte de Chambord


Rugosa roses are species roses native to eastern Asia. These roses are tough, trouble free shrubs that need very little maintenance and produce masses of beautiful, highly fragrant blooms. Rugosas are good repeat bloomers. An added bonus is the large red-orange hips produced in the last days of summer. My favorite Rugosa is Roseraie de l’ Hay. I have several of these in my garden! But, I also love my RF Grootendorst and Hansas! I also grow a white rugosa, Blanc Double de Coubert.

Blanc Double de Coubert in the background


From Knockouts – Drifts, there are many shrub roses on the market today. These roses are disease resistant, prolific bloomers that fit well into most any landscape. Some of my favorite shrub roses are Carefree Wonder, Sunny Knockout and Amber Flower Carpet.

A great resource for these roses is Paul Zimmerman’s book Everyday Roses. Easy growing tips and beautiful pictures of roses in home landscapes.

Carefree Wonder
Sunny Knockout
Amber Carpet


The Species and Hybrid Species roses are the original rose varieties found in nature from which all the others have been bred. The flowers are single (5 petals). One of the earliest of these roses is Rosa Foetida. One of the first yellow roses was the species rose–Persian Yellow.

I have a hybrid rose cultivar which originated as a chance hybrid seedling of Rosa Foetida… Harison’s Yellow. Read all about Harison’s Yellow HERE.

Harison’s Yellow

If you are looking for more information or for specific roses, here are some great resources…

American Rose Society
David Austin Roses
Roses of Yesterday and Today
Heirloom Roses
Weeks Roses
Paul Zimmerman Roses
Certified Roses
Conard Pyle / Star Roses
Edmunds Roses
Witherspoon Rose Culture

David Austin and Me

For the past 20 years I have had a secret crush. His name is David Austin. He lives in England. He grows roses. Actually, he creates roses. He even created a new kind of rose … English roses … blending Old Garden Roses for form and fragrance with modern roses for repeat blooming and increased range of color. To me that is the perfect combination! Who wouldn’t be smitten!

My favorite one (for the moment) is Charlotte or is it Gertrude Jekyll … or it could be Mary Rose or Crocus Rose on any given day. All are beautiful, charming and sooooo fragrant.

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with Michael Marriott of David Austin Roses on Rose Chat Radio who talked about the new releases for 2013. Listen here.


Wollerton Old Hall

Wollerton Old Hall

Wollerton Old Hall is the most fragrant new variety and, indeed, one of the most fragrant of all English Roses. Its distinctive strong myrrh scent has a delicious citrus element. Plump buds, with attractive flashes of red, open to form beautiful chalice-shaped blooms of soft apricot, eventually paling to cream. It forms a particularly healthy and bushy shrub with few thorns.

Lady Salisbury

Lady Salisbury

Lady Salisbury exhibits great Old Rose charm, with some of the character of the Alba Roses. Rich rose pink buds open to reveal pure pink flowers, which gradually become a softer shade as the flowers age. There is a light fragrance. ‘Lady Salisbury’ flowers with remarkable continuity from early summer on.

Fighting Temeraire

Fighting Temeraire

Fighting Temeraire is a very different English Rose. The fully open flowers are very large at 4” to 5″ across, each with only 12 petals. The flowers are a rich apricot color with an area of yellow behind the stamens which later pales to a soft yellow-apricot.

England’s Rose

England’s Rose

England’s Rose is a particularly tough and reliable variety. Deep glowing pink flowers are held in large clusters, the outer petals eventually reflexing back to reveal an attractive button eye.

The Lady’s Blush

The Lady’s Blush

The Lady’s Blush is a charming semi-double variety with delicate natural beauty. The flowers start as elegant pointed buds and develop into rounded cups in pure soft pink with a creamy white eye and often a white stripe.

Queen Anne

Queen Anne

Queen Anne is a rose of classic Old Rose beauty, but rather more in the direction of the Centifolias or Bourbons. The medium-sized flowers are pure rose pink, the outer petals only slightly paler than the central ones. In habit, ‘Queen Anne’ is quite upright and bushy, with few thorns.


Visiting this amazing garden is definitely on my “bucket list”.

If you’d like to see a recent video of the David Austin gardens in England, watch this…

I am adding several of these new roses to my garden next year…

  • England’s Rose
  • The Lady’s Blush
  • Lady Salisbury

And, here’s the man himself….

Thank you Mr. Austin for such beautiful additions to our gardens!

David Austin

Follow David Austin Roses on Twitter @DavidAustinHome.