This time last year, nothing. Barely a bud, nothing even closely resembling a flower. The month-long Sub-Zero ºC that was March 2013 put back the roses until July. This year, after a mild winter and some early sunshine (and the possibility of a long warm summer), I think it will be a good year for the roses.
We may already have aphids on the wing – but there will be ravenous ladybirds soon too – and other remedies – a well-aimed jet from a garden hose, a spray of a soapy fatty acid (organic) solution – maybe even chilli-con-aphid (chopped fresh chillies and soap flakes in solution, left to brew and used as a foliar spray). I’ll continue to use liquid seaweed as a foliar feed every couple of weeks from now through to the end of August – Maxicrop for example – which is also mildly anti-fungal and a wash the aphids seems to dislike.
And then we can enjoy our roses. This is a mildly indulgent piece, for me, a cavalcade of roses from 2013. All David Austin roses too – healthy, fragrant in one degree or another, and in a diverse range of form, size and colour. You might be mistaken for thinking there are no reds or deep purples – there are but the photos are on another computer and well, it’s late.
I’m lucky enough to be going to the Chelsea Flower Show later this month and am in great anticipation to see the three new roses – the first Yellow in a long time (The Poet’s Wife), a big-scented pink, Olivia Rose and a third… oh yes, The Lady of the Lake. A repeat flowering rambler.
From the Reckless Gardener –
David Austin® to launch three new English Roses
The roses, to be showcased at RHS Chelsea, make excellent additions to the David Austin portfolio and are likely to create a lot of interest at the Show.
David Austin® have also recently launched two new cut roses – ‘Tess’ (pictured left) and ‘Carey’.
‘The Poet’s Wife’ (Auswhisper) is a delightful English Old Rose Hybrid with superb flowers of an unfading, strong yellow. This rose fits well with David Austin’s other English Old Rose Hybrids even though it has a little of the Leander group in its genetic make-up.
This shows up in its rather shiny foliage. Growth is low and naturally rounded, making it an idea rose for a position towards the front of the border. There is a rich fragrance with strong lemon tints at first, becoming sweeter and stronger with age. This is the first yellow rose the company has introduced for over 10 years so it is bound to attract attention and I feel likely to become very popular.
‘Olivia Rose Austin’ (Ausmixture) is an English Leander Hybrid which has been named after the daughter of David Austin Junior, so it has to be something rather special! Its flowers are of beautiful Old Rose formation, commencing as prettily cupped buds and gradually opening to become shallowly cupped rosettes of three and a half inches across.
A soft shade of pink with a strong, pleasing fragrance. The rose has vigorous growth and the foliage is of typical shiny Leander type. David Austin Roses comment that it is also one of the most disease-resistant types of rose they have known .
‘The Lady of the Lake’ (Ausherbert) is an English Rambler. When a rose breeder introduces a new climbing or rambling rose, it is always difficult to say just what height it is going to achieve as it takes some time for it to reach its full potential. ‘The Lady of the Lake’, however, promises to grow to a considerable height, perhaps 10 to 12ft or more, and has long slender, flexible stems, bearing sprays of pretty, semi-double flowers each about two inches across. This rose repeat flowers regularly throughout the summer which should make it really popular. Blooms are a lovely, delicate blush pink colour and are of open formation, exposing a nice boss of golden stamens.
‘The Lady of the Lake’ is the name of the ruler of Avalon in the Arthurian legend. She also plays a pivotal role in Sir Walter Scott’s famous poem of the same name.
David C. H. Austin commented: “I have an unwavering passion for developing the English Roses and I am continually striving for beauty and trying to recapture the essence of the rose. I believe our new introductions go some way to achieving this, particularly ‘Olivia Rose Austin’, which is perhaps one of the best roses we have bred to date”.
David Austin Roses® have also introduced two new cut roses. ‘Tess’, (pictured above top left) which was launched for Valentine’s Day 2014, is a ground-breaking new rose. David Austin’s first true red rose, ‘Tess’ has large, blousy blooms exuding the natural character and charm of old garden roses. The rose is available in a classic hand-tied bouquet and the rose benefits from a long vase live of over 10 days, making it ideal for gifting and arrangements in the home. This really is a sumptuous rose.
‘Carey’ is a brand new addition to David Austin’s luxury cut rose collection and will be available from Spring 2014 in a hand-tied bouquet. A charismatic rose it radiates a natural beauty and mingles beautifully with cottage garden flowers, herbs and foliage.
The rose has a delicious scent which is described by David Austin’s fragrance expert as having “a fresh rosy fragrance with an unusual hint of cedar wood.” Blooms begin as very large, plump buds with pale pink outer petals, gradually unfurling to reveal mid-pink petals with an almost lavender hue.
David Austin®Roses have an excellent on-line shop at www.davidaustinroses.com
You can visit their nursery and see their fantastic collection of roses flowering in their beautiful gardens situated at David Austin Roses, Bowling Green Lane, Albrighton, Wolverhampton, WV7 3HB.
Orders and catalogue requests can also be made on 01902 376300
Picture credit: ©all images are copyright of David Austin®Roses