Old Rose, Tea, Fruit, Musk, Myrrh – fragrance & unlocking the secrets of the rose

A little on the fascinating subject of rose fragrant …

The Teddington Gardener

Princess Alexandra of Kent Princess Alexandra of Kent

This article is by Robert Calkin, originally published in The Royal National Rose Society Historic Rose Journal Autumn 2013. If you are not a member of the Historic Rose Group, articles such as these are just one reason to join! All the photography is mine.

The weather this afternoon is so foul, I’ve enjoyed the excuse and opportunity to transcribe the article and choose a few photographs from my ‘back catalogue’ to brighten my day.

The description of fragrance is fraught with difficulty. To begin with there is no definitive vocabulary of smell in common use, as there is for example for colour; we can only describe a fragrance by association. But this in itself raises a problem in that people have both different perceptions of small and different associations based on past experience. In trying to describe the fragrance of a rose the problem is…

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A Rose Masterclass with David Austin Nurseries (An October Showcase)

Michael Marriott lending his expertise at David Austin – planting and pruning masterclass at their eponymous nursery and gardens. The last trawl through my own back-catalogue though there are so many many more items to choose from … All to refresh my memory for an upcoming workshop at Petersham Nurseries

The Teddington Gardener

292053_268357303203223_2034923660_nMichael Marriott at the David Austin Rose Nursery in Albrighton providing some insights into rose planting, care and pruning on a bright October day a couple of years ago.

He is the Technical Director at David Austin, a Rosarian of renown, accomplished designer of rose gardens for the great, grand and good across the globe. If you see a rose garden that features David Austin roses at all, chances are he’s the man behind it!

This was a day-course at the Nurseries in Albrighton (west of Wolverhampton into Shropshire) on a bright October day and tells a little of the David Austin story. I’ve posted a potted history of the operations recently and a search of my own back catalogue will reap great rewards I’m certain!

How to plant a rose

Here (the first photograph) he was discussing planting bare rooted roses – though also by association container-grown plants too…

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Part One of a pruning, care and maintenance plan for your roses (What to do while they are still asleep) starring Mottisfont Abbey

The definitive rose garden at Mottisfont Abbey – and specifically looking at the structure and form of the plants in winter and then in full flower, in summer. Always best to learn from the best….

The Teddington Gardener

DSCF5509The beautiful collection of Old Roses at Mottisfont Abbey in Hampshire – displayed in three separate walled gardens, each with its own distinct character and altogether showcasing several hundred Old Roses varieties with a range of complimentary plants. And the fragrance! Be still my beating heart!

DSCF5460A preamble really to the subject matter today, introducing some elements of pruning and training Old Roses, climbing and rambling roses – eventually expanding later into an early spring maintenance regime so that your roses give their absolute best this summer and in the years to follow.

I’ve visited these impressive gardens both in winter and at their zenith in June and I thought it would be useful to look at some of the specimens to see how they have been cared for – contrasting them bare of leaf and flower – and see them too in their glorious summer garb.

69624_513893848649566_1894123755_nBuff Beauty here…

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David Austin at Albrighton – some roses I pruned earlier! (A March Showcase)

Roses all the way this week – just to bring a few pieces to the fore – to coincide with my rose masterclass at Petersham Nurseries …

The Teddington Gardener

306497_363081633730789_55287021_nA tour around the show gardens at David Austin in Albrighton one bright late March day

These photographs were taken in the March at a Design Course run by David Austin, following the course in October that I’ve just written about. The bare bones of the gardens are laid bare and the winter pruning has been completed.

It will be interesting to look through both October and March galleries to see where the biggest changes have been wrought. Compare and Contrast!

485664_363081657064120_1365030459_n529036_363081813730771_870747712_nThis is the circular garden, The Victorian Garden, with the box-edged planting beds – and peacocks – with warm brick wall covered in climbers.

527108_363081780397441_1018271553_n550070_363081690397450_470576207_n306278_363081740397445_1074001468_nThe pergolas and walkways are still supports for all manner of climbers and the more flexible ramblers. These have been twined around the supports (as much as some of the stiffer varieties can be – the ramblers take to this treatment much more readily). As…

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2 acres of Paradise? David Austin Roses at their Albrighton Nursery & Gardens – the best display in years methinks!

February and my thoughts are turning to roses – my workshop this week at Petersham Nurseries together with the new season stock that has arrived – plus no excuse is needed to showcase these exceptional gardens once more …

The Teddington Gardener

The Long Garden, Lion Garden, Victorian Garden and The Renaissance Gardens at David Austin’s home ground at Albrighton in Shropshire. The site is home to these magnificent 2-acre gardens, the extensive plant centre, shop and restaurant as well as the business-end of things, the breeding glasshouses and trial beds, the production nursery for all of the potted and bare-root plants and the offices, delivery warehouses and thank fully, considerably chilled warehouses – it was a warm day yesterday when I was a guest of David Austin and given a tour around the whole operation. Bliss!

The Long Garden is essentially that, running the full length of the gardens with paths leading off into other gardens or office, or Mr Austin’s house. Brick pillared pergolas criss-cross the gardens with curtains of climbing and rambling roses almost obscuring the architecture. The Renaissance Garden features a black-watered canal and covered Loggia, with successive…

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Time Travel: The Trial Beds at David Austin Roses – A glimpse of the future…

I’ve a rose workshop this Tuesday, 23rd February, at Petersham Nurseries – and this piece on the breeding program at David Austin seems quite relevant, so here it is again….

The Teddington Gardener

David Austin roses would seem to have the most extensive, comprehensive and probably expensive rose breeding program of any rose nursery in the world (I may be biased but it likely to be true!). After making between fifty thousand and sixty thousand crosses each year – one rose with another and more complicated crosses from previous explorations –  in their acreage of glasshouses, those rose deemed to have potential are planted out, in rows like this in the Trial Fields (this is just one), whereupon then they are watched and assessed, weekly, and results recorded for seven years or more.

Walking through this particular field, across the road from David Austin’s family home – he can likely see this over the hedge from an upstairs window – it is clear they have a business for many, many years ahead. We can try to guess the parentage of some of these…

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