Search This Blog

Saturday, February 4, 2012

David Austin "English Roses" for So Cal and a Meilland

Darcy Bussell

This rose is named for  the premier ballerina of the Royal Ballet. She was 20. Darcy went from strength to strength as a dancer and was awarded the OBE. Here she is in Balanchine's Rubies.

The rose named in her honor  --unlike some of the Austin roses---  is especially recommended for our zone and will " will remain bushy and compact even in the warmest areas, making it ideal for the front of rose beds or the mixed border" . And it smells good. If you can't find this rose in stock now at your local nursery, hasten to the Austin website and order one there.

David Austin is too well known to need any detailed biography here--and it's all on the Austin website anyway. However, he's my hero because all his roses smell like roses used to smell, and some smell absolutely heavenly. Austin roses have a character of their own. The first ones this gardener tried all grew nicely but were slow to establish themselves-- Gertrude Jekyll, Graham Thomas,Pilgrim,. However, Teasing Georgia and  Abraham Darby took off running

. In recent years Austin has his  roses sold in this country,  grown in Tyler,Texas, and many of them are totally  adapted to our climate.

Jude the Obscure

This rose , besides being spectacular has won some impressive prizes for scent  which is described as " having a strong fruity fragrance with hints of guava and sweet white wine". Hmmmm.....this sensual delight is not one of Austin's more appropriately named roses . It applies to one of Thomas Hardy's more depressed character( which is saying a lot, as most of them are depressed.)  Jude hangs himself. Perhaps Mr. Austin is not a great reader? Any votes out there for re-naming it Jude Law, a sensual delight to the eye even if we don't know how he smells?


This lovely won the medal for Best Scented Rose of the Year** . What makes it a sure thing  is the fact that it is named for the Wolverhampton Soccer Team.With recommendations like that ........ how can we lose? 

Not to be missed is another recent rose

Lady Emma Hamilton

And what did she do? Quite a few scandalous things***. She was a country girl who made it in London, (she was Romney's favorite model) married a Lord and became the lover of British  naval hero Lord Nelson. Austin named the rose to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar. Well, okay, perhaps a bit of a stretch..... but Lady Emma is luscious has a strong "fruity scent of pear grape and citrus. It is vigorous and free flowering. 

Last but far from least, is Meilland's Yves Piaget,  named for the president of watchmaker/jeweler SA Piaget. ( Piaget is a famous  French firm of long standing ---made watches for Napoleon). Yves It is a superb rose, tough, undemanding and disease resistant .

Yves Piaget

This rose smells spicy, and has great substance which makes it a great cut flower. It lives without complaint, on grey water from the washing machine and is a particular favorite in this garden.


** at the Royal National Rose Society Trials
*** See movie starring Vivien Leigh and Lawrence Olivier That Hamilton Woman made when Leigh and Olivier were young and in love. In black and white, not a memorable  film but do they  look good. 

No comments: