English Garden Rose

There are more than sixty varieties of the English Rose. They span nearly every color in the rainbow and are among the most coveted roses by rosarians.

It would be difficult to cover every variety of English Roses in this piece, but I will highlight some of my favorites, giving a few details here and there. It should be enough to whet your appetite English Roses.

But first, a bit of history.

David Austin of Shropshire, England is renowned for producing a style of rose in the genre of hybrid teas, Noisettes, Portland Damasks and Hybrid Perpetuals. His goal was to breed these new roses to exploit the best qualities of modern shrubs and Old Garden Roses (OGRs).

He succeeded with the English Rose only to the point that each variety is somewhat climate specific and fraught with complexities. If you enjoy experimenting then this is the rose for you. The rewards for your efforts are fragrance beyond your wildest imagination. Most modern roses are lacking in this area but the English Roses are exceptionally fragrant. The shrubs are huge on most of them, so plan your garden accordingly.

Here is a list of a few varieties I have tried. Some worked out and I keep them around, while others required too much trouble for the end result. And some are just on my list at the moment:

o Abraham Darby
o Gertrude Jekyll
o St. Swithun
o Graham Thomas
o John Clare
o Teasing Georgia
o Country Living
o Mayor of Casterbridge
o Tradescant
o William Shakespeare
o Fair Bianca
o William Shakespeare 2000

Abraham Darby is my all-time favorite and in my opinion one of the nicest English Roses I've had the pleasure of cultivating. Its deep apricot color and peachy strong fruity scent are very nice. It is a cross between the Yellow Cushion, a floribunda and the Aloha, a climber. My Abraham Darby on average blooms perfectly every season and the scent is just titillating. Disease is nearly never a problem and the height of 5 feet or more is obtained quickly, giving it the ability to be easily trained as a climber.

The blooms appear in small clusters of three to five and occasionally I get a huge bloom at the single end of a shoot. The clusters vary colors from a uniform apricot tone to a soft pink with a soft yellow interior, giving an overall peach appearance.

The fragrance is incredibly strong and rather fruity, reminiscent of the traditional old rose scent. This is one of the nicest apricot English roses I've had the pleasure of enjoying.

A couple other favorites I have in the garden include the Ambridge Rose Apricot Pink Blend. This rose has particularly large cup shaped blooms that fade from medium apricot to near white with age. It makes a great cut flower. The lineage of the Ambridge Rose is 'Charles Austin' crossed with a seedling.

The Light Pink Moderate Cottage Rose is sweet with a faint medicinal scent. My Cottage Rose is grows fairly dense shade sporting flowers with a thick cluster of pink petals measuring four inches across. Although reaching a height of six feet, my Cottage Rose is a little spindly. The parents of Cottage Rose include Wife of Bath and Mary Rose.

Fair Bianca' intoxicating fragrance is a real garden charmer. This nice-looking rose forms a very nice rounded shrub and adapts well to a large pot. The blooms are creamy white with a hint of pink on the outer petals. The scent is somewhat spicy. I would describe it a little on the piney side and certainly is a scent that you'll need to experience to see if you like it.

'Gertrude Jekyll' is a cross between David Austin's Portland Rose 'Comte de Chambord' and his pink Wife of Bath. This English rose is very beautiful when you find the location and conditions it requires. So in order to get twenty or more blooms like I did, after moving it three times, either prune new growth to 1/2 length, or peg the tips of the long canes to the ground. This helps encourage more blooms. The exquisite scent it produces is so compelling that this is one of the few roses actually used in perfumes.

These are just a few of my show pieces. In the future I will be trying some of the other popular and intriguing roses such as the Glamis Castle (Pure White), Golden Celebration (Deep Golden Yellow), the much acclaimed Graham Thomas (Butter Yellow Tea Rose), L. D. Braithwaite (Deep Red Moderate), Lilac Rose (Mauve), Lilian Austin (Orange Blend), Lilian Austin (Ausmound) Medium Pink, Pat Austin (Coppery Orange), Sharifa Asma (Blush Pink), Tamora (Soft Apricot Blend), and The Prince (Deep Crimson).

I've got my work planned for a couple of years, but then that's what we rosarians do, right?

Tim McMillan is a rose gardening enthusiast and chief editor of Rose Gardening News. For more great information on Rose Bush Care, visit http://www.rosegardeningnews.com

No comments:

Post a Comment