This is what the weather has been like for the last two weeks and more snow is predicted. I thought I’d share some good news about David Austin’s latest offerings of own-root roses. They are each selected to grow well in the United States. They are shrub roses that have high ratings for disease resistance and flowering. If you live in an area where temperatures usually fall below 0°, you will appreciate the fact that Austin is growing some of his best roses on their own roots. If they die back to the ground, no problem. They will come true from their roots, unlike the ones grafted onto the root stock of Dr. Huey. I’ve had at least 3 grafted roses that came back out, only to be “Phooey, Dr. Huey!” The rose I’d paid for was gone for good.
The roses are, from left to right, ‘Susan Williams-Ellis’, ‘Tam o’ Shanter’, ‘Lady of Shallot’, ‘Kew Gardens’, and ‘The Wedgwood Rose’. All of the Austin roses have lovely forms and, most important for me, strong old rose fragrances.
The double white rose was a sport of ‘The Mayflower’, one of Austin’s most disease resistant shrub roses. Its name is honoring the co-owner of Portmerion pottery, which often had botanical themes painted on it.
‘Tam o’ Shanter’ is a cerise colored rose with 25 petals or so. It is named in honor of the 250th anniversary of the birth of the Poet Laureate of Scotland, Robert Burns. The name comes from one of his best-loved poems.
‘The Lady of Shallot’ is from a favorite ballad of Alfred Lord Tennyson. This tall shrub, to six feet, has by-tone petals of strong apricot and lighter peach on the under side. It is a repeat-flowering rose often with its biggest show in the autumn.
‘Kew Gardens’ named for the 250th anniversary of Kew Gardens, the Royal Botanical Gardens near London, is a single white rose with a center of yellow stamens. It makes a great hedge rose and has the added trait of being completely thornless so it can be utilized in situations close to people. It looks very much like a species rose.
The lovely pink ‘The Wedgwood Rose’ can be grown as a climber with canes growing to ten feet. Its fragrance is fruity on the outside and clove spice toward the center. It also enjoys the disease resistance of all the Austin shrub roses. It honors the famous blue and white pottery founded by Josiah Wedgwood in 1759 and produced in England.
Hope these lovelies have brightened your day and that you will give some thought to a special place in your own garden where one of these beauties