Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show: 2016 David Austin roses
I just received the list of new David Austin English roses available to gardeners for the 2016 season! David Austin has been breeding roses in England for 50 years and these are not the grandiflora, tea rose types that are sensitive and picky but rather lovely old fashioned type shrub roses that hold their fragrance, are mostly repeat bloomers and will grow in full sun to part shade. Two of the three would be suitable for Minnesotans with winter protection. The rambler might be really stretching it with it’s zone 7 rating. However, you could certainly try it in a microclimate and also using winter protection.
‘Olivia Rose Austin’ is the name of, what David calls, “possibly the best rose we’ve ever bred”.
“It’s remarkably healthy and disease-free, incredible for a fragrant rose that blooms in such abundance. Its bloom season starts quite early, typically three full weeks ahead of other English Roses. All season, the blooms keep coming in full-blown flushes that follow in quick succession, hot on the heels of the one before.” The soft pink flowers have an Old Rose formation that opens to a lovely cupped rosette. The medium-strong fragrance is lovely, with distinctly fruity tints. The dark green foliage shows off the flowers beautifully.
Details: Repeat-flowering. Pleasing fruity fragrance. The fully double flowers are 4-inches in diameter with approximately 90 petals each. Grows to 3.5-feet tall by 3-feet wide. Hardy in USDA Zones 5-10.
Introducing ‘The Poets Wife’…
Austin’s scent expert (rose nose) Robert Calkins gives ‘The Poet’s Wife’ a top-ranked score of 5 out of 5 for fragrance, describing it as Old Rose with strong hints of unripe lemon rind, peach and mango that becomes stronger and sweeter with age. For the lay nose, said Marriott, that translates to “a rich fruity citrus fragrance that sweetens.” Marriott has just added ‘The Poet’s Wife’ to Austin’s list of Most Fragrant English Roses.
Details: Repeat-flowering. Very strongly fragrant. The fully double flowers are 4.5-inches in diameter with approximately 80 petals each. The bush is nicely rounded with shiny dark green foliage. Grows to 4-feet tall by 3 ½ -feet wide, taller in warmer areas. Hardy in USDA Zones 5-10. (David Austin 2014, Auswhirl).
And finally ‘The Lady of the Lake’…
A resurgence of interest in billowy, flower-laden rambler roses is greatly inspired by the new beauties bred by David Austin Roses. Now, Austin introduces ‘The Lady of the Lake’, its fourth short rambler to be bred for repeat-bloom, fragrance, and heights of 10 to 15 feet. These are ramblers made for climbing arches, trellises, pergolas, walls, fences, obelisks and small trees. They are perfectly scaled to draping structures with flowers and fragrance, without overwhelming them with size or weight. Details: Repeat-flowering. Strongly fragrant. The semi-double flowers are 2-inches in diameter with approximately 30 petals each. Grows to 10- to 15-feet tall. Hardy in USDA Zones 7 -10 (to grow in Zones 6 and colder, provide winter protection).
All of these roses are purchased bare-root and available on their website.
I also talked about Mycorrhizal fungi which are believed to have developed 400 – 500 million years ago. In the wild, most plants are highly dependent on them as they create a secondary root system that helps the roots extract water and nutrients out of the ground.