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Austin Reds - Comparatively Speaking

posted by: rideauroselad on 06.20.2013 at 10:27 am in Antique Roses Forum

I have been growing roses, Austins and others, for more than two decades now. I have always had a passion for the very full, quartered old fashioned reds, the darker the better. It is an enigma to me why I love the dark red old fashioned blooms so much, because other bloom types of red rose, explorers, HTs, Floribundas, etc. spark no interest on my part.

In my earlier rose growing years I tried a number of the red HPs, Empereur du Maroc, Souvenir du Docteur Jamain and a few others. Likely because I was relatively new to rose growing, the plants of those varieties did not do well for me and I was too impatient with them when they would not perform to my unrealistic expectations. I will try more HPs if I ever again have a garden in a warm climate. In fact, if I could find an authentic version of Souvenir d'Alphonse Lavallée, I'd scoop it up now.

So I started trying the red Austin roses. I have trialed most of them over the years, shovel pruned some for various reasons, or did not replace others when I moved across the continent 11 years ago. Since then, I have tried many more.

This spring, I am growing two of the newest ones, Munstead Wood and Darcey Bussell. They have both begun to bloom and I am quite impressed with both for habit, vigour and bloom power. Especially for such young plants, albeit grafted, They have now both joined my short list of red keepers for my cold climate garden.

I think now that I likely have my primary list of red old fashioned roses for this garden and climate. My list includes the following:

The Squire 1977; Wenlock, 1984; William Shakespeare, 1987; Darcey Bussell, 2005; and Munstead Wood, 2007; and the Barden introduction Siren's Keep, 2003.

Here are a few images for comparison, but as always seems to be the case with my red rose images, the colours are not quite true to life.

The Squire photo SUMMER015.jpg

The Squire who grows in a pot. Sparse habit, poor disease resistance, scant fragrance; but absolutely the most spectacular dark crimson red quartered blooms and reasonable rebloom and vigour. I keep him solely for his blooms which frequently grace the house in a posie, or bud vase

Squire, Tradescent, WS 2000 photo DSCF0061.jpg

This image is of a bloom each of The Squire, William Shakespeare 2000 and Tradescent in a posie. The bloom on the top left is The Squire, WS 2000 top right and Tradescent at bottom. WS 2000 and Tradescent alas do not like my climate and have left the garden.

Wenlock Bush - 2013 photo WenlockBushJune13_zps9099a1fa.jpg

This is an image of my 3rd year own root plant of Wenlock. Healthy, vigorous, clustered flowers, extreme damask fragrance and excellent rebloom. The colour is a little on the purple side of red but very pleasing to my eye.

Wenlock & Snowbeauty photo DSCF0093.jpg

and another Wenlock

William Shakespear - Original photo DSCF0046.jpg

William Shakespeare, 1987; a better plant for my climate than the 2000 variety. Much more vigorous, larger blooms, better fragrance, healthy and good rebloom.

William Shakespeare 1987, D photo RosaWilliamShakespeare_zpse689b60e.jpg

and another: this is from a French website/blog that I can no longer find on th web, but is the best image of the original William Shakespeare rose that I have seen, this is the real thing, and real colour. The photographer is a lady named C. Baral, her image, not mine. But it is so gorgeous, I just had to link it.

Darcey Bussel - day 4 photo DSCF0176_zps2e209d40.jpg

And a final image of a 4 day old bloom of Darcey Bussell taken this morning. The colour in reality is less coral and more on the purple side of the spectrum, but the blooms are gorgeous and long lasting. The plant, vigorous, shrubby and healthy.

I don't have any images of Munstead Wood yet, but he is covered in buds that will open is a few days.

Hope your red roses are doing well also.


Rideau Rose Lad, aka Rick


clipped on: 02.20.2014 at 01:42 pm    last updated on: 02.20.2014 at 01:42 pm

Fall Blooms & Roses I Love

posted by: rideauroselad on 09.13.2012 at 06:36 am in Antique Roses Forum

We all love the spring, the grand flush of bloom from all our roses. But there is something about the roses of the fall that makes them special. True, they are usually fewer in number in the fall flush, but with the cooler tempetatures, the colours are more dramatic and the scent is often much more pervasive than on a hot June day.

Two of the roses that I particularly adore in my fall garden are the English Roses Evelyn and The Pilgrim.

Rosa Evelyn

My admiration for Mr. Austin's Evelyn has grown over the years. She dies to the ground here every winter, but comes back strong in spring. She is a very reliable repeat bloomer for me and is a standout for flower shape, colour and scent. Her habit is a bit vase shaped, but she grows tall enough and erect enough to hold her blooms above the neighbors in the bed she graces. Her fragrance is of course famous and in fact I know some of the ladies who habituate the forums wear her name sake perfume. As with many of Mr. Austin's creations, the pronunciation of her name differs from the norm in the U.S. and Canada. The name is pronounced Eve-uh-lynne. She is quite blackspot resistant here, but was one of the roses I had some rust problems with last year and the year before. I've cleared that up now though and she soldiers on, now in perfect health. I have propogated three more plants of her. I already have two plants and she will soon be getting pride of place in the front bed that I plan to renovate next spring.

The Pilgrim

Rosa The Pilgrim

The Pilgrim, along with Cressida, is perhaps one of my two favorite roses. His blooms are some of the most perfect of any rose I know. Hundreds of tiny petals intricately and perfectly set around a button eye. His colour, strong lemon yellow centre fading to parchment white at the edges is one of my favorites. His fragrance is strong, beautiful and reliable. A subtle concoction of Tea rose that makes me close my eyes when I inhale. He is a bit stingier with his blooms than Evelyne, but I find that adds to his mystique. I watch for the buds and visit every day in anticipation of the spectacular gifts that he will present. I like to think that like fine food and fine wine, perfect blooms take time to prepare and to devlop, and the Pilgrim is a master bloom maker. He is a little more sprawling than Evelyne, but absolutely healthy here in my garden. I have propogated another plant of him as well and plan to put him in a pot where he will be closer by.

Who do you love in your fall garden? I would love to hear about the roses that tug at your heart.

Cheers, Rick


clipped on: 02.20.2014 at 01:31 pm    last updated on: 02.20.2014 at 01:31 pm

The Allure of The Early English Roses

posted by: rideauroselad on 01.23.2013 at 08:40 pm in Antique Roses Forum

I've just quit painting for the day. DW and I are doing yet more updating our 105 year old Victorian House and I need spend some time thinking about my passions rather than painting trim.

So on to rose talk. I've long been an admirer of David Austin and his marvelous breeding program. Some people love to hate him, but if it weren't for Entlish roses, I'd likely have quit growing roses in my cold climate. I first fell in love with David Austin's roses in a much warmer climate almost twenty years ago. The fact that many of his roses are relatively hardy here in Eastern Ontario, 4b, makes them even more dear to me as a passionate rose gardener in a rose challenged climate. Its -20 C outside and going to - 28 C or colder tonight. So once more, my roses will be tested by a cold Canadian Winter.

Many of the Early English Roses prove hardy because of the fact that they have OGR and Rugosa breeding very close up in their genetics. This in my view also helps to give many of them a much more OGR habit, and form as plants than a lot of the newer releases. Yes, perhaps they are not as continuous flowering as the newer releases, but their hardiness and shrubby habit more than make up for that in my garden.

Some of my favorites are:

Cressida (1983):

 photo Cressida_TivoliRose_zpsfca29305.jpg

This image of Cressida is one taken by Tivoli Rose, Susan, from New York, who used to frequent the forum. It is one of the most gorgeous rose photos I have ever seen. I hope she does not mind me linking to it, credit where credit is due.

Cressida has been one of my favorite roses every since I first saw / smelled her. She is one of the most fragrant roses I have ever smelled. Potent, delicious and fruity scent, of Myrrh and old fashioned perfume. Her blooms are ruffled and pleasingly dishevelled and have a rare old time charm with a hint of her Noisette / Climbing Tea ancestry, through Gloire de Dijon. She is three quarters Gallica through her pollen parent Chaucer and half Rugossa hybrid through her seed parent Conrad Ferdinand Meyer. She does best as a grafted plant. I have tried to grow her own root several times, but while she strikes cuttings easily, they remain extremely small, miniature size, for me. We shall give her a real test for hardiness this week. I did not winter protect her this year and the nights are very cold this week.

Lilian Austin:

Rosa Lilian Austin photo PA061023.jpg

Lillian Austin is a standout for her colour, rapid rebloom and cold hardiness. She is low growing and a bit sprawling, would make a good landscape rose. her blooms are a gorgeous salmon colour with a yellow centre and are especially lovely in cooler weather. I have grown her forever and would not be without her. Her cold hardiness is a bit of a mystery. Her breeding is full of tender Hybrid Teas and Floribundas with a only a little Gallica and Rosa Foeteda a long way back. But never the less, she must have inherited a cold hardiness gene from one of her ancestors, because she survives zone 4b winters year after year.

Redoute (1992 sport of The Mary Rose 1983):

Redoute photo GardenTour070002.jpg

Redoute is a sport of The Mary Rose, and I love its blush pink colour. He is also healthy, fragrant, vigorous, has prolific rebloom and is reliably winter hardy in my garden. I grow several plants of Redoute and Wichester Cathedral, a White Sport of The Mary Rose, in my garden. There is Gallica again, three generations back and that is where I presume the winter hardiness trait came from. No winter protection for these plants either.

William Shakespeare, the original (1987):

William Shakespear photo DSCF0091.jpg

This is one of Mr. Austin's roses that has been "superceded". Not just superceded, but he has in fact named another rose William Shakespear 2000. I have grown both, but William Shakespear 2000 has left the garden after four years and several moves to try to make him happy. The original for me in my garden is vastly superior and remains. He is much more shrubby, vigorous, healthier, more winter hardy and just as good a bloomer. His flowers are larger and more of a garnet crimson that fades to a pleasing mauve purple similar to some of the old Gallica roses such as Hippolyte and Charles de Milles. The colour in my photo is a little washed out, so I have linked to a website with some gorgeous photos of this rose. Another early English rose I adore.

Well, I've gone on quite a while, got the rose bug out of my system for now on this cold January day. I've been hearing its cold in California. Sorry bout that, but I suspect its a wee bit colder here in the Great White North.

Cheers, Rick

Here is a link that might be useful: William Shakespeare at Démons et Merveilles


clipped on: 02.20.2014 at 11:25 am    last updated on: 02.20.2014 at 11:25 am

RE: Austins for the Maritimes? (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: rideauroselad on 09.06.2013 at 10:43 am in Roses Forum


I know what you are going through. I moved from the West Coast to Eastern Ontario twelve years ago and had exactly the same questions. Here are a few observations that I have made on the subject of growing English roses in a harsh 4b/5a climate zone:

You can grow a lot of English roses in a Canadian zone 5 with good success, but it takes a lot more work and a lot more patience that it did in British Columbia. You have to love your tender roses a lot to put in the work. At last count, I think I am growing about 35 or more varieties of English Roses here.

Not all zone 5's are created equal. My zone 5a, just south of Ottawa, is likely harsher than a 5a further South or even N. S.. Because I am further North and inland, my winters are longer by several weeks. I get frost earlier and spring comes later than even a few hundred kilometres further South or near the Great Lakes. If you live in Northern N.S, North of Halifax, then you will have a similar lengthy winter four or five months instead of the two experienced on the West Coast. In addition, cold spells will last longer and freeze thaw cycles will probably be more severe. I have seen the temperature here go from +14 to -27 in the space of two days. I have also seen periods of temperatures of -27 to -31 that lasted for more than a week. If you don't have reliable snow cover, that is very hard on tender roses, so winter protection is a very good idea.

Many English roses are cane hardy -22 C or so. In zone 5 they are going to die back to the snow line. I cut mine back and cover them with straw as soon as the ground is frozen solid. I uncover them as soon as the straw thaws in spring.

Tender roses will take much longer to establish in a cold zone, especially own root. The old rose grower saying: First year they sleep, second they creep, third they leap. is absolutely true. Many less vigorous varieties take 4 or more growing season to develop the root mass necessary to survive and grow well in my climate.

Blackspot: I have read that there are 15 strains in North America. In my experience, many roses said to be healthy in one region get Blackspot in another and vice versa. I have also found, that often a variety will get Blackspot its first or second year and then be clean thereafter. That said, some varieties are reliably healthier than others. I also clean my beds and spray with dormant lime sulphur spray before the buds break. I spot spray fungicide if I see problems developing on specific plants.

A good fertilizer and mulching program will also help greatly in a harsh climate. I mulch with composted manure and then cover with a thick layer of compost and wood chips. I also apply a good fish based fertilizer several times during the season to help the plants build roots and grow strong during the short growing season.

I have my own personal list of proven English Rose reliable performers in my harsh zone 5 climate. With winter protection, they are:

Lilian Austin, Crocus Rose, Saint Cecilia, Saint Swithun, The Alexandra Rose, Evelyn, Geoff Hamilton, Crown Princess Margharetta, Charles Darwin, Teasing Georgia and the Reeve.

Evelyn and Saint Cecelia may require spraying for rust if that is an issue where you live, but unlikely; as well as for mildew. But all the varieties named above have proven vigorous and healthy enough to come back from nearly the ground year after year and grow and bloom well in my 4b/5a climate.

Of the varieties you name, William Shakespear 2000 and Winchester Cathedral are both gone due to lack of sufficient vigour and scrawniness in my cold climate. Teasing Georgia is one of the healthiest and best re-blooming roses I grow. She comes back from a stump year after year and I grow her on a small trellis. She gets to five or six feet in my garden and blooms very well. You might want to give her another couple of seasons to see if she becomes resistant to the local strain of Blackspot.

Other non English Rose varieties that do very well for me are Bella Renaisance, The Fairy, Buck Roses; including Distant Drums, Pearlie Mae and Folksinger.

Compte de Chambourd, Jaques Cartier and Rose de Rescht are also old garden roses which I know are grown by many in this area with success, though I do not grow them myself. All of them are grown in the rose garden at the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa. They also grow a number of English roses with success, including Mary Rose, L. D. Braithwaite, Lilian Austin and a few others.
I would also suggest you might wish to grow some cold hardy roses to fill out your collection, mordens, rugosas, explorers. I have quite a few as landscape plants along the house and fences and amongst the perennials and love them for their easy care and ability to fill in the blanks in the garden.

I know there are one or two people on the rose forum who grow roses in Nova Scotia with apparent success. A lady named Valerie posts occasionally and grows English roses in N. S. I have provide a link to her member page and you may wish to do a search for her posts or send her an email.

I have found that while a challenge, growing roses in a cold zone is extremely rewarding, perhaps more so than it was on the West Coast. Good luck and don't give up just yet. Knowledge is power and you can learn and be successful if you persevere.

Cheers, Rick

Here is a link that might be useful: onewheeler's member page


clipped on: 02.20.2014 at 10:58 am    last updated on: 02.20.2014 at 10:59 am

Good companion rose for Julia Child (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: echolane on 11.11.2011 at 01:18 am in Roses Forum

I grow a lot of roses and I love so many of them. But a few are really special to me. Julia Child is one of those special ones because it is so floriferous and healthy. And I love those beautiful old fashioned flowers, their just right yellow color and all on a beautiful shrub. But for the life of me I can't seem to come up with a worthy companion.

Right now I have Darcy Bussell next to her and as much as I like DB, i think the color is too strong to be an ideal companion. Id actually like to find a rose that grows a lot like Julia, looks a lot like Julia, is healtht like Julia, but is a different color.

Is there such a rose?

next to her


clipped on: 04.13.2013 at 01:10 pm    last updated on: 04.13.2013 at 01:10 pm

RE: Kordes roses verdict: excellent (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: steveinaus on 06.14.2011 at 09:02 pm in Roses Forum

I got into roses in a big way a couple of years ago and after buying some that looked good on the tag and ending up being disappointed with how they turned out, I started going to rose gardens, etc, to see lots of different varieties of roses growing, to see which ones I liked the most. I also started doing research and reading reviews like on forums like these and looking at photo's on the net and what I eventually found was that a lot of the roses that I ended up liking the most were bred by Kordes.
I especially like high-centred, beautifully formed roses that you could see in rose shows, especially if they're slow to open and that's pretty much what I've learned Kordes specialize in. They apparently dominate the cut-flower industry in Europe and it's easy to see why, having seen so many of their varieties now.
Being so heavily into the cut flower industry also ensures that most of their varieties have a very high production, which is an added bonus. Some of them can apparently churn out up to 300 flowers per year!
I'm not sure how easily it is to get Kordes roses over there in the US, but over here in Australia we're lucky that our leading bare-root rose source is also the agent here for Kordes and have apparently introduced over 140 Kordes varieties here in the past 20 years.
My favourite is Osiria, which blew me away when I saw one in person for the first time (it's worth Googling "Osiria rose photo", to have a look at them, they're incredible) with other fantastic, beautifully formed and reasonably well known ones including: Abracadabra, Folklore, Kardinal, Peter Frankenfeld, Shocking Blue, Memoire, Ekstase and Helmut Schmidt.
If you like high-centred, well formed, slow to open, high production roses, I recommend you look into Kordes for sure.


clipped on: 03.06.2013 at 04:02 pm    last updated on: 03.06.2013 at 04:02 pm

RE: Roses-Are they meant for Canadian weather? (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: ottawan_z5a on 01.21.2008 at 08:54 pm in Gardening in Canada Forum

Like everything else in life, there is trade-off in growing roses as well.
If you want bloom for the whole growing season in the cold northern climate, then you need Hybrid Tea roses but you have to work at it. You have to keep the area clean of weeds and debris such as diseased leaves, fertilize and water as required. Watch for disease that can afflict Hybrid Tea roses, most common of which is black spots (fungus) most probably caused by wet leaves in humid weather and when there is less space for air circulation around the bush. You have to be ready to counter the black spot with fungicide before it spreads. It can defoliate the plant making it weak going into the winter. In fall, you have to mound the base of the plant with soil, peat moss and leaves to protect the root and graft area. If there is no mound at the bottom, the cold can kill the graft very often, or periodic freezing, thawing and freezing again can lift and tear the roots up thus breaking the tiny roots and subsequent plant kill. You have to stop feeding fertilizer after mid August so more energy goes into hardening the existing plant rather than growing new shoots. It is better to prune the branches before freeze so plant energy will not be wasted by maintaining the long branches before they freeze.
If this is too much to do then you have to plant hardy roses such as any from the Explorer series developed in Ottawa or the Marden series developed in Manitoba for Northern cold areas. These do not requires as elaborate attention but the bloom will not be perpetual over the growing season as is the case with the Hybrid Tea type. The bloom in most cases will be in early summer, and periodic with surprise bloom now and then in the summer time.
If you want to enjoy beautiful bloom continuously throughout the growing season then plant Hybrid Tea roses and pay respect with due attention and labour of love throughout the growing season as well as at t he end of the season..
If you want roses with minimum efforts then plant hardy roses (like Explorer and Marden series) and be satisfied with lesser bloom.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.


clipped on: 03.06.2013 at 03:32 pm    last updated on: 03.06.2013 at 03:32 pm

RE: Roses-Are they meant for Canadian weather? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: cape_breton_gardener on 07.12.2007 at 09:01 pm in Gardening in Canada Forum

I'm new to the zone 5 area, and have asked lots of questions in regards to roses prior to planting anything. My brother-in-law has oodles of beautiful roses in his yard, and has been a wonderful source of knowledge. He only buys certain types of roses, more specifically those noted as being "Sub-Zero". (meaning their hardiness zone starts at 2)

I took his advice and have had wonderful success with mine. Some of his tips are;

When planting, combine 2 parts sand, 1 part peat moss, 1 part manure and 1 part garden soil to the area in which your rose is to be planted.

Sprinkle bone meal in the hole prior to planting.

To assure all air pockets are removed, he fills the hole with water - making a milkshake consistency between the soil and water - then "plunks" the bush in, back fills with more of the above soil mixture and packs it down hard with the palms of his hands.

Also, I've found that rather than watering in more frequent, short spirts, I get better results by barely turning the hose on (just so that it drips) and laying it at the roots of the rose plant overnight once a week.

I hope some of this information has helped. Good luck and happy gardening!


clipped on: 03.06.2013 at 03:27 pm    last updated on: 03.06.2013 at 03:28 pm

RE: Roses-Are they meant for Canadian weather? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: ianna on 07.13.2007 at 09:54 am in Gardening in Canada Forum

Many roses are hardy to Canadian climate. The Canadian Explorer Roses were bred specifically to withstand our winters, there are however many varieties that can do well in our weather. I even had a nice sized bourbon rose in my yard which surprised me. The tea hybrids are generally more vulnerable to many diseases and in my opinion, don't experiment with these plants until you have more experience handling roses.

When just planting a new rose, make sure the area is in the right place - much sun, not soggy or wet soil, in fact should be soil that can drain well. So if you had planted your bush in a clay or compacted soil, your plant will definitely be stunted. Second dig a good sized hole, and fill it with the mix described by cape breton.

Bone meal provides the phosphorus which helps promote blooms. Compost and a composted manure helps with the plants growth. Fertlizing during summer is normally a big no no because of the risk of root burns. (chemical fertlizers are bound to salts and salts in harsh sun can be particularly harmful to the plants) but our summer in Ontario has had many mild weathers akin to a late spring weather which makes fertilizing still doable.

I prefer using a non-chemical approach and therefore simply rely on topdressing of compost, bonemeal during summers. An occasonal dose of epsom salts also helps (not summer application).

For winter treatment. Start pruning the plant. Remove any dead or cross branches. Trash away any fallen leaves to prevent mildew or fungal infestation. Cut down the can to a say a foot high. Add mulch to the bottom to protect the roots. This is especially necessary for grafted roses. Use a root cone for tender perennials for further protection. In spring after the last frost date, remove the cone, remove the mulch. Cut any dead canes.

And then let it be. To better understand what blooms do well in our area - check the Pickering Nursery website. They supply roses in Ontario.


clipped on: 03.06.2013 at 03:25 pm    last updated on: 03.06.2013 at 03:26 pm

RE: Fragrant floribundas: need your two cents! (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: rosetom on 02.27.2013 at 10:22 pm in Roses Forum

Don't know much about the other ones, but Livin' Easy has never had a fragrance AFAIK and I've had two for about 10 years. Still, it's a great floribunda and while the bush can get fairly large, it stays within what I'd call a floribunda size - you can dependable plant it in front of HT's or taller roses and not worry too much about it taking over.

Not in your list, but Angel Face is quite fragrant and a truly lavender rose. It's a Gamble award winner for fragrance. Scentimental also has a heck of a scent but like some modern floribundas, it has to be hacked on a regular basis in my yard to keep it from getting 7-8 feet tall by the end of the season. ;-)

Iceberg grows out instead of up - you must give it room, but a cut spray has powerful fragrance. It's also one of the classics that has superior disease resistance and hardiness, IMHO.

Stay away from Sunsprite - a horrible rose in heat, I've never smelled anything but a manure-like fragrance from its blooms that blow in a few hours.


clipped on: 02.28.2013 at 09:16 am    last updated on: 02.28.2013 at 09:16 am