cinthia milner, transplanted and still blooming, crocus rose david austin english roses

Dream of David Austin English Roses

If you’re my College Son you’re currently enjoying 72° days with 66° nights in Costa Rica. If you live on the East Coast, you’re currently enjoying a blast of Arctic air. The lovely rose pictures below are for those huddled by fireplaces and wood stoves, not those donning sunglasses and snapping selfies with the word “Epic” tagged on them. So make a cup of tea, sit back, feet up, in your favorite chair, near the heat, and relish the pictures while dreaming of summertime and roses.

This first one is so lovely it makes my heart hurt. It is The Lady Gardener, a David Austin English rose released for 2015. I think its petals look like paper mâché, and its color like a creamsicle.

cinthia milner transplanted and still blooming lady gardener david austin rose

David Austin English Rose | The Lady Gardener | Shrub rose | 3 1/2′ to 4′ tall, 2 1/2′ wide | blooms 4″ across | Tea fragrance with hints of cedar and vanilla

The Lady Gardener was named to raise awareness for Plant Heritage, a national council for the conservation of plants and gardens in England. David Austin maintains the national collection of English roses in their rose garden, located at their Plant Centre in Albrighton, Shropshire, England. The Lady Gardener makes its stunning debut this year, after 8 years of trials, prior. It is so worth the wait.

I spoke with Michael Marriott, the company’s senior rosarian and technical manager this week, not in person, but via phone. He in England at his desk, and I in my car, hoping my cell phone signal would not die, or the heat in the car quit, since it was a whopping 10° outside. In my warm, fireplace-roaring, toasty-comfy house, I can lose cell signal, and while friends and family generally just let the line go dead, and catch up with me later, Mr. Marriott scheduled an hour of his time to answer my questions about the beautiful David Austin English roses. I really didn’t want to see the dreaded “call failed” notification on my IPhone.

My fascination with David Austin (the breeder), and his English roses began at South Turkey Creek with my purchase of Constance Spry, a climbing rose that I used as a climber/shrub over the vegetable garden fence (literally over it, the one rose sprawled up and over both sides). In the world of it-must-repeat-bloom, this rose wouldn’t make it with today’s garden center customers. It blooms only once a year, but that “only” time is perfect, making it more than worthy of the garden space. Besides, I have made my views known on the whole bloom-all-dang-summer topic.  Luckily, most of David Austin roses are repeat bloomers (in my Brevard, NC zone 7a garden, generally 3x a growing season, each time pretty spectacularly), and so folks can have their cake and eat it too.

Mr. Marriott answered a ton of questions for me, but my favorite answer was to this question, “What characteristic are you primarily breeding for?”

“The rose must be beautiful,” he said. “If a plant isn’t beautiful, then there’s really no reason to have it in your garden, is there?”

Absolutely agree.

I’ll share more of the interview with Mr. Marriott later, but for now, while the Arctic air keeps the doors barred, enjoy these lovely beauties, and dream of David Austin English roses.

cinthia milner, transplanted and still blooming david austin english roses constance spry

Constance Spry doing her one-time blooming pretty fabulously.

cinthia milner, transplanted and still blooming, david austin english roses, maid marion

Maid Marion | Another 2015 release | Fragrant (myrrh, fruity) | 3′ x 3′ shrub | Repeat bloomer

cinthia milner, transplanted and still blooming, david austin english roses, Susan Williams-Ellis

‘Susan Williams-Ellis’ | 135 petals per bloom | Blooms May to frost (pretty much non-stop) | Fragrant | 4′ x 3′ | Very winter hardy | Really, are you still going to get a Knock-Out Rose?

cinthia milner, transplanted and still blooming, david austin english roses, heathcliff, thomas a becket,

En masse ‘Heathcliff’, ‘Thomas a Becket’, ‘Jubilee Celebration’

cinthia milner, transplanted and still blooming, david austin english roses, lady of shallot

‘Lady of Shallot’ a favorite in my small, picket-fence rose garden | Can be a climber (6-10′ tall) or shrub 4′ x 3 1/2′ | Fragrance (spiced apples) | Super disease resistance in my garden that gets 66″ of rain annually

cinthia milner, transplanted and still blooming, david austin english roses, 'tess of the d;urbervilles'

‘Tess of the d’Ubervilles’ | Blooms summer to frost | Crimson color | Climbs to 6′ or shrub of 4′ x 3′ | Old Rose fragrance.

cinthia milner, transplanted and still blooming, david austin english roses, wisley 2008

‘Wisley 2008’ paired with asters. Blues and purples make good companion plants for roses that have no blue.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking, yes, they’re beautiful, but they’re roses. So much trouble, so much headache. Stop. Just keep dreaming and determining the perfect spot for your rose, and I’ll get on that subject later. Head’s up: its good news for you and your future roses.

(If you’re wondering about the header, it is Crocus Rose.)

So, find a favorite? Have other roses you love? Or are you terrified/exasperated by roses and refuse to plant them? Please share with me below, and let’s chat. Garden chats are always good for the soul.

4 thoughts on “Dream of David Austin English Roses

  1. I know you do, and I plan on adding these roses just about everywhere in your design. First near the gazebo, and then your herb garden, and the pond (we need to hide that pond). 🙂

  2. Question!
    I was just googling whether English Roses can be grown in Costa Rica and found your page.

    I live in Southern CA
    and their are quite a few varieties that do well here.
    Ive been thinking of moving to CR and just wondered.

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