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David Austin Roses
The beauty of Roses
Like fashion, gardening trends change but there is something about roses that has maintained popularity over the years. Roses are still the world’s favourite flower. One of the greatest pleasures of gardening is picking flowers for the house, but what would a summer bunch of flowers be without roses!
I never thought I would want to plant so many roses in my garden but on the discovery of the uniqueness and beauty of David Austin roses my passion for roses in the garden has grown. On a recent trip to the England I fulfilled a dream of visiting the place where some of the world’s most beautiful roses were originally bred. On the outskirts of a small town in West Midlands in Albrighton David Austin Rose nursery and gardens is located down a small English lane.
David Austin started breeding roses in the 1960s. The breeding changed the character and nature of roses from here on into the future. They originated from crosses made between old roses and modern hybrid teas and floribundas: the aim being to combine the charm and fragrance of old roses with the colour range and repeat flowering of modern day roses.
The main characteristics being: beauty of the flower, pleasing growth, foliage, delicious fragrances and health. So with a reputation like David Austin and all of these characteristics in mind we are bound to get many more gorgeous roses in the future. The process of breeding a rose can take a number of years from when the process begins to when they are available to us in a garden centre. Since the beginning David Austin has introduced over 200 varieties of roses, and has made a remarkable contribution to the horticulture industry worldwide through his roses.
The more work you put into your roses the better they will perform in the garden. If you haven’t already done so, it is time to prune you roses. Don’t be afraid to prune your roses, you cannot do too much wrong. Roses are resilient and respond well to a good prune. Pruning can be as easy or as difficult as you make it.
Dead heading after flowering encourages repeat flowering and tidies up the rose. With the nature of roses like David Austin and bush roses which repeat flower continuously throughout the season, we can recommend a summer prune after each flowering. After each set of flowering, cut the flowering stems back two or three sets of leaves. The rose will benefit from this and it will maintain a nicely rounded bush. This works extremely well especially after a long hot summer. My roses flowered continuously from December through to May and even into the depths of winter!
When pruning roses it is important to feed or compost them as well. Fork in a lot of well-rotted compost and animal manure. A good handful of blood and bone and potash in the bucket of manure will help too. From the garden centre sheep pellets or rose fertiliser are also a great help once a season. If you are giving your roses a summer prune after flowering remember to feed them to give them another burst.
So what type of rose are looking for in your garden this summer?
I am very privileged to have been asked to arrange the flowers for a friend’s wedding in January. I have a large task at hand, but have taken it as an opportunity to enhance my picking garden and extend my rose and paeony beds. (Any excuse to fill my garden with more flowers). I have an exciting new bunch of roses to plant in my garden and a couple of my favourites Graham Thomas, Mary rose and Winchester Cathedral. This is going to be a fun project to try so I will keep you posted on the creation of this picking bed.
We have a wonderful selection of Hybrid tea, floribunda, Austin, old fashioned and standard roses in stock. Send us an email or look on our website for a full list.
There are some new varieties in stock now from David Austin – England’s Rose (pictured second from left in ad) This is a reliable medium size with deep glowing pink flowers. It is shallowly cupped with outer petals reflexing back to show an attractive yellow eye. Wedgewood – is a gorgeous light pink highly scented but also a very strong growing climber. This rose has been bred as a stronger alternative to Constance Spry. I have Wedgewood in my garden and it has performed extremely well and the flowers are just gorgeous as the pottery. Crown Princess Margareta- as detailed as the name with large neatly formed rosettes of lovely pale apricot-orange and a rich fruity fragrance. It is a tall growing slightly arching shrub another one that is finding its way into my garden soon.
Happy gardening and keep warm. Remember not to cut back frost damage until later in the season when the worst of the frosts have gone.
Sally Brown Blueskin Nurseries & Café, Just one hour south of Oamaru in Waitati. Open 7 days 8.30-5pm