Bithry Inlet, at the mouth of Wapengo Lake, on the Far South Coast of New South Wales, is another favourite beauty spot in Summer. Its shallow waters are perfect for families with young children, as well as fishermen (who catch bream, salmon, mulloway and flathead) and birdwatchers. In the photo above is a lone puffer fish, while the photos below shows a congress of Pied Oystercatchers, discussing the latest weather! Here is a photo of our map to give you an idea of its location!
This area also has an interesting historical component, of which we were unaware on our first two visits. We always knew that the land adjoining Bithry Inlet, the property called Penders, had been donated by Ken Myers and Sir Roy Grounds to the New South Wales Government for incorporation into Mimosa Rocks National Park, but did not realize that it contained a number of significant structures and areas that the general public could explore, as indicated by the map on the interpretive signs at the site: They include: the Myer House and precinct (though this is off-limits when booked out in holiday times); the Barn and Geodesic Dome; the Bum Seat, The Point, the picnic table and various sculptures and structures like the old Wind Tower; the Forest Plantation; the Orchard and Lake; and the various coastal walks, including a 2 Km walk to Middle Beach. Each area is well-signposted with interpretive signs seen above (which were produced by The Interpretive Design Company, based on NPWS brand templates, and can also be accessed on http://interpretivedesign.com.au/portfolio/wayfinding/wayfinding-signs/. They give maps and information about the history and all the personalities involved. Here is a brief summary!
Kenneth Baillieu Myers (1921-1992) was the Director and Chairman of the famous Myer Emporium, which had been established by his father Sidney, a Russian immigrant, in Melbourne in 1911. His background and the development of this iconic business is an amazing story in itself. See: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/myer-simcha-sidney-7721.
Like his father, Kenneth was a successful businessman, a patron of the arts, humanities and sciences and a great philanthropist, being heavily involved with and donating to a wide number of institutions, including:
The Howard Florey Institute for medical science research;
Canberra’s National Library, of which he was chairman from 1974 to 1982;
The National Capital Planning Committee;
The Australian Universities Commission;
The Australian Broadcasting Commission, of which he was chairman from 1983 to 1986; and
The National Gallery of Victoria and the Victorian Arts Centre, which he chaired from 1965 to 1989.
During his time at the National Gallery of Victoria, he developed a close friendship with Sir Roy Grounds, the architect of the Victorian Arts Centre, built in 1968. They shared each other’s visions and design philosophies, as well as a love of nature, conservation and creativity.
Sir Roy Burman Grounds (1905-1981) was a pivotal figure in the development of Modernism in Australian house design. See: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/grounds-sir-roy-burman-12571. Famous for the design of the Victorian Arts Centre, which won the Royal Australian Institute of Architecture Gold Medal in 1968, he received a knighthood in 1969. He was fascinated by idealistic geometric forms and strongly believed in nature as a central influence in his creative process, both tenets which he was able to fully explore in the building of his structures at Penders.
Roy Grounds initially purchased the 544 acre (224 hectares) property in May 1964, but he and Ken Myers became tenants in common with equal shares in 1966. The land, which stretched from Bithry Inlet south to Middle Beach, was predominantly covered in spotted gum and mahogany forest with an understorey of macrozamias, though much of it had been cleared to graze dairy cattle. For historical information about the property, see: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/parks/cmpFinalPenders02Historical.pdf. By January 1965, the Myers and Grounds families were camping at Penders.The first structure built at Penders was a simple slab seat at The Point, affording panoramic views over the sea and entrance to Bithry Inlet (first photo) and back over the inlet to Wapengo Lake (second photo). The seat was built from 1964-1965 from slabs, salvaged from an enormous tree felled before their arrival at Penders, with small log rounds acting as low stools and tables.In 1965, Roy Grounds submitted plans for a barn,which was built with the help of locals, Bob Hunter and Nev Whittle, and which Roy and his wife, Betty, then proceeded to use as a holiday house. It’s a delightful structure and is also known locally as The Tepee! Based on a nonagon (nine sides), The Barn was built from spotted gum logs, cut on site and treated with an early version of the Tanalith process, while the floor is made of small timber rounds from off-cuts, thus reducing waste (second photo below).The walls and ceiling are formed by bright yellow blinds, which were raised and lowered with ropes and pulleys, to control light, weather and cross-ventilation and allow a harmonious union between nature and the built environment. They billow like sails in the wind and at night were a canvas for red and gold reflections from the flickering fire!Originally, the barn had a sod roof of yellow daisies in amongst Kikuya grass, but unfortunately, it became a home to bush rats and the weight of the roof in wet weather caused sagging of the roof and splaying of the barn supports, threatening imminent collapse! This is a photo of the original sod roof from the interpretive board. It was replaced by a corrugated yellow fibreglass roof, which acted as a permanent beacon of golden light, which could be seen from Wapengo Lake, until it too was replaced with the current roof in 1993. Below is a photo of the inside of the roof:Inside, there was a wood stove and hot water service; a septic system; a sunken bathroom; a battery room, housing a dozen 12 volt car batteries, storing power from an 11 metre tall wind tower beyond the Point; and even a kitchen sink! The Wind Tower was built by Nev Whittle in 1964 from untreated stringybark poles in a tripod construction, braced at intervals, with a ladder attached and 3 wind blades on the top. A 32 volt DC generator was housed in a shed at the base of the windmill, with wires leading underground to the battery room of the Barn. Water was pumped in from tanks and dams.Outside the Barn is a outdoor table and bench, the Marr Bench and Table, so called because they were designed and built by Marr Grounds, Roy’s son, also an architect, sculptor and educator, being the Senior Lecturer in Environmental Design and Art in the Department of Architecture at the University of Sydney until 1985. See: http://www.marrgrounds.com.au.
We ate our picnic there, accompanied by a rather quiet swamp wallaby.Nearby is the Bum Seat, also designed by Marr, another wonderful spot to dream and contemplate and admire the stunning Bithry Inlet! The Bum Seat is a simple timber slab, inscribed with the imprints of two large and two smaller female and male bottoms. Marr also erected a number of statues around the grounds, as well as a few utility buildings.The nearby Geodesic Dome was constructed by Roy after the Barn to house his carpentry tools and then, Betty’s vegetable and herb garden. Its form is based on the repetitive use of a single geometric shape, the triangle, with the three ends of tanalith-treated saplings, each meeting another 5 triangles, the hub giving the dome its structural stability and protected by galvanised Tomlin garbage tin lids. Eighty percent of the dome was enclosed using panels of yellow sail cloth, the north facing aspect glazed with clear acrylic and was heated by the battery system, allowing the cultivation of pawpaws!Being passionate about conservation and environment, the Myers and Grounds planted many trees to revegetate the previously logged site and in 1966, started a small scale commercial timber production, using a Tanalith treatment process (using Copper azole). See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_preservation. By the mid-1970s, eucalypt plantations were established on one third of the property, being cared for and maintained by John and Mary Cremerius, who were originally employed to clean up the degraded site, with a team of seven foresters under the supervision of Lindsay Pryor, a botanist and expert in eucalyptus taxonomy, who founded the Australian National Botanic Garden. By 1982, there were 1050 trees planted to each hectare and today, there are over 60 000 trees in various stages of growth.The Myer House was designed by Sir Roy Grounds for Ken and his first wife, Prue, and their five children, and built between 1969 and 1970 by Kingsley Koellner, with the help of George Hoylands, of Bega. Below are some photos of the Myer House and Precinct, including the tennis court, outdoor table and path down to the beach. Ken and Prue divorced in 1977, Ken remarrying a Japanese artist, Yasuko Hiraoka (1945-1992), later that year. Ken and Yasuko modified the house by adding a series of infilled spaces to the perimeter verandah. They also moved the kitchen from the entrance hall, which was refitted to allow the Japanese practice of removing one’s shoes before entering the house.Yasuko shared Ken’s passion for the natural world, working on the vegetables and herbs, while Ken pruned the fruit trees and roses. I love the netted Orchard with its huge old camellias and old gnarled fruit trees,
although it’s all a bit the worse for wear these days, allowing previously prohibited access by kangaroos like this huge fellow! While they lived there, they were virtually self-sufficient in vegetables and fruit, with supplies topped up by the produce of the Cremerius garden and the odd spot of fishing. The orchard was watered from the nearby dam, a very peaceful spot covered in water lilies. In 1983 and 1985, Yasuko’s father, Masa Suke Hiraoka, laid out a small nine-hole golf course nearby, the first tee marked by a timber block with his initials, MH. The area is slowly regenerating since revegetation work was carried out in 1993. Unfortunately, Ken and Yasuko died in a light airplane crash, when on a fishing expedition, in Alaska at the end of July 1992. There is a lovely memorial site to their memory up on the ridge in the forest. Joanna Baevski, Ken’s daughter, became the lessee of the Myers precinct on their death and from 1993 to 1994, added a bedroom for her daughter on the north-east corner of the house.Sir Roy Grounds and Kenneth Myer had offered Penders to the New South Wales State Government back in 1973, on the basis that it would be reserved as National Park. It was officially gifted to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in 1976, being incorporated into the 5802 hectare Mimosa Rocks National Park. Marr Grounds and his daughter became the lessees of the Ground’s precinct after Roy’s death in 1981, with Marr being the primary occupant and caretaker till 2011. The blinds of the Barn were replaced in 1984 after 20 years of gales and Marr dismantled the windmill in 1996, leaving three inclined posts as a sculptural relic and installed a series of commemorative lead plaques across the site after Ken’s death.In 1981, the Barn was placed on the Register of the National Estate. In 1991, it was classified by the National Trust and included on its register and in 1998, the Barn, Geodesic Dome and the site of the former timber preservation works were added to the NSW State Heritage Inventory as an example of coastal forest regeneration, a plantation timber production and experimental architecture.The final parcel of land of 20 hectares was handed over to NPWS in 2011 on the expiry of the Myer and Grounds’ leases. In 2012, the Myer House underwent extensive renovation work, restoring the interiors to their original style, and is now available to the general public for short-term stays for up to 12 people. See: http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/camping-and-accommodation/accommodation/myer-house. In 2013, Penders was added to the State Heritage Register.
We loved exploring the history of the area, as well as doing the 2 Km walk south to Middle Beach. See: https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/middle-lagoon-walking-track. The track follows the coast through grassland (first two photos) and into the forest with its beautiful misshapen tree trunks (3rd and 4th photos), across cliff tops, ridges and gullies, past the Middle Beach Trig (5th photo) and Stinking Bay, so called named for the dead fish which accumulate in the bay, to the lovely ocean beach (6th photo), lagoon (7th photo) and rock platforms (8th photo). Here are some photos from our walk in July 2017. En route, we were lucky enough to see, not just one, but three echidnas! According to the National Park Ranger, who we also met along the way, echidnas mate in Winter, often forming trains of up to 10 male echidnas following a female, and their sighting often foretells rain and yes, we did indeed get rain two days later! For more on Penders , see: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritageapp/ViewHeritageItemDetails.aspx?ID=5053623.
Having already discussed Pemberton’s Hybrid Musks and David Austin’s English Roses, my final post on rose types is featuring ten Modern Shrub Roses (Nevada 1927; Frühlingsgold 1937; Cerise Bouquet 1937; Fritz Nobis 1940;Frühlingsmorgen 1942; Frühlingsanfang 1950 ; Roundelay 1953; Sally Holmes 1976; Bonica ’82 1981; and Jacqueline du Pré 1988, and ten Modern Climbers (Mme Grégoire Staechlin 1927; New Dawn 1930; Aloha 1949; Blossomtime 1951; Leverkusen 1954; Alchymist 1956; Golden Showers 1956; Altissimo 1966; White Cockade 1969; and Pierre de Ronsard 1987), all of them very well-known and many the recipients of rose awards.
Most of the Modern Shrub Roses featured are tough, hardy, disease-resistant, large (taller than 1.2 metres), prolific repeat-flowerers, which provide massed colour over a long period, though some of the roses I have featured are only once-flowering. Many are equally good as climbers on walls, fences and as pillar roses. All but a few Modern Shrub Roses have Large-Flowered Roses and Cluster-Flowered Roses in their makeup, and thus can be seen as hybrids of Hybrid Teas and Floribundas. I have organised them according to their country of origin to give a brief overview of some of the prominent rose breeders of the 21st Century and within those geographical divisions, they are listed sequentially according to their date of release where possible.
While not prominent in the rose world, Spain did have one very well-known rose breeder, Pedro Dot, and I am starting this post with him, as both of his roses below are the earliest Modern Shrub Rose and Modern Climber featured in this post.
Pedro Dot (1885 to 1976) bred 178 new roses, of which Nevada (photo below) was his most successful rose, with Mme Grégoire Staechlin coming a close second. He did much of his early breeding with Hybrid Perpetual, Frau Karl Druschki, developing his own strain of brightly-coloured Pernetianas, or HybridTeas as we now know them, which he named after family members (eg Mari Dot 1927), aristocratic patrons (eg Cayetana Stuart), Catalan patriots (eg Angel Guimerà) and Republican towns and regions (eg Catalonia 1931and Girona 1936), as well as a number of Miniature Roses.
Unfortunately, his Hybrid Teas were not frost-resistant and so, only do well in warmer climates. The photo below shows Mme Grégoire Staechlin, festooning Walter Duncan’s old house at the Heritage Garden, Clare, in South Australia. Nevada, Pedro Dot, Spain 1927 A cross between Hybrid Tea, La Giralda, and R. moyesii, this large, dense shrub, 2.4 to 4 metres tall and 2 to 4 metres wide, with repeat-flowering, arching, almost thornless branches, covered their entire length with prolific clusters of large, creamy-white, fragrant, single to semi-double blooms, opening flat with golden stamens. See: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/nevada. I grew this rose against the fence of my old Armidale garden (photo below). It was awarded a Garden Merit Award. It has a pink sport, Marguerite Hilling 1959.Mme Grégoire Staechlin, Dot, Spain, 1927 Also known as Spanish Beauty, this large, sprawling, hardy, vigorous climber, 2.45 to 6 metres tall and 3 to 6 metres wide, is a cross between Hybrid Perpetual, Frau Karl Druschki, and early Hybrid Tea, Château de Clos Vougeot. Here is a closeup photo of Walter Duncan’s rose at the Heritage Garden:
Mme Grégoire Staechlin has dark green foliage and is a heavy bloomer, bearing highly fragrant, large, semi-double, light pink ruffled blooms, followed by large, orange-red, pear-shaped hips. It is highly disease resistant and drought-tolerant. It has been awarded a Garden Merit Award. I grew it along the verandah of our old house at Armidale.Germany
Kordes Roses (https://www.kordes-rosen.com/) is one of the world’s leading rose breeders and producers for cut roses and garden roses, selling more than two million rose plants at retail and wholesale each year worldwide. They have contributed more than any other rose breeders to the development of the Modern Shrub Rose in their quest to develop hardy roses for the Northern European climate.
Each year, more than 50,000 new crosses of garden roses and cut roses are tested, leading to four to six marketable varieties, after a trial period of eight to ten years. The main goals of their rose breeding program are winter hardiness, quick repeat blooms, fungal disease resistance, unique colors and forms of bloom, abundance of blooms, fragrance, self-cleaning, good height and fullness of plant and rain resistance.
They have ensured the health and hardiness of their chosen varieties by stopping the use of fungicides on their trial fields more than 20 years ago. They have also withdrawn over 100 older varieties, which are no longer competitive, from their collection to allow room for newer, improved and healthier varieties. Here is a sample catalogue: http://southamptonrose.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/pdf/Brochure_Kordes.pdf.
Kordes Roses was started in 1887 by a German horticulturalist, Wilhelm Kordes I (1865-1935), who created a garden in Elmshorn, specializing in garden roses. In 1918, he moved the firm to Klein Offenseth-Sparrieshoop in Scleswig-Holstein.
His sons, Wilhelm Kordes II (1891 – 1976) and Hermann Kordes (1893 – 1963), changed the name of the nursery to Wilhelm Kordes’ Söhne, building the company to the one of the largest rose breeders of the twentieth century and aiming to breed hardy and healthy varieties for the German climate. From 1920 on, Wilhelm Kordes II focused entirely on rose breeding and cultivation, while Hermann managed the business.
Wilhelm initially focused on native European species: Rosa canina, R. rubiginosa and R. spinosissima in his breeding program. Some of his famous roses include Crimson Glory 1935, the world’s most favourite crimson Hybrid Tea rose; Raubritter 1936; Fritz Nobis 1940 (photo below) and the early-flowering Frühlings series, including Frühlingsgold 1937; Frühlingsmorgen 1942; and Frühlingsanfang in 1950.During the Second World War, he crossed R. wichuraiana with R. rugosa to eventually produce a tough new species, R. kordesii, able to withstand the freezing cold German Winters. It in turn was used to breed Parkdirektor Riggers and Leverkusen. Wilhelm II was also heavily involved in ADR testing (the general testing of new German roses) in 1950. Here is another photo of Fritz Nobis:
From 1955, his son Reimer Kordes (1922-1997) ran the company until Reimer’s son, Wilhelm Kordes III, took over in 1977. Reimer was responsible for the breeding of Modern Climber, Alchymist 1956; Westerland 1969; Friesia 1973 and Floribunda , Iceberg (syn. Schneewittchen) in 1958, the latter voted the World’s Most Favourite Rose in 1983.
Fritz Nobis Wilhelm Kordes II, Germany 1940
Winner of a Garden Merit Award (RHS), Fritz Nobis is a cross between a Hybrid Tea,Joanna Hill, and an Eglanteria hybrid, Magnifica. This vigorous healthy shrub, 1.5 to 2.5 metres tall and 1 to 1.5 metres wide, has plentiful small grey-green foliage and is once-flowering in early Summer. It has large clusters of semi-double to double, light salmon-pink flowers, which are darker on the outside, up to 8 cm wide, and have a light clove scent. It sets plenty of small orange-red hips in Autumn. I am growing my plant, propagated from a seedling from a friend’s garden, beside the shed door. Here are two photos of the latter- a new bloom and a slightly older one:
The Frühlings Series (Frühling meaning Spring), known as Hybrid Spinosissimas, were also bred by Wilhelm Kordes II, they include the following three roses, of which the first two varieties I grew in my old Armidale garden:
Frühlingsgold Wilhelm Kordes II, Germany, 1937 (Spring Gold)
A cross between Hybrid Tea, Joanna Hill, and R. spinosissima ‘Hispida’, this dense, vigorous, once-flowering shrub, 1.5 to 2.4 metres tall and 1.5 metres wide, has medium-sized, toothed, matt, light-green leaves and arching, thorny branches, bearing large clusters of very fragrant, semi-double, large (up to 12 cm), pale creamy-yellow blooms in late Spring/ early Summer. It is spectacular in full bloom and looks good in a mixed border, shrub border, flowering hedge or as an accent plant. Because of its hardiness, reliability and ease of growth, even under difficult conditions, it is one of the most widely planted of all Shrub Roses, both in gardens and public places. It was awarded a Garden Merit Award (RHS).Frühlingsmorgen Wilhelm Kordes II, Germany, 1942 (Spring Morning)
Also given a Garden Merit Award (RHS), this Modern Shrub is the product of seed parent, (a cross between two Hybrid Teas, EG Hill x Cathrine Kordes) and pollen parent, R. spinosissima ‘Grandiflora’. It reaches 1.75 metres tall and 1.5 metres wide, but its disease resistance is not wonderful, though it does better in a warm climate. Once-flowering, it flowers freely in early Summer, with a few blooms later in the season. It has large, single, slightly cupped, rose-pink flowers with a primrose centre, a moderate scent and maroon stamens. See: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/fruhlingsmorgen.
Frühlingsanfang Wilhelm Kordes II, Germany, 1950
A cross between Joanna Hill and R. spinosissima ‘Altaica’, this large Modern Shrub, 3.7 metres tall and wide, has arching branches, bearing large, single, ivory-white, moderately scented blooms with golden anthers. Only flowering once in Spring/ Summer, it is hardy and vigorous and has large maroon hips in Autumn. See: https://www.helpmefind.com/rose/l.php?l=2.2873. Here is a photo of one of its parents, R. spinosissima ‘Altaica’:Leverkusen William Kordes II, Germany 1954)
A cross between R. kordesii and another Large-Flowered Climber, Golden Glow, Leverkusen makes a strong bushy climber, up to 4.5 metres high, or a huge shrub. It has dark green foliage and thorny stems. Highly floriferous, it flowers freely through Summer and Autumn with one excellent crop, followed by a few repeat- flowers later on. It has medium to large, double, lemon-yellow rosette blooms with a fruity fragrance and a slight frilled edge to the petals. See: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/leverkusen. It has a Garden Merit Award from the RHS. I grew it in my old Armidale garden.Alchymist Reimer Kordes, Germany 1956
A cross between a Large-Flowered Climber, Golden Glow, and R. eglanteria, this vigorous Large-Flowered Climber or shrub, up to 6 metres tall and 2.5 metres wide, has thorny stems, bronze-green foliage and excellent disease resistance. Only once-flowering in late Spring and early Summer, it bears clusters of large, very double and quartered yellow-orange rosette blooms with a strong fragrance. See: http://www.paulbardenroses.com/climbers/alchymist.html.
Tantau is the other big name in Germany, so I have included one of his Modern Shrub Roses, Cerise Bouquet. Mathias Tantau started a nursery specializing in forest trees in Northern Germany in 1906, but by 1918 had started breeding roses, with his first three Polyanthas introduced in 1919. He also bred the Floribunda, Floradora 1944, the parent of Grandiflora, Queen Elizabeth, and Cerise Bouquet, which he gave to Kordes as a gift. His son, also Mathias, continued the business after his father’s death in 1953, producing Hybrid Teas,Super Star 1960 (also called Tropicana), Blue Moon 1964, Whiskey Mac 1967 and Polar Star 1982. See: http://www.rosen-tantau.com/en/about-us.
Cerise Bouquet Tantau, Germany 1937 and introduced by Kordes, Germany 1958
A cross between R. multibracteata and Hybrid Tea, Crimson Glory, this large Summer-flowering Shrub Rose, 2.7 to 3.5 metres high and 1.8 metres wide, has small grey-green foliage and large open sprays of cerise-pink, semi-double, rosette blooms on robust, graceful, arching growth. See: https://www.helpmefind.com/rose/l.php?l=2.34784.0. It has a Garden Merit Award (RHS).
United States of America
New Dawn Introduced by Dreer, USA, 1930 A sport of Wichuraiana Hybrid, Dr W. Van Fleet 1899, itself a cross created by rose breeder, Dr W. Van Fleet, from the seed parent: a cross between R. wichuraiana x Tea Rose, Safrano, and pollen parent, Hybrid Tea, Souvenir de Président Carnot. The next three photos show the bloom as it ages. Dr W. Van Fleet worked in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Introduction Station at Maryland from 1905 to the 1920s, producing plants hardy enough for the American climate with its freezing Winters and hot wet Summers. He raised several other tough hybrids, including Silver Moon 1910 and Sarah Van Fleet 1926.New Dawn is one of the best and most vigorous Modern Climbers of all time, being voted one of the World’s Most Favourite Roses and inducted into the Rose Hall of Fame in 1997. It was the first rose ever to receive a patent. I grew it on the front of our verandah in Armidale (the two photos below) and now it is gracing the bottom side our main pergola in our current garden (the three photos above).A healthy 4.5 to 6 metre climber or large shrub, it has glossy, dark green foliage, thorny stems and repeat-flowering clusters of medium-sized, semi-double, silvery-blush pink blooms, which fade to white and have a fresh fruity fragrance.New Dawn has been crossed with many Hybrid Teas to create a number of repeat-flowering hardy Modern Climbers, including : Aloha, Bantry Bay, City of London, Coral Dawn, Don Juan, Lichterloh, Morning Dawn, Morning Stars, Parade, Pink Cloud, Pink Favourite, Shin-Setsu and White Cockade. It certainly is a beautiful and important rose!Jackson and Perkins is a big name in the American rose world: See: http://www.jacksonandperkins.com/. The company started in 1872, when Charles Perkins, with the financial backing of his father-in-law, A.E. Jackson, started farming strawberries and grapes, but the nursery became famous after marketing E. Alvin Miller’s rose, Dorothy Perkins, in 1901.
After that, Jackson and Perkins started focusing on roses as their main product and grew to become one of the world’s foremost producers and marketers of roses. They purchased Armstrong Nurseries in the late 1980s.
Some of their rose hybridizers include Eugene Boerner, famous for his contribution to the development of Floribundas, as well as Hybrid Teas like Diamond Jubilee 1947; and William Warriner, who bred 110 rose varieties and was a director of the company from 1966 to the late 1980s after the death of Eugene Boerner. Here is one of Boerner’s famous roses:
Aloha, bred by Boerner, USA 1949 and introduced by Jackson and Perkins, USA, 1949
Aloha is a vigorous Large-Flowered Climber, 2.5 to 4 metres high and 1.5 to 2.5 metres wide, bred from a cross between another Climbing HybridTea, Mercedes Gallart, and New Dawn. It has stiff thorny stems, dark leathery foliage and small clusters of large, fully double, cupped and quartered, Bourbon-like, apricot-pink flowers, with a deeper pink reverse and an apple scent over a long period in Summer and Autumn. See: https://www.gardenia.net/plant/rose-aloha.
Aloha is highly disease-resistant and tolerant of rain and shade and does well in warm climates. It can be grown as a shrub, pillar rose or on a trellis. It has a Garden Merit Award from the RHS, however its main claim to fame is its use in David Austin’s breeding programs to increase the vigour of his English Roses, especially the Leander Group (Charles Austin, Leander, Troilus, Abraham Darby, Golden Celebration, Jubilee Celebration, WilliamMorris, The Alnwick Rose and Summer Song). Below is a photo collage of members of the Leander Group of English Roses. From the top left corner, clockwise: Troilus, William Morris, Golden Celebration, and The Alnwick Rose.
Other important names in the American rose industry are Swim and Weeks (http://www.weeksroses.com), and breeders, Conrad C O’Nealand Dr Walter E. Lammerts.
Weeks Roses was established in 1938 by Ollie and Verona Weeks. Ollie formed a hybridizing partnership with Herb Swim in the 1950s, both having worked for Armstrong Nurseries in Ontario. During this time, they bred Hybrid Tea, Mr Lincoln 1964. Swim returned to Armstrong’s in the late 1960s, where he bred bicoloured Hybrid Tea, Double Delight 1977. The Weeks retired in 1985 and a new program was set up at Weeks Roses by Tom Carruth, who had previously worked with Jack Christensen at Armstrong’s and with Bill Warriner at Jackson and Perkins. Here is an interesting article about some of these men: http://www.rose.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/JackChristensen.pdf.
Roundelay Swim, USA, 1953
A cross between Hybrid Tea, Charlotte Armstrong, and Floribunda, Floradora, this upright, free-flowering shrub, 1.2 metres tall and 1 metre wide, has healthy, dark green foliage and large trusses of cardinal-red, fully double, fragrant blooms, which open flat. It received a Geneva Gold Medal in 1954. Here is a link: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/roundelay-shrub-rose.html.
Blossomtime O’Neal, USA, 1951
A cross between New Dawn and a seedling, this repeat-flowering Modern Climber, 1.2 to 4.5 metres high, has sharp, dark crimson thorns; dense, glossy, dark-green foliage with dark crimson tips; and small clusters of medium sized, very fragrant, double pink flowers, with a darker pink reverse in late Spring and early Summer. They last well as a cut flower. It is slightly susceptible to mildew. The next two photos are of Blossomtime.Dr Walter Lammerts was the first leader of Armstrong Nurseries’Rose Research and Development Unit (later to be succeeded by Herb Swim, Dr David Armstrong, Jack Christensen and Tom Carruth), and he produced 46 roses between 1940 and 1981, including many Hybrid Teas (like Charlotte Armstrong and Chrysler Imperial), Floribundas,Grandifloras, Modern Climbers and Polyanthas (like China Doll).Lammert’s roses were the ancestors of many famous roses:
First Generation offspring: eg Sutter’s Gold;
Second Generation offspring: Broadway, Circus, and Pascali;
Third Generation offspring: Double Delight; Joseph’s Coat and the McCartney Rose; and
Later Generations, like Blueberry Hill.
Golden ShowersLammerts USA, 1956
A cross between a Hybrid Tea, Charlotte Armstrong, and a Large-Flowered Climber,Captain Thomas, this short Modern Climber reaches 1.8 to 4 metres tall and 1.5 to 2.5 metres wide and has glossy, dark green leaves and almost thornless stems, bearing 10 cm large, semi-double, rather ragged, sweetly fragrant, golden yellow blooms, fading to light yellow as they age, with red filaments. See: http://www.rosesgalore.com/golden-showers-rose.html.
Very free flowering and continuously blooming from mid Summer to early Autumn, it is one of the best compact yellow roses, receiving many awards, including a Garden Merit Award from the RHS, the All-America Rose Selections (AARS)Award in 1956 and the Portland Gold Medal in 1957. It also makes a good free-standing shrub.
France has had a long history of rose breeding with many famous rose breeders like the Pernet-Ducher family, Lyons, who produced many Noisettes (Rêve d’Or 1869, Bouquet d’Or 1872), Teas (Marie Van Houtte 1871), Pernetianas (Rayon d’Or 1910) and Hybrid Teas (Mme Caroline Testout 1890), as well as that important yellow ancestor, Soleil d’Or 1900.
Georges Delbard and André Chabert started rose breeding in earnest in the early 1950s, the latter joining Delbard Roses in 1955, producing roses like Hybrid Tea, Vol de Nuit 1970, and Large-Flowered Climber, Ténor 1963, one of the parents of Altissimo.
A cross between another Large-Flowered Climber, Ténor, and a seedling, this Modern Climber reaches 3.5 metres high and 3 metres wide and is suitable for walls, fences, pergolas and pillars. It has good disease-resistance, dark green leathery foliage and is very free-flowering. It repeat flowers well with long-lasting, large, bright red, single blooms with gold stamens and a light fragrance. I grew this climber on the tennis court fence back in my old Armidale garden.
Guy Savoy, Delbard, France, 2001
Named after the celebrated French chef, this Modern Shrub rose has large, loose, highly fragrant, rich cardinal-red blooms (over 20 per cluster) with white and cerise slashes. It has a long flowering period and the blooms have a fruity fragrance, blending orange, peach and vanilla. The hardy shrub has excellent disease resistance and little or no thorns. It certainly is an eye-catcher!Meilland Richardier is another big name in the French rose world. It was founded by Antoine Meilland, who grew up in Lyon, was apprenticed to Francis Dubreuil, a tailor-turned-rose breeder, who bred Perle d’Or 1884. Meilland married Dubreuil’s daughter in 1909 and raised son Francis, born in 1912, who became famous with his Hybrid Tea, Peace 1945. The development of this iconic rose and the families involved is recounted in Antonia Ridge’s well-known book, For Love of a Rose.With the royalties from the dramatic sales of Peace in the United States in 1945, Francis Meilland was able to sell the main share of the growing business to Francisque Richardier and concentrate on rose breeding at the Cap d’Antibes. He died in 1954, at the age of 46, having built up a huge international business: https://meilland.com/en/. The next two photos are of Meilland rose, Pierre de Ronsard.His work is continued by his son Alain, daughter, Michèle Meilland Richardier, and Matthias Meilland (Alain’s son and 6th generation rose breeder) and chief hybridizer, Jacques Mouchotte. Today, nursery production covering 600 hectares or 1500 acres in France, Morocco, Spain, the Netherlands and California, selling more than 12 million rose bushes annually and owning more than 1,000 patents worldwide and 600 trademarks.Bonica ’82 Meilland, France, 1981 (also known as Bonica and MEIdomonac)
A cross between seed parent (R. sempervirens x Hybrid Wichuraiana, Madamoiselle Marthe Carron) and pollen parent, Floribunda, Picasso, this low to medium shrub rose, 1.5 metres tall and 1.85 metres wide, has a bushy growth habit; small, semi-glossy, coppery light green foliage; and strong arching stems, bearing large clusters of small to medium, slightly fragrant, bright rose-pink blooms, with lighter pink frilled edges. See: https://www.gardenia.net/plant/rose-bonica . If not deadheaded, it will produce a large crop of bright red hips, lasting well into the Winter.
Extremely floriferous and very disease resistant, it has been given a Garden Merit Award (RHS) and the All-America Rose Award and has been voted the World’s Most Favourite Rose in 1997. It is one of the most popular and widely planted of all modern roses.
Pierre de Ronsard Meilland, France, 1987 (also known as Eden Rose or Eden Rose ‘88)
A cross between a Large-Flowered Climber, Music Dancer and a Climbing Floribunda, PinkWonder, this moderate-sized vigorous climbing rose, up to 3 metres tall, has large, glossy bright green leaves; a few thorns; and heavy, globular, cabbage-rose-like creamy-white blooms, suffused with pink and carmine, and having a light Tea fragrance. See: https://www.gardenia.net/plant/rose-bonica .
It repeat-flowers from early Summer to late Autumn and is highly disease resistant. It was named after Pierre de Ronsard (1524 to 1585), the 16th century ‘Prince of Poets’, who was a favourite with Mary Queen of Scots. In 2006, this Modern Climber was voted the World’s Most Favourite Rose by the World Federation of Rose Societies. We grew it on our verandah on our Armidale home, seen in the photo below.United Kingdom
James Cocker and Sons (http://www.roses.uk.com/) is a specialist rose nursery, owned by the Cocker family, in Aberdeen, Scotland. It began in 1840 and has been responsible for the breeding of many famous Hybrid Teas like Silver Jubilee 1978, the world’s number one selling rose for many years, and Alec’s Red 1970, as well as the following shrub rose:
White Cockade Cocker, UK, 1969
This small repeat-flowering Modern Climber, 2.5 metres tall and 1.8 metres wide, is a cross between New Dawn and Floribunda, Circus. Upright, well-foliated, thorny stems bear clusters of beautiful, medium sized, fully double, pure white fragrant flowers, which open into rather triangular shapes (hence the name!) and last well as a cut flower. See: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/white-cockade-climbing-rose.html. An excellent pillar rose or shrub rose, it has moderate disease resistance and does better in warm climates.
Robert Holmes was a successful amateur rose breeder, who shot to fame with a rose named after his wife:
Sally Holmes Holmes, UK, 1976
A cross between Floribunda, Ivory Fashion, and Hybrid Musk, Ballerina, this strong, highly disease-resistant Modern ShrubRose, 1.5 metres tall and 1.25 metres wide, has glossy, dark green leaves and large clusters of apricot-pointed buds, opening to 9 cm wide, single to semi-double, lightly fragrant, creamy-white flowers with gold stamens. It is very floriferous, each branch bearing up to 50 flowers, and is nearly always in bloom, repeat-flowering from early Summer to Autumn.It has had a number of awards, including a Garden Merit Award from the RHS, a Gold Award from Baden Baden in 1980, a Gold Medal from Portland in 1993 and an Award for Best Fragrance at Glasgow, also in 1993.It was inducted into the World Rose Hall of Fame in 2012, being the first rose bred by an amateur breeder to do so. I love this photo of Sally Holmes next to this sweet statue, which we saw at Alan and Fleur Carthew’s garden at Renmark.Harkness Roses (http://www.roses.co.uk/) , founded in 1879, is a rose nursery based in Hitchins, Hertfordshire, which bred over 70 well-known roses from 1961 on, under the directorship of Jack Harkness, like Hybrid Tea, Alexander 1972; Large-Flowered Climber, Compassion 1972; Floribundas: Margaret Merril 1977; Mountbatten 1982; Amber Queen 1983 and Princess of Wales 1997; and Modern Shrub Roses, Marjorie Fair 1978 and :
Jacqueline du Pré Harkness, Britain, 1988
A cross between Floribunda, Radox Bouquet and Hybrid Spinosissima, Maigold, this large strong, disease-resistant Modern Shrub Rose, 1.8 metres tall and 1.5 metres wide, has abundant, dark green foliage and large, single to semi-double, ivory-white flowers, with prominent golden-red stamens and a lemony musk scent. See: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/jacqueline-du-pre-shrub-rose.html.
It repeat-flowers freely from early Spring. It was named for the highly talented cellist, Jacqueline du Pré (1945 to 1987), who died at the age of 43 from Multiple Sclerosis, and has a Garden Merit Award from the RHS.
Next week, I am exploring some of my favourite poets and poetry books in our library before my final post for the year on Boxing Day!
Up until the late 19th Century, nursery catalogues listed a huge variety of different rose types from the Species Roses and Old European varieties (Gallicas, Damasks, Albas, Centifolias and Mosses) to China Roses and all the progeny of rose hybridization since the latter’s introduction to the West: the Boursaults, Bourbons, Portlands, Hybrid Perpetuals, Noisettes, Teas and early Hybrid Teas and Floribundas.
However, with the development and increased popularity of the Hybrid Tea over the early 20th Century, many of the earlier varieties of rose began to disappear and today, many of them have vanished without a trace.
Fortunately, there were still some famous gardeners, who kept the Old Roses going:
Constance Spry (1886-1960) was one of the first collectors of Old Roses in the 20th Century and Vita Sackville-West (1892-1962) grew many heritage varieties in her garden at Sissinghurst Castle.
Graham Stuart Thomas (1909-2003), who met the 88 year-old Gertrude Jekyll in his early days at Hillings, Woking, started collecting Old Roses in the 1950s, expanding the collection at his own Sunningdale Nursery, before finding it a permanent home at Mottisfont. See my post on the Rose Gardens of England at: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/10/24/bucket-list-of-rose-gardens-in-england/.
However, the other big name in the rose world at the time was David Austin (1926-), now 91 years old. Here is the story of his journey in the rose world!
David grew up on a farm in Albrighton, Shropshire, where he still lives today. Initially starting farming like his father, he became increasingly interested in gardening, especially in amateur rose breeding.
He loved the shrubby form of Old Rose bushes and the beautiful scent of their blooms, with their wide variety of flower forms, which provided so much more interest than the uniformly pointed buds of the Hybrid Teas. There were single, semi-single and double forms, of which there were flat, recurving or cupped rosettes; deep and shallow cups; and even pompom-shaped flowers, depicted in this photograph from Page 33 of David Austin’s English Roses, Australian Edition, 1996:However, to some people’s eyes, Old Roses had two major drawbacks, compared to the Hybrid Teas:
Their muted colour range: Only whites, pinks, crimsons and purples, compared to the bright colours and yellows, oranges, peaches and apricots of the Hybrid Teas (though the climbing Noisettes do have yellows in their colour range, but here we are talking about the bush forms only); and
The fact that they only flower once in the Summer. Personally, I have never really accepted these criticisms, especially the latter, as most of our garden shrubs are only once-flowering eg Spiraea, Weigelas and Viburnums, but with the decreasing size of the modern garden, recurrency plays an increasingly important role, providing more colour and scent for money, and I must admit that I too am guilty of this in our Moon Bed, here in our small garden at Candelo- more later!!!
As early as the late 1940s, David Austin conceived the notion of breeding Old Roses with the modern Hybrid Teas and Floribundas to maximize the advantages of each and produce healthy, vigorous shrubs with flowers with the form and scent of Old Roses, but the colour range and remontancy of the modern rose.
He started experimenting in the 1950s and by 1961, had produced his first rose Constance Spry, named after the famous flower arranger. I grew this rose against the tennis court fence in my Armidale garden, seen in the photo below.A progeny of a short Gallica, Belle Isis, and a strong, though not tall, Floribunda, DaintyMaid, Constance Spry bears deeply-cupped, soft-pink flowers with a myrrh scent, but unfortunately, like all first crosses, only flowers once in the Summer. The repeat-flowering gene is recessive, so Constance Spry had to be back-crossed at least once more with other repeat-flowering roses to ensure the recurrent-flowering ability.
Some of these roses included:
Ma Perkins, a Floribunda, which produced copious seed, which germinated well and was one of the few modern roses to have the cupped shape of Old Roses (like that of a Bourbon); Mme Caroline Testout, an early Hybrid Tea with globular flowers with numerous petals, seen in the photo below; and another Hybrid Tea, Monique.Other crosses involved other Gallicas like Duchesse de Montebello, Duchesse d’Angoulême and R. gallica officinalis; Damasks like La Ville de Bruxelles, Marie Louise and Celsiana; and Albas, Königan von Dänemark and Mme Legras St. Germaine.
Shropshire Lass 1968, a cross between Mme Butterfly, an early Hybrid Tea and an Alba, Mme Legras St Germaine, which is Summer flowering only.
Scintillation, 1968, a cross between R. macrantha, and Hybrid Musk, Vanity, and
The Prioress, 1969, a cross between Bourbon, Reine Victoria, and a seedling;
Some of the early roses from crosses between Ma Perkins, Monique, Mme Caroline Testout and Constance Spry, all pink and all recurrent-flowering, unless otherwise specified, include:
The Miller, 1970, a cross between Hybrid Perpetual, Baroness Rothschild, and Chaucer.
Other early breeding programs focused on achieving a red colour range. To develop his red roses, David Austin crossed a single red Floribunda, Dusky Maiden, with a very old deep red Gallica, Tuscany, to produce Chianti, 1967, with its large, highly scented, deep crimson rosette blooms, again flowering only once, in early Summer. Further breeding , including the introduction of red Hybrid Tea, Château de Clos Vougeot, seen in the photo above, which is a rather weak shrub in the UK, into the breeding program has resulted in red family of English Roses, which is slightly on the smaller size. These include:
The Knight 1969 A cross between a Bourbon, Gipsy Boy and Chianti, but it has been discontinued as the plant is rather weak and later:
Glastonbury 1974 The Knight x seedling;
The Squire 1977 The Knight x Château de Clos Vougeot, a much stronger rose than its David Austin bred-parent; and further crosses between English Roses,
Prospero 1982 A similar cross to The Squire;
Wise Portia 1982 and Wenlock 1984 , both crosses of The Knight x Glastonbury; and
Othello 1986 A cross between two English Roses, Lilian Austin x The Squire.
By 1970, David Austin had a small range of roses ready to be launched, many of them named after characters in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (including Wife of Bath 1969, Canterbury 1969, both still available, and The Prioress 1969, The Yeomen 1969, DamePrudence 1969, The Friar 1969, The Knight 1969, The Miller 1970 and Chaucer 1970, all since deleted from sale), so he formed his nursery, David Austin Roses Ltd., to introduce the public to his English Roses, as they became known.
While the early English Roses had a good fragrance and the Old Rose beauty, they were still not as robust as David Austin wanted, so he continued to cross them with other repeat-flowering shrubby Old Roses like Portlands (especially Comte de Chambord), Bourbons and Hybrid Perpetuals. Also, he still did not have any yellow shades, a problem which was rectified by the use of some influential roses:
Iceberg, the highly popular white Floribunda, bred by Kordes in 1958, which is exceptionally repeat-flowering, continuing right through into the Winter, and has strong, broad and busy dense growth.
The first crosses produced a perfect soft pink rosette, but the plant suffered badly from blackspot like its Iceberg parent. Backcrossing with some of the better English Roses, did produce some very good varieties like Perdita 1983 and Heritage 1984 ; and his famous yellow English Rose, Graham Thomas 1983, a cross between Charles Austin x (Iceberg x Seedling);
Aloha, a climbing Hybrid Tea with highly fragrant flowers with an Old Rose form, bred from New Dawn, a highly disease-resistant repeat-flowering Wichuraiana Rambler, producing some very strong larger varieties with larger flowers like Charles Austin 1983 (Chaucer x Aloha); and Golden Celebration 1992.
Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, a Rugosa Hybrid, which is a cross between Noisette, Gloire de Dijon, and another unknown Rugosa Hybrid. Rugosas are highly disease-resistant and vigorous. Crosses with Chaucer produced yellow and apricot English Roses with large highly fragrant rosette blooms like Tamora 1983 and Jayne Austin 1990 and Evelyn 1991, the latter two both crosses between Graham Thomas and Tamora. Here is a photo of Evelyn from my garden:To date, David Austin has bred more than 200 English Roses. Today, the nursery is managed by David JC Austin, the eldest son of David CH Austin, and is one of Britain’s leading rose nurseries. Every year, there are 50,000 crosses between April and July to germinate more than 250,000 seedlings the following year, the most outstanding of which are subject to eight years of field trials. Eventually, only three to six new varieties will be released each year at the Chelsea Flower Show in London. The latest releases for 2017 are cerise pink James L Austin, rich apricot Dame Judi Dench and soft yellow Vanessa Bell.
Shrub roses with full bushy or arching growth, usually 1.2 metres high or less. Here is a photo of Troilus from my Moon Bed:Flower Form:
Single: Ann; The Alexandra Rose;
Semi-Double : Windflower; Scarborough Fair; and Cordelia;
Rosette: Eglantyne (flat); Mary Rose; and The Countryman;
Deep Cupped: Brother Cadfael; Golden Celebration; Heritage; and Jude the Obscure;
Shallow Cupped: Crown Princess Margareta; Sweet Juliet; and Teasing Georgia;
Recurved: Grace and Jubilee Celebration.
Old Rose Fragrance: Gertrude Jekyll; Eglantyne; and Brother Cadfael;
Tea Fragrance: William Morris, Graham Thomas; Pat Austin; and Sweet Juliet;
Myrrh Fragrance: Constance Spry; Chaucer; and Cressida;
Musk Fragrance: Francine Austin; The Generous Gardener; Molineux; and Windrush;
Fruit Fragrance: Jude the Obscure; Leander; and Yellow Button.
Varieties of English Rose
There are six groups of English Roses and I will be discussing some of their famous examples, especially those which I am now growing:
1.Old Rose Hybrids:
The original English Roses, including once-flowering Constance Spry, which lean very much toward the Old Roses in character.
Small bushy shrubs with rosette-shaped flowers.
White, blush, pink, deep pink, crimson and purple flowers, though two varieties, Jude the Obscure and Windrush, are yellow.
Old Rose fragrance, though often mixed with the scents of tea, myrrh, lily of the valley, lilac and almond blossom.
Fair Bianca 1982 Of unknown parentage (though in their book, The Quest for the Rose, Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix state that Belle Isis is part of its parentage), this small shrub has white, medium, very double blooms, opening to flat and quartered rosettes. With its contrasting pink tipped buds, it is very popular for bridal bouquets, an ideal use as its strong myrrh fragrance tends to go off after a day or two, to my nose anyway! We grew masses of them at Soho Rose Farm, where Ross, who had to prune these low bushes, christened them Fair Little Buggers! Nevertheless, we inherited one from Soho, which is now thriving in our Soho Bed.Pretty Jessica 1983 A cross between Wife of Bath and a seedling, this short, compact shrub, with fragrant warm rich pink rosette flowers, repeats well, but needs regular spraying due to its poor resistance to disease and it is no longer available.Mary Rose 1983 A cross between the Wife of Bath and The Miller, this medium-sized, twiggy shrub has small clusters of large, cupped rose-pink blooms with a light Old Rose fragrance with a hint of honey and almond, in flushes throughout the season. For a photo, see: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/mary-rose. It was named after Henry VIII’s flagship, which was recovered from the Solent 400 years later, and was one of the first English Roses, along with Graham Thomas, to become widely popular after the introduction of Constance Spry.
Mary Rose has played such an important role in the total development of English Roses. For example, in order of their introduction, it is one of the parents of :
William Shakespeare 1987 (along with The Squire);
LD Braithwaite 1988 (also with The Squire);
Sharifa Asma 1989 (with Admired Miranda);
Kathryn Morley 1990 ( a cross with Chaucer) ;
Peach Blossom 1990 (with The Prioress);
Sir Edward Elgar 1992 ( another Mary Rose-The Squire cross again); and
Glamis Castle 1992 (from a cross with Graham Thomas).
Mary Rose has also produced two sports: the softer pink Redouté 1992 and the white Winchester Cathedral 1998.Windrush 1984 A cross between a seedling and (Canterbury x Golden Wings, a Hybrid Spinosissima– see photo above) and named after a river in Southern England, this medium shrub bears large, semi-double, soft yellow, wide open flowers with a boss of stamens and a light spicy Musk fragrance. It occasionally repeats later in the season. Here is a photo from Ruston’s Roses in Renmark:
Wildflower 1986 A cross between Lilian Austin and (Cantebury x Golden Wings), this light yellow single rose has 5 petals and a mild fragrance and occasionally repeats later in the season.Gertrude Jekyll 1986 A cross between Wife of Bath and Portland, Comte de Chambord, this large, upright shrub bears warm, deep pink Hybrid Tea-like buds, which open into large heavy rosettes, with petals spiralling from the centre and a powerful Old Rose fragrance, only equalled by Evelyn. Named after the English garden designer and author, Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932), its foliage and growth are close to that of Portlands and it forms quite a good climber.LD Braithwaite 1988 A cross between Mary Rose x The Squire, which was a cross between The Knight x Château de Clos Vougeot, this low spreading shrub has dark red, slightly cupped, loosely formed flowers, which are slow to fade and which develop a Old Rose fragrance as they open out wide and flat. It was named for David Austin’s father-in-law, Leonard Braithwaite, and is growing opposite Fair Bianca in our Soho Bed.Eglantyne 1994 A cross between Mary Rose and a seedling, this medium, upright shrub bears perfect, soft pink rosette blooms with a button eye and a lovely sweet Old Rose fragrance. It was named after Eglantyne Jebb, a lady from Ellesmere, Shropshire, who founded the Save the Children Fund after the First World War. It grows on the other side of LD Braithwaite, diagonal to Fair Bianca, in the Soho Bed.Jude the Obscure 1995 One of only two yellows in the group, it is a cross between Abraham Darby and Windrush. Named after the character in Thomas Hardy’s novel, it is one of my favourite English Roses for its tall, vigorous and healthy growth and its deeply cupped, incurved golden cups with their wonderful fruity scent, which David Austin describes as ‘reminiscent of guava and sweet wine’ and which I could soak up forever! Fortunately, I planted it on the bottom corner of the Moon Bed, where I will still be able to bury my nose in her blooms, even when the citrus behind are fully grown.Windermere Before 2005 A cross between two unspecified seedlings, this lovely rose has clusters of white medium blooms with an Old Rose form and a fruity citrus fragrance. It grows in the front of the Moon Bed next to Jude the Obscure.
A cross between Old Rose hybrids and modern roses, with R. wichuraiana in their makeup, they lean more toward the modern rose, but still have the typical Old Rose form.
Large healthy robust shrubs with elegant arching growth.
Large yellow, apricot and flame-coloured flowers, varying from a rosette to deeply cupped shape.
Fragrance of Old Rose, Tea Rose, myrrh and fruity undertones of raspberry, lemon and apple.
Charles Austin 1973 named for David Austin’s father, this strong upright shrub with shiny modern foliage is a cross between Chaucer and Aloha. It has very large, apricot-yellow rosette blooms with a fruity fragrance, which fade with age. While not continuously repeating, it has a second flush in Autumn. For a photo, see: https://www.helpmefind.com/rose/pl.php?n=1071 .
Leander 1982 A tough reliable rose, named after the legendary Greek lover, it was produced by a cross between Charles Austin and a seedling and has small sprays of deep apricot small to medium rosettes with a raspberry scent in the Tea Rose tradition. My rose, planted in front of the shed, grew from a cutting I took from a shrub in a friend’s garden. Here is a photo of older blooms.Troilus 1983 I first saw this rose in 2014 in Renmark, the perfect climate for it as it thrives in the warmth, though it is still doing very well in the front of the Moon Bed between Windermere and Heritage. I love its large clusters of creamy apricot fully cupped blooms. Its seed parent is a cross between Gallica Hybrid, Duchesse de Montebello, and Chaucer, while its pollen parent is Charles Austin.Abraham Darby 1985 A cross between Floribunda, Yellow Cushion, and Aloha, a modern climber. A large bush with long arching growth and large glossy leaves. Large deeply cupped Old Rose blooms, with soft peachy pink petals on the inside and pale yellow on the outside, fading in colour towards the edge of the flower as it ages, and a rich fruity fragrance with a raspberry sharpness. This rose has played an important part in the development of the Leander Group and is named after Abraham Darby (1678-1717), one of the founders of the Industrial Revolution, which began in Shropshire. For a photo, see: https://hedgerowrose.com/rose-gardening/2011/06/11/growing-david-austins-abraham-darby-rose/.
Charles Darwin 1991 A cross between two unnamed seedlings and named after the legendary British naturalist and father of the Theory of Evolution, Charles Darwin, this rose has some of the largest blooms of the English Roses. Full and deeply cupped at first, the mustard yellow blooms open to shallower flowers with a button eye. They have a strong fragrance, which is a blend of the scents of a soft floral tea rose and pure lemon. The shrub has broad, vigorous, spreading growth and is highly disease-resistant.Golden Celebration 1992 One of the largest flowers of the English Roses, this large shrub with long arching branches is a cross between Charles Austin and Abraham Darby. I am growing it at the back of the Moon Bed next to Lucetta, and love its large deeply cupped golden blooms, which have a strong Tea scent at first, developing fruity undertones of Sauternes wine and strawberry as it ages.William Morris 1998 Named after the father of the Arts and Crafts movement, William Morris (1834-1896), to commemorate the centenary of the founding of the University of East London, this tall shrub with long arching canes and glossy foliage is a cross between Abraham Darby and a seedling. My rose is very healthy and vigorous and constantly in flower with clusters of apricot pink rosettes with a strong fragrance. Growing in the front of the Moon Bed, I am in two minds about whether I should have grown it at the back of the bed due to its height, but its long graceful canes, covered in pink blooms look equally beautiful falling romantically over the front edge of the bed, even though my lawnmower curses me every time!The Alnwick Rose 2001 Named for the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, who created a very large rose garden with many English Roses at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, it is a cross between a seedling and Golden Celebration. I love the blooms of this rose: medium-sized, deeply cupped and incurved, pink flowers, with an Old Rose fragrance with a hint of raspberry. This is my final English Rose in the Soho Bed.Jubilee Celebration 2002 Named in honour of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, this large vigorous shrub, a cross between AUSgold (the registration name of Golden Celebration) and a seedling, bears sprays of large domed rich salmon pink blooms, tinted with gold under the petals, with a lovely fruity rose scent with undertones of lemon and raspberry. For a phot, see: https://www.gardenia.net/plant/rose-jubilee-celebration-aushunter.
Summer Song 2005 A bushy upright shrub, bred from a cross between two unspecified seedlings, it has sprays of small burnt orange cupped blooms with a fragrance of ‘chrysanthemum leaves, ripe banana and tea’, according to David Austin. I used to love using these bright blooms in the exotic Moroccan Mix, which we used to assemble at Soho. For a photo, see: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/summer-song.
3.English Musk Group:
A cross between Old Rose hybrids and Noisettes and the newer Hybrid Musks, to which the Floribunda, Iceberg, is related, being a cross between Hybrid Musk, Robin Hood, and Hybrid Tea, Virgo.
Lighter growth and flowering than the Old Rose Hybrid or Leander groups.
Dainty soft flowers in fresh and blush pink, soft yellow, apricot and peach.
Variety of fragrances.
Lucetta 1983 This strong healthy shrub, with long arching canes, has large, open and flat, semi-double, saucer-like, blush-pink fragrant blooms with a boss of gold stamens. Its parentage is unknown. Growing next to Golden Celebration at the back of the Moon Bed, its blooms contrast beautifully with the Flowering Salvias, the deep blue ‘Indigo Spires’ and a lighter blue salvia, grown from a cutting from my sister’s garden.Graham Thomas 1983 Given the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in 1993 , the James Mason Award (Royal National Rose Society, UK) and the Henry Edland Medal for Fragrance (Royal National Rose Society Trials), both in 2000, and voted the world’s most favourite rose by 41 rose societies in 2009, this tall upright shrub was named for rosarian, Graham Stuart Thomas, and is a cross between Charles Austin x (Iceberg x seedling). For a close-up photo, see: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/graham-thomas. It has medium deeply cupped golden yellow blooms, opening to cupped rosettes with a strong Tea Rose fragrance. I used to grow this rose in Armidale and would love to find a place for it here! Here is the climbing form at Ruston’s Roses.
Heritage 1984 Another popular and beautiful deeply cupped, blush-pink rose with a fragrance, which has been described as having ‘overtones of fruit, honey and carnation on a myrrh background’. Like Graham Thomas, it is the progeny of a Seedling x Iceberg. Other sites state the parentage as: Seedling x (Iceberg x Wife of Bath). I have always grown this rose in all my gardens from my first married home to Armidale and now here in Candelo.Belle Story 1984 Named after one of the first nursing sisters to serve as a British Royal Navy officer in 1884, its seed parent is a cross between Chaucer and a Modern Climber, Parade, while its pollen parent is a cross between The Prioress and Iceberg.Sweet Juliet 1989 A cross between Graham Thomas and Admired Miranda, an English Rose, which itself has The Friar as both its seed and pollen parents and has been discontinued, this lovely rose has medium, shallow-cupped, apricot-yellow flowers with a strong Tea scent, which becomes lemony as the blooms mature. It was named for the heroine in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. For a photo, see: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/sweet-juliet.
Evelyn 1991 A cross between Graham Thomas and Tamora, this lovely rose has large apricot and pink flowers with a shallow saucer-like form, whose petals gradually recurve to form a rosette shape. They have a beautiful Old Rose fragrance, one of the strongest of the English Roses, with the fruity notes of apricots and peaches. It was named on behalf of my favourite perfumers, Crabtree and Evelyn, and is a sister rose to Jayne Austin(Graham Thomas x Tamora) and Sweet Juliet, sharing some of the characteristics of both. Unfortunately, it is susceptible to disease, a reputation borne out by my own recent experience in the back of the Moon Bed! It was making a feeble attempt to recover, but unfortunately died, so I may try to replace it with Sweet Juliet, if I can find it or maybe, I should just move Leander to the Moon Bed, in case it was a case of Unlucky Number 13, there being 4 English Roses in the Soho Bed, 8 in the Moon Bed and one in the Shed Bed!Comte(s) de Champagne 2001 A cross between a seedling and Tamora, this rose is one of the first English Roses to have open-centred cup-shaped blooms. Soft yellow buds open to perfect, open, medium to large, globular cups, with a honey and musk fragrance and a mop of deep yellow stamens. The lax spreading bushy shrub is healthy and free-flowering. It was named after Taittinger’s finest champagne. According to David Austin, the President of Taittinger, M. Claude Taittinger, lives in a chateau built by Thibault IV, Count of Chapagne and Brie, who is also credited with bringing the Apothecary’s Rose, R. gallica officinalis, from Damascus to France on his return from the 7th Crusade in 1250.4. English Alba Rose Hybrids
The most recent varieties, a cross between Albas and other English Roses.
Almost wild light and airy growth and healthy foliage.
Light and dainty flowers in mainly shades of pink, though some are almost white and Benjamin Britten is scarlet.
They are the least fragrant of the English Roses, being a delicate mix of Old Rose, myrrh, musk and tea, without any particular scent predominating.
Shropshire Lass 1968 The foundation rose of this group, it is a cross between an early Hybrid Tea, Mme Butterfly, and an Alba, Mme Legras St Germaine. It is a large strong free-flowering shrub, though non-repeating, and has blush white almost single flowers with a large boss of stamens and a strong scent with hints of myrrh. I grew this rose in my larger Armidale garden. For a photo, see: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/shropshire-lass-climbing-rose.
5. English Climbers:
Some of the larger English Roses perform well as small climbers, where they can reach 3 to 3.5 metres here in Australia. For example, Constance Spry; Shropshire Lass; Gertrude Jekyll; Graham Thomas; Leander and William Morris.
6. English Cut Flower Roses:
In 2004, David Austin unveiled hid plans for his current 15 year breeding program, which is directed towards producing English Roses for the cut flower industry. They are similar in their flower form (rosettes) to English Roses grown in the garden, but are bred to be grown under glass and are the result of crossing English Roses with cut flower varieties of Hybrid Teas.
They combine the blowsy Old Rose forms, fragrance and romantic soft colors with the year-round availability, strong stems and the long vase life of modern cut roses and are ideal for gift bouquets, floral arrangements for the home and for all kinds of special occasions like weddings, birthdays and parties.
Unlike many of the Cut Flower Hybrid Teas, which have no fragrance, the English Cut Roses have a strong fragrance, but because of this, will last 2 or 3 days less in water than a typical Cut Hybrid Tea, the chemicals producing the scent also having the effect of hastening rose petal decay.
The initial seven varieties included four heavily perfumed roses: glowing clear pink Phoebe (originally called Olivia Austin), creamy-white Patience, deep pink Emily (synonym Cymbeline), and blush-pink Rosalind; and three lightly fragrant, exquisitely formed roses: peach-hued Juliet, rosy Miranda and raspberry-red Darcey.
For more information about David Austin and his beautiful English Roses, it is worth reading David Austin’s books:
David Austin’s English Roses Australian Edition 1993/ 1996;
The English Roses: Classic Favourites and New Selections 2007; and
The Rose 2009/ 2012.
Next week, I am focusing on our own Spring garden, but the following fortnight, will be looking at the work of other contemporary breeders of modern shrub roses and modern climbers, including Guillot, Delbard and Meilland in France; Kordes and Tantau in Germany; Harkness and Joe Cocker in the UK and Swim and Weeks in the USA.
And now to the roses of the Twentieth Century: the Hybrid Teas, Polyanthas and Floribundas, which represent the majority of all rose plants and have been interbred so much that they are now very difficult to separate on a genetic basis.
Both groups are short bushes, 1m to less than 2m tall and less than 1 metre to 1.5 metres wide, with an upright growth habit, bred to be grown in rose beds and cut for floral arrangements in the home. They repeat-flower with several flushes, 6 to 8 weeks apart and lasting several weeks long, throughout the season, from late October and mid-November to pruning time the following Winter, here in Australia. The first two photos are of Just Joey.Most blooms have the traditional modern form with a high-pointed bud, opening to a circular outline with a high spiralling centre. However, there are more informal types with a lighter, more airy arrangement of petals, while others have tight rings of petals in rosettes or cupped formations.To add to the confusion, most roses of either group can form multiple heads (clusters) on the top of strong water shoots in Spring, and even cluster-flowered roses can throw a good number of single stems on older, lightly pruned plants.
Within each group, there is huge variety in the foliage canopy (dense/sparse), leaf appearance (matt/glossy), height (tall/short) and bloom colour and shape, enabling the choice of roses for a wide variety of purposes and situations:
Floral arrangements and cutting blooms: Consistently single shapely blooms on long stems eg Mr Lincoln, Julia’s Rose, Blue Moon, Fragrant Plum (2nd photo below), Pascali (long regarded as one of the best white Hybrid Teas and a cross between Queen Elizabeth and White Butterfly) and Double Delight. Here is a vase of Mr Lincoln (dark red) and Lolita (orange, pink and gold):Exhibition/ Competition blooms: Consistently large blooms with a good form, but not necessarily long stems eg Peace;Attractive garden plants: Plentiful eye-catching blooms on thick, well-rounded plants eg Apricot Nectar; Lolita (main tall rose in photo above); and Fragrant Plum (photo below);Bedding Roses: Tidy growth habit, dense foliage and free-flowering eg Iceberg, La Sevillana (photo below) and Queen Elizabeth;Roses for Low Borders: 0.5 to 1 metre tall eg Polyanthas
Ground Cover, Patio and Miniature Roses: See later.
Single Blooms eg Mrs Oakley Fisher, Ellen Willmott, White Wings (photo below) and Dainty Bess; and
General Purpose Roses: Combine a number of the above attributes eg Gold Bunny, Just Joey (photo below) and Peace. In 1971, Hybrid Teas and Floribundas were reclassified as Large-Flowered Roses and Cluster-Flowered Roses respectively. I will now focus Hybrid Teas for the rest of this post, then Polyanthas and Floribundas (Cluster-Flowered Roses) in Thursday’s post.
Hybrid Teas are the result of a cross between Tea roses (for their elegance and perpetual flowering) and Hybrid Perpetuals ( for their robustness and freedom of flowering) in the mid-19th Century.
La France, bred by Guillot Fils, France, 1865: This rose has uncertain origins. Guillot thought it was possibly a seedling of Tea rose, Mme Falcot, the current position taken in Peter Beales’book, Classic Roses, while David Austin attributes its parents as Hybrid Perpetual, Mme Victor Verdier (not to be confused with Victor Verdier) and Tea Rose, Mme Bravy. It had a good scent, vigorous growth and was very free-flowering. At the time, it was considered to be another Hybrid Perpetual and was a nearly sterile triploid, as were the early Bourbons. For a long while, it held the honour of being the first Hybrid Tea. For a photo, see: http://www.paulbardenroses.com/hybridteas/lafrance.html. It was soon followed by:
Lady Mary Fitzwilliam, Bennett, UK, 1882 (photo below): A cross between Devoniensis (Tea) and Victor Verdier (Hybrid Perpetual), it was a fertile tetraploid and was the parent of many early British Hybrid Teas. Thought to have disappeared, it was rediscovered in 1975 by Keith Money, Norfolk. Bennett, long regarded as the Father of the Hybrid Teas, was the first to use the term Hybrid Tea or as he put it ‘Pedigree Hybrids of the Tea Rose’. Bennett was also, along with French breeder, Sisley, the first to apply systematic deliberate cross breeding to roses with certain objectives in view, thus being the first modern rose breeders.Other early varieties included:
Mme Caroline Testout 1890 ( a cross between Tea Rose, Mme de Tartas and Lady Mary Fitzwilliam);Lady Waterlow 1903 (Hybrid Tea, La France de ’89 X Mme Marie Lavalley);Irish Elegance, Alexander Dickson II, United Kingdom,1905, a cross between R. hibernica and an undocumented Hybrid Tea. Salmon buds open to highly fragrant, single, flat peach blooms, fading to salmon-buff. This rose is very disease-resistant and blooms in flushes throughout the season.Château de Clos Vougeot, Pernet-Ducher, France, 1908: Unknown cross;Mrs Herbert Stevens, McGredy, UK, 1910, a cross between Hybrid Perpetual, Frau Karl Druschki and Tea Rose,Niphetos;Ophelia 1912 (a seedling, which arrived in a consignment of Antoine Rivoire – photo below). For a photo of Ophelia, see: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/ophelia-bush-rose.html; andMme Butterfly 1918, the bush form a sport of Ophelia. See: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/mme-butterfly.
While many of these early Hybrid Teas have been superseded by the more modern varieties, they still hold their own in their climbing forms, which are either crosses or sports involving the bush forms. For example:
Climbing Mme Caroline Testout 1901;
Climbing Château de Clos Vougeot 1920, both sports of their bush form;
Climbing Mrs Herbert Stevens 1922, one of the most popular white climbers, which is frequently found in old gardens;Climbing Lady Sylvia 1926, the bush form itself also a sport of Mme Butterfly, and one of the most popular roses of the 1930s. See: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/lady-sylvia; and
Mme Gregoire Staechelin(Spanish Beauty) 1927, a cross between Hybrid Perpetual, Frau Karl Druschki and Hybrid Tea, Château de Clos Vougeot. The first two photos below were taken at Walter Duncan’s home at the Heritage Garden, Clare, while the last photo was our old verandah at ‘Creekside’, Armidale.
Ophelia, Mme Butterfly and Lady Sylvia all exhibit the ideal for perfect Hybrid Tea buds with their exquisitely scrolled formation and have few rivals, even today. They only differ in their colour: Ophelia is blush-pink; Mme Butterfly is a slightly deeper shade and Lady Sylvia is blush, suffused with apricot. In all three, the colour deepens towards the centre. All are reliable growers, reaching 80 cm in height, but are prone to blackspot. The neat foliage is grey-green and the flowers highly scented. All have excellent climbing sports. Ophelia alone was responsible for at least 36 sports!
The next advance was the first yellow Hybrid Tea! In 1910, Pernet-Ducher crossed a clear-yellow R. foetida persiana with a red Hybrid Perpetual, Antoine Ducher, to produce a seedling, which was then crossed with R. foetida bicolor to produce the first yellow Hybrid Tea, Rayon d’Or.
Originally known as the Pernetianas and now reclassified as Hybrid Teas or Large-Flowered Roses, they had yellow or orange blooms with little scent and were very thorny and highly susceptible to blackspot. In fact, they are the source of most of the yellows and bright colours in modern roses, as well as the source of their susceptibility to blackspot!
Another important breeding program was the introduction in 1945 of R. wichuraiana genes by Brownlow, Rhode Island, to produce hardier varieties, more resistant to blackspot and suitable for growing in the colder climate of North-Eastern USA, which he called Sub-Zero Hybrid Teas. For more information on these roses, see: http://www.midwestgardentips.com/sub-zero_tea_roses.html. Some were later used by German breeder, Kordes, to produce varieties suitable for Germany.
There are now thousands of Hybrid Teas on the market, with at least ten large rose specialist breeders around the world, including: Kordes (Germany); Meilland (France); Dickson (Northern Ireland); McGredy (formerly Northern Ireland and later, New Zealand); Harkness (England) and Fryer (England); Cocker (Scotland); Jackson and Perkins (USA); and Weeks (USA), as well as countless smaller and amateur breeders.
Tall upright growth with sparse foliage towards the base.
Large solitary specimen bloom with a high-pointed bud and variable degrees of scent. The photo below of Mrs Herbert Stevens shows the typical long pointed and spiralling buds.Recurrent flowering.
Not as hardy or tough as Old Roses and more susceptible to diseases like black spot.
Most widely grown rose type and according to Deane Ross, the most popular rose type in Australia and New Zealand. Below is a photo of a bush of Mme Caroline Testout.
I have already mentioned a few early Hybrid Teas. Here are some more very famous and popular varieties in order of their introduction. Please note that it is only a miniscule portion of the vast number of Hybrid Teas available, the selection being based on the few Hybrid Teas, which I grow in my garden, and other personal photos from other gardens! Where I did not have suitable photos, I have included a link, as in the first rose below.
Dainty Bess, Archer, UK 1925, a cross between Ophelia and Kitchener of Khartoum, both Hybrid Teas, it has single rose-pink blooms with a deeper pink on the outside, contrasting red-brown stamens and fringed petals. Ellen Willmott, Archer, UK, 1936: A cross between Dainty Bess and Tea Rose, Lady Hillingdon with large, single, creamy flowers, tinged with pink at the edges, wavy petals and golden anthers and red filaments;Peace, Meilland, France, 1945: One of the most popular roses of all time, the story of its creation immortalized in Antonia Ridge’s beautiful book ‘For Love of a Rose’. See: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/01/10/fabulous-rose-books/.
Peace is the result of crosses between (George Dickson x Souvenir de Claudius Pernet) X ( Joanna Hill x Charles P Kilham) X Margaret McGredy and was also called Gloria Dei (Germany), Mme A Meilland (France) and Gioia (Italy). For a shorter version of its story, see: https://www.gerbera.org/gardening-magazine/the-gardener-index/june-2005/peace-rose/. It was voted the Best Rose by the World Rose Convention in 1974;White Wings, Krebs, USA, 1947 : A cross between Dainty Bess and an unknown rose, it is another Hybrid Tea with pure white single blooms with chocolate anthers;Sutter’s Gold:Bush form: Swim, USA, 1950; Climbing form Weeks, USA, 1950: A cross between Charlotte Armstrong x Signora, both Hybrid Teas. A lovely rose, with whose climbing form I grew up. See: http://www.treloarroses.com.au/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=2466;
Meg, Gosset, UK, 1954: A cross between Paul’s Lemon Pillar X Mme Butterfly, both Hybrid Teas and another beautiful single golden rose;Papa Meilland, Meilland, France, 1963: A cross between Chrysler Imperial X Charles Mallerin, both Hybrid Teas. A velvety deep red rose with a perfect formation and delicious perfume. It was voted the Best Rose by the World Rose Convention in 1988, however it can be a tricky rose with poor growth in Britain. See: http://sarose.org.au/rose-month/papa-meilland/;
Mr Lincoln, Swim and Weeks, USA, 1964 : Another cross between the same two Hybrid Teas,Chrysler Imperial X Charles Mallerin. Another beautiful deep red rose with a divine scent and very long stems, making it very popular with florists;Blue Moon, Tantau, Germany, 1965: A cross between Hybrid Tea, Sterling Silver, and an unknown seedling, this rose has upright growth and highly fragrant lavender exhibition blooms. One of the earliest and most successful of the blue roses that will flower through Summer and Autumn. See: http://rankinsroses.com.au/product/blue-moon/;
Lolita, Kordes, Germany, 1973 A cross between Hybrid Tea, Colour Wonder and an unknown seedling. Continuous slightly scented apricot flowers, tinged with pink on long straight almost thornless stems. I love it at all stages from the tight bud (photo above) to a high-pointed, classic-shaped rose through to a full bloom showing its stamens;Julia’s Rose, Wisbech, UK, 1976: A coppery coffee-coloured rose with a slight scent, which is a cross between two Hybrid Teas, Blue Moon and Dr AJ Verhage;Double Delight, Swim and Ellis, USA, 1977: A cross between Granada and Garden Party, both Hybrid Teas, it has creamy-white, highly scented continuous blooms with red edges, but the leaves are susceptible to mildew. It was voted the Best Rose by the World Rose Convention in 1986. See: http://www.all-my-favourite-flower-names.com/double-delight-rose.html;
The Children’s Rose, Meilland, France, 1995: A cross between (Perfume Delight x Prima Ballerina, both Hybrid Teas) X The Mc Cartney Rose, another Hybrid Tea, this tall robust disease -resistant rose has highly fragrant, fully double fat, soft pink blooms, mainly borne singly, but sometimes in clusters on almost thornless stems. It starts to bloom in the mid-Spring, the flowering being constant throughout the season and right up to Winter pruning. It was introduced in the United States under the name, Frederic Mistral;Our Copper Queen, Kordes, Germany, 1996: Tall healthy plant with large, fragrant, deep golden yellow solitary double blooms, borne in flushed throughout the season;Ice-Girl, Kordes, Germany, 1997: A cross between Frederic Mistral and Osiana, both Hybrid Teas, this rose has ivory-white, medium, double and quartered blooms in small clusters in flushes throughout the season;Best Friend, Meilland, France, 1997: A cross between (Tino Rossi x Rendez-Vous) x Sonia, all Hybrid Teas, this tall, disease-resistant rose has medium-pink blooms with a fruity fragrance, borne on long strong stems in flushes from late Spring to late Autumn. A perfect rose for floristry, it was named by the RSPCA to honour the unconditional love of man’s best friend (below is another photo of the rose with my best friend, my husband, Ross!) and has been awarded a Gold Medal at the Rome Rose Trials in Italy, and Fragrance Awards at the same trials, as well as at the Nantes Rose Trials and Bagatelle Rose Trials in France; Le Roeulx Rose Trials in Belgium and the Geneva Rose Trials in Switzerland; and lastly,Heaven Scent, Carruth, USA, 2001 A cross between a Floribunda,Blueberry Hill, and a Hybrid Tea, New Zealand, this is a strong tough rose with large highly scented (Damask scent) orchid-pink roses with a darker reverse and slightly frilled petals on long thornless stems, perfect for floral arrangements. It is the pink rose in the foreground. Lolita is the rose in the background.On Thursday, I will be discussing the Polyanthas and Floribundas or the Cluster-Flowered Roses, as they are known today.
On Tuesday, we explored the beautiful art books concerning artists of the period before the 1900s. This post continues our journey into the wonderful world of art through books about the artists of the Twentieth Century.
Even though the next four artists were born in the mid 1870s and 1880s, they came into their own over the turn of the century, a time of great excitement and hope for the future, when photography was in its infancy and Australia became a nation, achieving their peak fame in the 1920s. They include: Australian printmaker, Margaret Preston (1875-1963); photographer, Harold Cazneaux (1878-1953), and painter, Elioth Gruner (1882-1939), both of whom were born in New Zealand, but grew up in Australia and Australian artist, Hilda Rix Nicholas (1884-1961).
Margaret Preston by Elizabeth Butel 1985/ 1995
Well-known for her still life paintings and woodcuts of Australian flora and fauna and one of Australia’s leading Modernists of the early 20th century, Margaret was the most prominent Australian woman artist of the 1920s and 1930s, during which time her designs were used in painting and printmaking, as well as interior decoration, fabric design and even floral arrangements. The cover shows her Self-Portrait 1930.Studying in Munich and Paris, and travelling in Italy, Spain and Holland, between 1903 and 1919, Margaret was heavily influenced by Japanese art and the Post-Impressionism, Fauvism and Cubism movements of the time. She also attended Roger Fry’s Omega workshops in decorative art in Britain during the First World War. Below is a photo of her, taken in 1930, by my next artist, Harold Cazneaux, titled: Margaret Preston in the Garden, from page 43 of this book.
Her works display a love of asymmetry; pattern as a dominant element of design; simplified composition, where natural patterns are so closely observed that they can be broken down into discrete units, as seen in the photo below of The Brown Pot 1940 from page 57; a degree of primitivism; and a great appreciation and love of Australian flora and fauna, as well as the small things of life. Her earlier works show an emotive and sensual use of colour, as seen in the photo below of her hand-coloured woodcut Anemones 1925, from page 32 of the book: but as she progressed, she adopted a more restricted colour range, with a major emphasis on blue and a graphic use of black and white, as shown by this photo of one of my favourite oils: Implement Blue 1927, from page 38:This detailed book discusses her early life and the three major phases in her work: the periods from1875 to 1920; 1920 to 1930; and 1924 to 1963; accompanied by a comprehensive bibliography of all her works; newspaper and journal articles; and books and monographs, as well as a catalogue of all her oil paintings; prints (etchings; woodcuts; masonite cuts; screen prints; stencils; and monotypes); fabric designs; ceramics and wood blocks. Here is a photo of one of her works on the cover of the October 1926 issue of magazine, Woman’s World, from p 42:We feel very lucky to have one of her framed prints, a hand-coloured woodcut, titled Christmas Bells 1925. For more information on Margaret Preston, see: http://www.margaretpreston.info/ and https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/?artist_id=preston-margaret.
The Cazneaux Women by Valerie Hill 2000
Another lovely book featuring the monochromatic works of early Australian photographer, Harold Cazneaux (1878-1953) , with their beautiful women subjects , romantic compositions and a wonderful use of light and shade. The book cover features his photo of British artist and theatre designer, Doris Zinkeisen with Her Brushes 1929.
I have always loved black-and-white photographs for their focus on design and composition, line and structure (form and shape), pattern and texture, contrast and tonal variations and the play of light and shadow, without the distraction of colour. These elements are superbly illustrated in the dramatic work of contemporary German photographer, Maik Lipp: See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/01/maik-lipp_n_4019302.html.
While Cazneaux also photographed historic cityscapes, and industrial and landscape aspects, this particular book is devoted to 36 plates of Cazneaux’s women – his wife Winifred and small daughters, Rainbow, Jean and Beryl, as well as stylish portraits of well-known women in the 1920s and 1930s including artist, Margaret Preston, writers Ethel Turner and Theo Proctor, performers, Dame Nellie Melba and Anna Pavlova; and a large number of Sydney social belles. I adore this photo: Bathing Baby 1909 from p 50:The plates show the developments in camera art, as well as women’s fashions and the changing role of women, from the formally posed wet plate images of the 1870s (and earlier albumen prints), through the Pictorial period to the start of Modernism, where Max Dupain and Olive Cotton (see later) made their mark. Here is another favourite photograph by Harold Cazneaux: The Sleeping Child 1914 from page 64.We also learn about Harold’s life, his relationships with women and his artistic influences from his parents, Pierce and Emma, both early photographers; stepmother Christina, who nurtured his talent; his wife, Winifred, who trained at the first photographic studio, where he worked; John Kauffmann, who introduced Pictorialism to Australia, and the Sydney Camera Circle of the early 1920s. Harold’s photograph, Rainbow in the Cosmos 1916, from page 62, is delightful!
His photograph Pergola Pattern 1931, from page 100 shows such a superb mastery of composition, pattern and contrast and the play of light and shadow!
I loved the background of the these two photographs: Doris Zinkeisen: New Ideas Portrait with Leaf Background 1929 from page 91 (above); and A Study in Profile 1931 from p 104:There are also significant collections of his photographs at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, and the Mitchell Library and Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney. See: https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/?artist_id=cazneaux-harold.
The Art of Elioth Gruner: The Texture of Light by Deborah Clark 2014
This cover features Elioth Gruner’s oil painting, titled Thunderstorm 1928.
Elioth Gruner (1882 – 1939 ) was also a master of light and shade, as seen in his very famous painting, displayed in the Art Gallery Of New South Wales: Spring Frost 1919, which introduced me to his work, seen in the poster below. The shafts of sunlight and the steam rising from the bellowing dairy cows can probably be better appreciated by viewing this link: https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/6925/.We were also lucky enough to attend an exhibition of his work, Elioth Gruner: The Texture of Light, at the Canberra Museum and Gallery in 2014, many of his landscapes painted en plein air from the Sydney to the South Coast of New South Wales, including Cooma and the Monaro; the Canberra region, Yass and the Murrumbidgee River valley and the Southern Highlands, all part of our new home! Is it any wonder that we brought the book based on the exhibition home with us!!There is even a painting of our old stamping grounds in Northern New South Wales with his painting Shelley Beach, Nambucca Heads 1933 (photo above from page 86), and Winter Afternoon, Bellingen, NSW 1937 , the latter held by our old home art gallery NERAM , which also owns his paintings: Beach Idyll 1934 and The Beach 1918, another personal favourite (seen in the photo below from page 21 of the book)!I adore his landscapes depicting pastoral life and the rural homesteads of the period, like Manar, a large cattle and sheep property between Bungendore and Braidwood, seen here in his oil painting, Manar Landscape 1928, the first photo below from page 52 of the book and Autumn, Manar 1939, 2nd photo below, from page 53.He was obviously very popular in his day, enjoying the support of both conservative and progressive elements of the Sydney art scene, as well as winning the Wynne Prize for landscape painting seven times between 1916 and 1937. It was wonderful to see his paintings so closeup, to examine and admire his techniques for reproducing light and shadows, using short, choppy brush strokes and different tones of greens, as exemplified by Morning Light 1916, his first painting to win this award, shown in the photo above from page 26. Spring Frost 1919 was his second Wynne Prize.Hilda Rix Nicholas: The Man For the Job by the Bendigo Art Gallery 2010
We were also very fortunate to see an exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery in 2010 of the works of Australian artist, Hilda Rix Nicholas (1884-1961), who also came to fame in the 1920s, the second Australian artist after Rupert Bunny (who I discussed in the first part of this post last Tuesday) and the first woman to have a solo exhibition in Paris in 1925.
She too painted many lovely paintings of life in rural Australia, especially her family property, run by her second husband, Edgar Wright, at Knockalong near Delegate, on the Southern Monaro. I love this painting of His Land 1922-1923 from page 30. Other favourites are: In the Bush 1927, from page 41; Bringing in the Sheep 1936, held by our local art gallery, Bega Valley Regional Gallery, shown on page 54 of the book;
and The Homestead of Tooraloo 1945 from page 60.The book also chronicles her brilliant early career, from 1907 to 1918, in France, Morocco and Italy, marred by the desperate loss of her travel companions, her sister and mother, from illness and the untimely death of her new husband of six weeks on the Western Front in the First World War. For more about Hilda Rix Nicholas, see: http://knockalong.com/?page_id=664.
No discussion of the art world of the 1920s is complete without reference to the Bloomsbury Group, the subject of the next two books:
Charleston: A Bloomsbury House & Garden by Quentin Bell and Virginia Nicholson 1997
The Bloomsbury Group was a very famous name in the British art world, and while most of its members were born in the 1880s, their main flowering came during the 1920s after their move to Charleston in 1916 to escape the horrors of the First World War.
This lovely book is an ode to Charleston and all its inhabitants: Vanessa Bell and her husband, Clive (temporarily), their sons Julian and Quentin, the co-author of this book; Vanessa’s lovers, Roger Fry and Duncan Grant, to whom she bore a daughter, Angelica; David Garnett, Duncan’s homosexual lover, and Clive’s lover, Mary Hutchinson, as well as other members of the Bloomsbury Group: Vanessa’s sister, Virginia Woolf, and husband, Leonard, who lived nearby; Lytton Strachey; Desmond MacCarthy; EM Forster and Maynard Keynes, not to mention chief cook and housekeeper, Grace Higgins.
Starting with a map of the garden and ground plans of each storey of the house and an introduction with its highly appropriate title: A Vanished World, a chapter devoted to Charleston’s golden age from 1925 to 1937, which was shattered by the death of Vanessa’s son, Julian in the Spanish Civil War, just before the Second World War.
Through the following chapters featuring each room : Clive Bell’s study and bedroom; Vanessa’s bedroom; the spare bedroom; and those of Maynard Keynes and Duncan Grant; the green bathroom; the dining room and kitchen; the library; the studios; the garden room and finally the beautiful garden, Angelica’s ‘earthly paradise’, including the productive Walled Garden and numerous old photographs, we get to know all about their unconventional lives and their art.
It is backed up by the following small paperback:
Charleston: Past and Present by Quentin Bell, Angelica Garnett, Henrietta Garnet and Richard Shone 1987/ 1993
This official guide to Charleston also describes the contents of each room, and includes essays on Life at Charleston, including personal letters and memoirs, like the childhood memories of the garden, written by Quentin Bell; and the memoirs of Vanessa’s daughter Angelica and her daughter Henrietta, who recalls her grandmother, ‘Nessa’. It is possible to still visit Charleston. See: https://www.charleston.org.uk/ for details of opening times.
1930 to 1960s
The Boyds by Brenda Niall 2002/ 2007
The Boyd family is a very famous artistic dynasty in Australia, founded by Emma Minnie à Beckett (1858-1936) and her husband Arthur Merric Boyd (1862-1940), whose children also pursued art: William Merric (1888-1959) became a potter; Theodore Penleigh (1890-1923); and Helen à Beckett (1903-1999) were both painters and son, Martin à Beckett (1893-1972) became a writer.
William married a painter, Doris Gough, and raised five talented artists: a potter, Lucy (1916 -2009); sculptor, Guy (1923-1988); and three painters: Arthur (1920-1999); David (1924-2011); and Mary (1926-2017).
They in turn have raised artists like Lucy’s potter son, Robert; Guy’s sculptor daughters, Lenore, Sally and Charlotte; Arthur’s children, Polly, Jamie and Lucy; David’s daughters, Amanda, Lucinda and Cassandra; and Mary’s children by her first husband, John Perceval: Matthew, Tessa, Celia and Alice Perceval, as well as musicians and writers.
In her fascinating book, Brenda Niall traces the family biography from 1840s Melbourne with convict heiress Emma Mills, who married William, the son of Victoria’s first Chief Justice; her daughter, Emma Minnie, and son-in-law, Arthur Merric Boyd; their children, who grew up at Open Country, Murrumbeena, and Boyd grand-children, all of whom were famous, especially Arthur.
Another famous Boyd landmark , which can still be visited, is Arthur Boyd’s property at Bundanon, on the Shoalhaven River, near Nowra, which he bought in 1979 and donated to the Australian people in 1993 and which we visited years ago. It is well worth making the effort to visit, even though opening times are limited and there is a long narrow drive in. It’s wonderful to see his house and studios and the landscape, which inspired him.
It also includes a huge art collection of over 3 800 items, with more than 1 300 works by Arthur Boyd, over 1 200 works from five generations of the Boyd family dynasty and a number of works by Arthur Boyd’s contemporaries, such as Sidney Nolan, John Perceval, Joy Hester and Charles Blackman, from which regular exhibitions are held, as well as hosting an artist-in-residence program each year. See: https://bundanon.com.au/ for visiting times.
Olive Cotton by Helen Ennis and the Art Gallery of New South Wales 2000
I love Olive Cotton’s work! Olive Cotton (1911-2003) was one of Australia’s leading twentieth century photographers, whose career spanned six decades from the 1930s to the 1980s. The front cover of the book shows her delightfully titled photograph: Only to Taste the Warmth, the Light, the Wind 1939: This small book, which was produced to accompany an exhibition of her work by the Art Gallery of NSW in 2000, contains photographs from the 1930s to mid 1940s, when she worked with her first husband, Max Dupain, at his studio in Sydney, as well as work from the 1980s, when she revisited her negatives and her passion for ‘drawing with light’. I love this photograph of a dandelion head, titled: Seedhead 1990 from page 59.Her photographs display her great love for nature, as seen in her landscapes and flower studies; her keen observational powers; her wide range of subject matter; her fluidity of style, moving freely between Pictorialism, the style perfected by her predecessor, Harold Cazneaux (see above), and Modernism; and her great love of the photographic medium.
Her photographs are so beautiful and almost like paintings eg Interior (My Room) 1933, shown above, from page 13, and Cardboard Design 1935, shown below from page 25:
I also love Tea Cup Ballet 1935, a different take on the same subject matter of Margaret Preston’s Implement Blue 1927, shown below, from page 24;
Jean-Lorraine By Candlelight 1943, from page 37;
and The Sleeper 1939, shown below from page 31:
Margaret Olley by Barry Pearce 1996
Another famous Australian artist, Margaret Olley (1923-2011) came to fame from the 1950s and 1960s on and is still very popular today. The book cover features one of her early works: Portrait in the Mirror 1948. The photo below is of one of her very famous paintings: Afternoon Interior with Cornflowers 1990, from page 103. I adore her still-lifes and rich, cluttered interiors, full of colour, vases of flowers and vintage objects and furniture. I just love the colours in her painting Chianti Bottle and Pomegranates 1994-1995 (photograph from page 112): This book traces her life, her travels and her work, reproduced in the numerous full colour plates in this lovely book. The mask in the photo below, painted in her Interior IV 1970, page 59 of the book, bears testament to her three trips to Papua New Guinea between 1965 and 1968.
I love the lemons tumbling out of the basket in Lemons 1964, the photo from page 51. They were such comfortable homey interiors too like Yellow Tablecloth with Cornflowers 1995, photograph taken from page 126 of the book. In fact, I could own any one of her works. They are all so beautiful, as well as probably being very pricey these days! Another favourite for its rich warm colours is Clivias 1984, photograph from page 97 of the book. I just love that kelim!!!Fortunately, she left her possessions to the Tweed Regional Gallery at Murwillimbah, so we were able to visit the Margaret Olley Art Centre during our recent trip to Brisbane, a wonderful treat! The first photo below is The Chinese Screen 1994-1995 from page 10, while the last photo is Yellow Room with Lupins II 1994-1995 from page 122. The centre also includes a recreation of key areas of her famous home studio at 48 Duxford Street, Paddington, Sydney : the Hat Factory (living room, dining room and kitchen) and Yellow Room, all built to scale, with original architectural elements like windows, doors and fireplaces, and over 20 000 items, collected by Margaret over many years as subject matter for her paintings. See: http://artgallery.tweed.nsw.gov.au/VisitUs and http://artgallery.tweed.nsw.gov.au/MargaretOlleyArtCentre.
Finally, some books about some contemporary artists among the Baby Boomers, all of whom have a deep affection for Australia and its amazing flora and fauna!
Criss Canning: The Pursuit of Beauty by David Thomas 2008
The book cover above features Still Life with Poppy Cedric Morris 2007.
Her love of native Australian flora can be seen in her painting titled: Winter Banksia 2001 from page 155.This beautiful coffee table book was written and published to coincide with her retrospective exhibition at Ballarat Fine Art Gallery in 2007 and it certainly does justice to all her wonderful sumptuous paintings with full page colour plates in glossy paper. Below is another ode to Australian flora: Gum Blossom 1995, photo from page 123.David Thomas traces her life from her birth in 1947, exactly one month before my husband (!), and childhood in Laburnum, near Blackburn, a suburb of Melbourne, which was then rural acreage; her struggles as a single mother of two young children; her sojourn on the island of Rhodes in Greece, inspired by Charmaine Clift; her marriage and life with David Glenn in Ascot, near Ballarat, and her later more minimalist works, influenced by her love of Japanese art, seen in Freesia’s and Japanese Tea Service 1996 from page 175 and the geometric designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.I adore her beautiful floral studies: their rich colour; bold composition; strong patterns and dramatic contrast and flowing textile backdrops, as can be seen in her paintings titled: Black and White 1999, the first photo below from page 77 and Arthur Merric Boyd Coffee Set 2003, the second photo below from page 160.I love her talented portrayal of metal surfaces and her patterned backgrounds, as seen in the first photo below: Silver Reflections 2003 from page 162 and the silver tray in the second photo below: Native Flowers and Silver Tray 2001 from page 149,As well as her wonderful sense of colour, as seen in Poppies 1987 from page 43. To see more of her work, visit her site at: http://crisscanning.com.au/.
Salvatore Zofrea: Days of Summer by Anne Ryan 2009
This lovely book features the work of Salvatore Zoffrea, an Italian-Australian printmaker, who produces beautiful woodcuts of Australian flora and the bush. The book cover features his woodcut: Mountain Devil Grevillea with Eggs and Bacon Pea, Native Iris and Kunzea, while the photo below shows Bowerbirds with Native Irises and Eggs and Bacon Pea from page 43. Like Criss Canning, he was also influenced heavily by Japanese art, especially its traditional Japanese woodcuts, as well as European art. I love his delightful work: Tea Tree with Bronze Pigeon in the photo below, taken from page 39. I love his attention to detail, the busyness of his designs, his use of colour or lack of colour, his sense of wonder at the beauty and abundance of the Australian bush and his underlying message of the importance of conservation and sustainability. The photo below is a closeup of a double page spread, page 62 and 63, featuring his large woodcut, 3 metres long, titled: Bellbirds at Kurrajong, which was made by carving nine blocks of marine plywood and was his artistic response to a local incident at Mandeni, near Merimbula, where a bellbird population was culled due to their destruction of eucalyptus trees. Little did we realize that five years later we would be living in the area! We felt so lucky to see these wonderful prints by chance when passing through Wagga Wagga in 2010. See: http://www.wagga.nsw.gov.au/art-gallery/exhibitions-landing/past-exhibitions/exhibitions-2010/salvatore-zofrea-days-of-summer); http://mrag.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/ZofreaProposal_sml.pdf and http://mrag.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/ZofreaEdKit_11_01_10.pdf.
Byron Portfolio: An Artist’s Response to the Byron Shire by Karen Wynn-Moylan 1989Another environmental artist, whose work I love is Karen Wynn-Moylan, also known as Karena Wynn-Moylan. Her book cover features her watercolour, View From Honeysuckle to Tallows Beach, a familiar scene from coastal holidays in the area many years ago.Karen works in a variety of media: watercolours, oils, acrylics and pastels – to record and celebrate the beauty of the unique flora and fauna of her subtropical home environment in the Byron Shire, as well as encourage an appreciation of the environment and the need for conservation. Her love of her local rainforest can be seen in the photo above of her watercolour painting, The Clearing, page 43, while her pastel, Sunsoaked, on page 7, portrays a subject matter typical of the local area! I love The Flowering Beach, a mixed media painting on page 21, the fine dots of colour so typical of the Australian bush. Nasturtiums (Mullumbimby Laneway), labelled The Nasturtians in the book on page 29 and seen in the photo below, reminds me of our holidays at Hat Head with its old-fashioned dirt lane ways, lined with bougainvillea and frangipanis, wooden sheds and garages and leaning wooden fences, trailing with nasturtiums.
The final artist in this post, Michael Leunig, also has much to say about our treatment of the environment, as well as each other, as can be seen in the following book:
The Michael Leunig Collection: Favourite Paintings and Drawings by Michael Leunig 1991Born in 1945, Michael Leunig is a much-loved and well-known cartoonist with delightfully quirky characters, who highlight the absurdities of life, and wonderfully whimsical poetry. The book cover features his well-known cartoon, The Kiss 1985.His work is just so much fun and he addresses serious issues with a humorous light-hearted approach, which is very effective, as seen in the photo above of his cartoon, Plastic Shopping Bags in Autumn 1989 from page 22, though we are only just starting to address the issue in 2017! I love his characters, Mr Curly and Vasco Pyjama, as well as the small things of life: his ducks, houses, teapots and angels. The photo above is Mr Curly Comes Home 1973, from page 30, while the colour photograph below is the book cover for The Travelling Leunig, published by Penguin in 1990, and reproduced on page 112 of this book. This book is a taster to some of his most famous drawings. We own a number of his books, and his work also appears regularly in the Melbourne Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, as well as a free annual calendar. For more on his work, see: http://www.leunig.com.au/.
I will finish this post with one of his delightful prayers from his website :
We rejoice and give thanks for earthworms,
bees, ladybirds and broody hens;
for humans tending their gardens, talking to animals,
cleaning their homes and singing to themselves;
for rising of the sap, the fragrance of growth,
the invention of the wheelbarrow and the existence of the teapot,
we give thanks. We celebrate and give thanks.
Now for a visual treat: a post on some of my favourite books about both art and artists, many of which we have bought after attending a wonderful exhibition!
Art is such a personal concept and performs many different purposes from representing our world to exploring personal ideas or beliefs. Being a romantic at heart and a bit of an ostrich, I tend to be drawn to works of beauty, as I feel our world has enough ugliness in reality, without perpetuating it in our art! A typical example is one of my most favourite paintings: End of Dinner by Jules-Alexandre Grun 1913 https://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-end-of-dinner-jules-alexandre-grun.html.
I will start with two general books on art, then introduce you to some books featuring of my favourite artists and art periods in chronological order. Note: This selection is based solely on my art library and is a very incomplete representation of my favourite art and artists! For example, I love Impressionism, but do not own any books on it or its proponents in my art library, so they are not included in this post. Because this is quite a long post, I have divided it into two parts: Part One: General Art Books and Pre-1900s; and Part Two: Post 1900s.
In my last book post on Architectural Books, I discussed one book, which covered both the architecture and art of Islam, so I thought I would begin with:
The Orient in Western Art by Gérard-Georges Lemaire 2000
For over 2 000 years, the Western imagination has been excited by the world of the Orient from Egypt to Palestine and Greece to Turkey with its exoticism and mystery, its domes and minarets and harems of beautiful women, as depicted in the art of :
Bellini, Carpaccio, Veronese, Tintoretto, Rubens and Rembrandt (15th to 17th Centuries);
The beautiful women of Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, Jean-Étienne Liotard and Antoine de Favray and landscapes of Jean-Baptiste Hilair in the 18th Century;
The battle scenes of Jean-Léon Gérôme, François Watteau, Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, Anne-Louise Girodet de Roussy-Trioson and Alexandre Bida; and
Egyptian scenes, painted by David Roberts, Frederick Goodall, William James Müller, Adrian Dauzats, Prosper Marilhat and Rudolf Ernst of the 18th Century.
I particularly loved Private Conversation by John Frederick Lewis (p 134; photo above); Odalisque by Natale Schiavoni (p 150; first photo below), Jewish Girl in Tangiers by Charles Landelle (p 169; fourth photo below) and Algerian Woman and Her Slave by Ange Tissier on the book cover (first photo of this post). Constantinople featured in The Slave Market by Sir William Allen 1838 and View of Constantinople by Germain-Fabius Brest 1870. Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres was entranced by the women of the harem, with some beautiful sensuous nudes like Odalisque (p 202, photo above); Little Bather; Grand Odalisque and Turkish Bath (see: http://www.jeanaugustedominiqueingres.org/), as was Théodore Chassériau – I love his Dance of the Kerchiefs 1849 (p 226). Jean-Léon Gérôme painted some lovely river scenes, while Gustave Moreau was fascinated with classical mythology and especially, Salome. Auguste Renoir’s Odalisque 1870 and Seated Algerian 1881 are also favourites.While the book also features the work of more modern artists, to my mind, none match the beauty and romance of the earlier period. It is a lovely dreamy book and does credit to these beautiful artworks!
Now for something totally different, yet still close to our heart:
A Brush With Birds: Australian Bird Art From the National Library of Australia Introduction by Penny Olsen 2008
Being keen bird-lovers, we had to buy this book! With full-page colour reproductions of bird art and brief notes on each artist’s life, it showcases bird art from 1788 to the present and a wide variety of styles from the rather stilted representations of the early colonial artists in an attempt to record these strange new birds for scientific purposes (John Hunter, George Raper and Sarah Stone) and the more realistic etchings of John Lewin and the Goulds (John and Elizabeth) to the bird identification guides by the Neville Cayleys (father and son), Ebenezer Edward Gostelow (front cover of the book), Lilian Medland and Betty Temple Watts and the hyper-realistic bird portraits by William Thomas Cooper, a particular favourite. I love his attention to fine detail like the feathers and his stunning use of colour, seen in the photo below, from page 101 of the book.
Lars Knudsen’s Australian Birds by Lars Knudsen 1995
Another bird artist, who loves colour, but was not in the above book, is Lars Knudsen. Born in 1931, so this book is definitely not in chronological order (!), Lars grew up in North Queensland, where he fell in love with the amazing bird life. He spent many years working in advertising in Sydney, before setting up a studio in Spain in 1977 and painting birds full-time. Since returning to Australia in 1985, he has produced numerous limited edition prints and now has a studio and gallery at Hampton in the Blue Mountains. In fact, I bought this lovely little book, showcasing 29 of his best Australian bird paintings, along with detailed comments about each bird, at Everglades, Leura in the Blue Mountains. They are stunning paintings, full of movement and colour and really capture the essence of each bird. I particularly loved the Orange-Bellied Parrots (p 30); the Whiskered Terns (p 38); both photographed above, and the Regent Bowerbird (p 53); and the Australian King Parrots (p 56), both photographed below.
I love his slightly abstract style, the colours of the backgrounds complementing the birds so well and his love and passion for birds and their environment really shines through. A delightful little book!A Vision of Eden: The Life and Work of Marianne North by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 1980
Marianne North (1830-1890) is a great favourite of ours! An intrepid traveller, contemporary of Charles Darwin and Sir Joseph Hooker and highly talented artist, she produced over 800 oil paintings, now housed in the Marianne North Gallery at Kew (https://www.kew.org/mng/marianne-north.html). Her paintings show such accuracy and attention to detail and introduced the pre-photography public of the day to the huge diversity of life and natural wonders of the world.
I love her botanical studies (Page 26 North American Carnivorous Plants in the photo above; and Page 68 Flowers of a Coral Tree, Brazil, in the photo below,
as well as her exotic landscapes like the Taj Mahal at Agra (above) and the Road Up To Naini Tal, India (below) from page 126 :and her painting of Distant View of Mount Kinchinjunga, from Darjeeling, India (p 132):This book follows her life from her early days and home life to her travels in Canada and the United States; Jamaica; Brazil; Japan; Indonesia; India and Ceylon; Australia and New Zealand; South Africa and Chile in South America. I love the simplicity of this painting: A Road Near Bath, Jamaica, Lined With Palms, Bread-Fruit and Cocoa, from page 46:
As an Australian, it is fascinating to read her travel diary notes and descriptions of the native flora and fauna, though she could be quite ascerbic:
Brisbane in 1880 is described as: ‘a most unattractive place- a sort of overgrown village, with wide empty streets full of driving dust and sand, surrounded by wretched suburbs of wooden houses scattered over bare steep hills’ (p 158)
and Tenterfield as: ‘what Australians call “a very pretty place”, meaning that there was not a tree within a mile of it, and that it had a little water within reach’ (p 161).
As she travelled south, her mood improved! Armadale (her spelling, but really spelt Armidale) was ‘a considerable place, with some stone houses in it and a bishop’ (p162), where hotel rooms cost 10 shillings a day and meat, a shilling for 10 pounds.
Bendemeer was ‘a pretty green meadow with a clear river running through it, bordered by casuarina trees’ (p 162), though the accommodation was flea-ridden and noisy!
She was very comfortable in Sydney, staying at the Prime Minister’s house in the Blue Mountains; Elizabeth Bay; and Camden, so by the time she reached Melbourne, she was positively rapturous, declaring the city to be: ‘a noble city, and its gardens are even more beautiful than those of Sydney, with greater variety of ground, and lovely views over the river. It is by far the most real city in Australia, and the streets are as full of quickly-moving people as those of London’ (p 168). She even visited Perth and Albany in Western Australia and Hobart in Tasmania, where she raved over Mt. Wellington, as seen in her painting: View in the Forest on Mt. Wellington; p 181; photo above). I had to laugh at her assertion that: ‘Cherries, raspberries, every kind of fruit which grows at home grew better than at home. Half the jam in the world is made in Tasmania.‘ (p 178).
The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites by Steven Adams 1988
While well-connected Marianne was very much part of the establishment, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood were much more controversial, rejecting the conservatism of the Royal Academy and aspiring to the era before Raphael, hence their name.
This book examines the academic tradition, against which they rebelled; the inception of the group in 1848 and the famous works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Ruskin, John Everett Millais, Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris, William Holman Hunt and Ford Maddox Brown. They certainly produced some beautiful art, especially Millais’ family scenes (Autumn Leaves 1855-1856), as well as his famous Ophelia 1851 and Rossetti’s classically inspired ‘Stunners’ with their heart-shaped faces, full lips, hooded eyes, unrestrained flowing hair and extravagant robes, like Proserpine 1874 and The Beloved 1865 (book cover). See: http://preraphaelitesisterhood.com/rossettis-models/ .
The Pre-Raphaelites also led very unconventional (and messy!) lives, recounted superbly in Desperate Romantics: The Private Lives of the Pre-Raphaelites by Franny Moyle 2009, as well as the accompanying BBC TV production.
It is a fascinating read! I think William Morris was very forbearing, as well as being a fascinating character and a real Renaissance man, gifted with so many talents! I adore his work and ethos, so it is not surprising that I own two books about his life and work!
William Morris & Morris & Co. by Lucia Van der Post 2003
Father of the Arts and Crafts Movement and one of Britain’s greatest and best-known designers, whose wallpapers and textiles are still enormously popular, William Morris was born into a wealthy family in 1834 and studied art and literature at Oxford University, where he developed his passion for medievalism and the Gothic and met his lifelong friend, Edward Burne-Jones, through whom he came into contact with the Pre-Raphaelites .
He hated the mass production , pastiche, excessiveness and ugliness of Victorian industrial society, espousing a return to the medieval guilds, simplicity and true craftmanship, as seen in the ceramic tiles, metalwork, woodwork, furniture, glass, textiles, embroideries, carpets and wallpapers, produced by his firm Morris & Co.
I have always loved his famous quote:
‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’.
I also love his intensely personal involvement with all these crafts and the way he taught himself the necessary skills, whether it was stained glass; clay modelling; illuminating manuscripts; calligraphy; book production; carving wood and stone; wood engraving; mural and tile painting; natural dyeing or tapestry weaving and hand embroidery.
This lovely small book examines the key components of his work under the chapter titles of: Craft; Colour; Honesty; Pattern; Nature; and Legend, with colour photographs of his beautiful work and patterns throughout. By incorporating Morris designs in a wide variety of settings and modern contexts, the book also provides inspiration for contemporary homeowners.
And if you still haven’t had your fill of his designs, another excellent book about his life and work is:
The Art of William Morris by Christine Poulson 2004, in which the chapters are more chronologically-ordered, following his early life and university study, his establishment of the Firm, his involvement with the Pre-Raphaelites; his marriage and family life; his homes; his political beliefs, public speaking and writings, published through his Kelmscott Press.
The Arts & Crafts Companion by Pamela Todd 2008/ 2011
The ultimate guide to the Arts and Crafts Movement (1880 – 1920), it begins with its philosophy and background; its proponents including William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones, Walter Crane, CFA Voysey, William Lethaby, Ernest Gimson, the Barnsley brothers, Philip Webb, MH Baillie Scott and Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and that is only a small portion of the British Arts and Crafts movement. It was also occurring simultaneously in the rest of Europe and the United States of America.
The main section of the book is devoted to lengthy and detailed chapters about all aspects of the Arts and Crafts Movement: Architecture, Interior Design, Furniture, Textiles and Wallpaper, Stained Glass and Lighting, Pottery and Ceramics, Metalwork and Jewellery; the Printed Word and Gardens, the latter being the subject of my main assessment during my garden history studies.
I loved reading about these gardens, especially those created by Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens (Munstead Wood; Hestercombe; and the Deanery); I would love to visit them one day, as well as Red House, Kent (Philip Webb and William Morris) and Kelmscott Manor (William Morris) in the Cotswolds; Standen, West Sussex (Philip Webb), Snowshill Manor (Baillie Scott), Rodmarton Manor (ErnestBarnsley), both in Gloucestershire and Blackwell, overlooking Windermere in the Lake District (MH Baillie Scott). The famous gardens of Hidcote Manor, Sissinghurst and Great Dixter have also been heavily influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement. See: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lists/our-arts-and-crafts-houses-and-gardens.
I also love the simplicity, subtlety and harmony of the wallpapers, textiles and furniture designed by CFA Voysey, who described his ideal interior as:
‘a well-proportioned room, with white-washed walls, plain carpet and simple oak furniture’ with a simple vase of flowers and repeated decorative motifs and symbols like stylized hearts‘.
His houses had low roofs, wide eaves, low horizontal windows, white roughcast walls and exposed beams and brickwork.
It was also very interesting to read about the influence of the Arts and Crafts Movement on embroidery (including the Glasgow School of Art); Morris’s mastery of indigo discharge printing and natural dyeing; early electric lamps from the 1880s on; and stunning jewellery, inset with moonstones, amethyst and mother-of-pearl, as well as pearls, opals, coral, turquoise, malachite and lapis lazuli.
At the back of the book is a Source Book with key addresses and websites for the United Kingdom and the United States of America, as well as an extensive bibliography.
Now for books about four more artists, born during the 1860s, who were developing their artistic styles over this first half of this period: Alphonse Mucha ( 1860-1939) from Czechoslovakia; Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) from Vienna, Austria and two Australian artists, Bertram Mackennal (1863-1931) and Rupert Bunny (1864-1947), both of whom achieved their fame in Europe. All of them produced stunningly beautiful art, reflected in the colour-plates of these gorgeous books.
Alphonse Mucha by Sarah Mucha 2005
Alphonse Mucha was most famous for his Art Nouveau posters (advertising and art posters) with their sinuous lines, pastel colours, beautiful women and decorative motifs, but like other artists of the day, he was also interested in a wide variety of other artistic endeavours from pastels, drawings and oils; sculpture; photography; stained glass; architecture and interior design; furniture; tableware and cutlery; jewellery; tapestry and books. The book cover shown below features his colour lithograph Dance 1898.
This lovely book explores his life, influences and beliefs, the history of the time and the birth of Art Nouveau, and includes his wonderful photographs of his models and family. We were introduced to Mucha, when we bought one of his prints, Music 1898, on our second trip overseas and were delighted to see all his other beautiful designs in this book. I can honestly say that I love them all! Compare the colour of our print with the same design, shown in the photo below (p 25), showing the way his designs could be reproduced in a large number of different formats.
His women are so sensual, romantic and feminine, and I adore his backgrounds with abstract and naturalistic patterns and strong flowing lines, as seen in Reverie 1897 (p 38).Mucha used floral and botanic details, as well as Byzantine, Celtic, Japanese, Rococo, Gothic, Judaic and Czech folk elements in his work, as can be seen in his mosaic backgrounds, extravagant robes and jewellery and arabesques, all embellished with strong stylised outlines. I love the photo below his lamp titled La Nature 1899 (page 14). He used his designs in decorative panels and murals; posters; paintings; jewellery and haircombs; Moet and Chandon labels and menus; packages and postcards; and in 1902, produced a handbook for craftsmen, Documents Décoratifs , containing 72 plates, drawn in pencil and highlighted with white pigment, of all the necessary patterns for creating an Art Nouveau lifestyle, as well as being an encyclopaedia of all his decorative work. They include a realistic study of nature, the designs becoming increasingly stylised for metal, leather, glass and lace work; studies of nudes and women’s heads, showing how the human body has decorative elements; and abstract ornamental framing with repetition of stylised motifs. Below is a photo of two designs for hair combs and jewellery for Documents Décoratifs in Plates 49 and 50 (page 73).Mucha had a strong philosophical background to his work. Believing that art influenced all aspects of human life and was instrumental in uplifting the soul and promoting peace, harmony, beauty and a sense of moral goodness, he also was a strong proponent in art for the masses, creating strong stylized and often heavily symbolic designs (both explicit and hidden), which could be used repetitively to beautify goods of common consumption and utility, which could be afforded by the ordinary man. Here is Zodiac 1896 (p 28).His idealism is epitomised by his later Slav Epic, 20 huge canvases, representing the last 1000 years of Slavic history, in which he celebrates the Slavic virtues of peacefulness; piety and devotion to learning and the arts; chronicles the oppression of the Slavs by their militaristic neighbours and laments the weakness, born of Slav disunity. The photo below is: The Apotheosis of the Slavs 1926 from page 18.With his wonderful ideals and sensitivity, it is little wonder that he died not long after interrogation by the Nazis in 1939 and his work was then largely forgotten in his homeland until the 1990s.
The Mucha Foundation was established in 1992 by his grandson John Mucha and daughter-in-law Geraldine Mucha, following the death of their father/ husband and Mucha’s son Jifi. Its aim is to preserve and promote Mucha’s art for future generations and to this end, has an ongoing program of exhibitions all over the world. See: http://www.muchafoundation.org/. His work can also be seen at the Mucha Museum, which was opened in Prague in February 1998. See: http://www.mucha.cz/.
Gustav Klimt: Art Nouveau Visionary by Eva di Stefano 2008
Klimt is another favourite Art Nouveau portraitist and landscape painter. I have always loved his sumptuous gilded artworks, full of eroticism, symbolism and mystery, and his beautiful nudes, abstract colourful geometric patterns and gold leaf spirals. The book cover features his painting called Water Serpents I 1904. Like Mucha, he too had a thorough grounding in mosaics, metalwork, and painting, even preparing his own paints, as well as the symbolism and decorative motifs of many different eras and cultures from Greek ceramics and Egyptian and Assyrian reliefs to Slavic folklore. While specialising in painting, he also designed fashion and jewellery. This is one of his very famous paintings, The Kiss 1907-1908 from page 199:This lovely book discusses his early life and Fin-de-siècle Vienna; his artistic creed; his landscapes and allegorical friezes; the women in his life, his scandalous paintings and his secession years, having been a founding member of the Vienna Secessionist movement. Another very famous erotic painting is The Virgin 1912-1913 from page 227 of the book:For more about Klimt, see: https://www.klimtgallery.org/ and http://www.klimt.com/. Also read ‘The Painted Kiss’ by Elizabeth Hickey (http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Painted-Kiss/Elizabeth-Hickey/9780743492614) and the film, Woman in Gold (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2404425/).
Bertram Mackennal : The Fifth Balnaves Foundation Sculpture Project by Deborah Edwards 2007
One of the earliest Australian- born artists to seek fame and achieve success on the international stage, especially France and Britain. He was the first Australian artist to exhibit at the Royal Academy, London; the first overseas artist (and first Australian) to be elected to the Royal Academy; and the first Australian artist to have work purchased for the Tate Gallery and to be knighted. The book cover features a closeup of an exquisite bronze Circe 1893, the statuette from 1902-1904 appearing on page 31.Travelling to Europe in 1882, aged 19 years old, he was heavily influenced by Art Nouveau and the avant-garde aspirations of the British ‘New Sculptors’, creating beautiful naturalistic figures in bronze and marble, based on symbolist themes. By the early 1900s, he had become a prominent civic sculptor and a master of Edwardian style and elegance. I love this bronze Morning (Woman Dressing Her Hair) 1902 from p 110:Despite being highly successful overseas, he is less well-known here in Australia, so this book was produced, along with an accompanying CD-ROM, to educate the Australian public about his life, showcase his smaller domestic sculptures and complement a retrospective exhibition, held in Sydney and his home-town of Melbourne, where we were introduced to his work. I fell in love with his work- so beautiful and so tactile, the full-page colour-plates of this gorgeous coffee-table book really do justice to his amazing sculptures! Here is a delightful small marble statue, Sappho 1909 from page 70.Rupert Bunny: Artist in Paris by Deborah Edwards 2009
While Mackennal was the most internationally successful Australian artist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Rupert Bunny was Australia’s most successful painter in Paris, both men finally eclipsed by Sidney Nolan in the 1950s and 1960s. Arriving in Paris in 1887, just as PostImpressionism and Symbolism were emerging, he was heavily influenced by these movements, as well as the art of the Pre-Raphaelites and French Realism. The book cover features his dreamy oil painting titled Dolce Farniente 1897, seen in full in the photo below from page 60.
This beautiful book, also produced to accompany a wonderful exhibition at the National Gallery Of Victoria, describes his life in France; his successes and his sumptuous paintings from biblical and literary paintings (1889-1905), for example: his beautiful oil painting A Summer Morning 1897, the photo taken from page 63 of the book; the beautiful women and fashions of the fin-de-siècle (1896-1911); the works for the Ballet Russes; and his later landscapes and mythological paintings in the decorative modern style (1913-1930). I loved his oil The Sun Bath 1913 (page 105):It was wonderful seeing the large artworks closeup and this book is a lovely reminder of his beautiful romantic and sensuous paintings.
On Thursday, I will continue this post on Art Books with more wonderful artworks from the 1900s on.
Ninfa has been described as one of the 10 most beautiful gardens in the world. In fact, Monty Don states in his video, Italian Gardens (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Y8wh7Xqw7U, at the 2:48:20-2:56:0 mark), that he considers it to be THE most romantic garden in the world!
It is located in the province of Latina, 40 miles south-west of Rome (one hour drive), at the foot of the Lepina Mountains, from which numerous springs run down to form a small lake, which feeds into a river, which runs through the centre of the town, which was surrounded by marshlands.
Ninfa was an ancient Etruscan town, founded in the 8th Century, by the Volscians and named after a small temple near the springs, dedicated to the Nymph goddess, Ninfa. During the Middle Ages, it was a rich merchant stopover between Rome and Naples on the Appian Way. It included a 12th century castle; seven churches; palazzos; medieval clock towers; a town hall, mills, bakeries, a blacksmith; a 1400 metre long defensive wall, bridges, two hospices; and 2000 people living in 150 homes. It was acquired by the Caetani family in 1298.
In 1381, the town was sacked by mercenaries and pillaged by neighbouring towns during a civil war, caused by a schism in the Roman Catholic Church. Attempts to resettle were thwarted by outbreaks of malaria and gradually, the town was abandoned and overgrown with ivy and weeds. It lay sleeping for six centuries, still attracting the odd visitor for its melancholic air, like Edward Lear in 1840, who also described it as one of the most romantic visions in Italy.
In 1921, Gelasio Caetani, the second youngest son of Prince Onorata Caetani and his English-born wife, Ada Wilbraham, drained the marshes; cleared the undergrowth, weeds and ivy; restored some of the medieval buildings, in particular, the tower and town hall, for a Summer residence; and started a garden in the romantic English Landscape style.
His sister-in-law, Marguerite Chapin (1880-1963), who was married to musician, Roffredo Caetani, in 1911, planted on a grand scale with thousands of trees and shrubs, imported from from all over the world, including fastigiate cypress, Chamaecyparis sempervirens; holm oaks (Quercus ilex); poplars; beeches; crab apples; prunus; magnolias; camellias; rhododendrons; and roses. Their daughter Leila continued her work after World War II, leaving the garden to the Roffredo Caetani Foundation.
While the whole park is 105 hectares (260 acres), the garden is 8 hectares (20 acres) and is managed organically by a curator and six full-time gardeners. It is only open 25 days a year between April and October and attracts 70 000 visitors a year. Guided tours of up to 20 visitors are conducted on a prescribed path 10 to 15 minutes apart and last 1.5 hours. It is best in April and May for rose lovers!
It is a gorgeous wild garden, which thrives with the rich well-drained moist soil, benign Winter temperatures and hot Summers. Plants ramble over ruined towers, walls and archways and overhang the stream.
Other trees include: Stone pine, Pinus pinea; Judas trees; Ribbonwood, Hoheriasexstylosa (New Zealand); wattles; birch; hawthorne; liquidambars; Persian Silk Tree , Albizia julibrissin; Dragon’s Claw Willow, Salix matsudana ‘Tortuosa’; walnuts; weeping cherries; maples like Acer griseum; Himalayan and Mexican Pines; American walnuts; Gingko biloba; Catalpas; Dogwoods; Casuarina tenuissima; and banana trees.
Climbers include Clematis armandi; star jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides; Wisteriafloribunda ‘Macrobotrys’ and climbing hydrangea, H. petiolaris.
Hazelnuts; Acer saccharinum; Liriodendron tuilpifera, Arum lilies, Iris and Gunnera manicata line the river.
Other plantings include: Salvias; lilies; cannas; anemones; alliums; Iris; Acanthis mollis; and ferns.
The rock garden contains Iberis; Eschscholzia; Veronica; Golden Alyssum; Aquilegia; Dianthus and Pomegranates.
There are over 200 different roses including: a hedge of 100 plants of R. roxburghii plena; R. hugonis; R. bracteata; American Pillar; Banksia rose; R. filipes ‘Kiftsgate’; Rambling Rector; Paul’s Himalayan Musk; Mme Alfred Carrière and Gloire de Dijon; Général Schablikine; Mutabilis; Complicata; Iceberg; Max Graf; The Garland; Desprez à Fleurs Jaunes; Seagull; Comtesse du Cayla; Dr W Van Fleet; Cramoisi Supérieur; R. brunonii ‘La Mortola’; Rêve d’Or; David Austin roses and Hybrid Musks: Penelope; Vanity; Ballerina and Buff Beauty. Penelope is such a beautiful romantic rose, I have chosen it as my feature photo for Ninfa (see below)!
Ninfa is on the flyway for migrating birds between Africa and Europe and 152 birds have been sighted. In 1976, under the auspices of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 2000 acres were set aside for a wildlife sanctuary with brush plantings and the creation of more wetlands, as well as re-establishing 15 ha (37 acres) of native vegetation. The river contains brown and Mediterranean trout populations.
If you would like to read more about Ninfa, Charles Quest-Ritson wrote Ninfa: the Most Romantic garden in the World in 2009.Because I adore the rose Mutabilis, I would have to include La Landriana on my bucket list!
Via Campo di Carne, 51, 00040, Tor San Lorenzo, Ardea (Roma)
A few kilometres from Rome, in the city of Ardea, this 10 ha garden is owned by the Marquise Lavinia Tavernain, who started it from scratch in 1956. She commissioned Sir Russell Page to design a series of themed rooms, arranged in a geometric pattern.
There are 23 different areas in the garden with many Australian and South African plants due to the maritime Mediterranean climate. They are separated by clipped hedges of Buxus sempervirens; Viburnum tinus and Laurus nobilis.
The house is covered in climbers including roses: R. laevigata; R. banksiae lutea; and R. bracteata ‘Mermaid’, as well as Solanum jasminoides; Solanum crispa; Vitis coignetiae and Vitis ‘Brant’.
There is a pergola covered with Wisteria sinensis and Rosa bracteata, as well as a lily pool and a water fountain.
It is worth consulting the map on the website for an idea of the different garden areas, but for this post, I will be concentrating on the roses, of which there are 350 different varieties, contained mainly in the Rooms of the Rose; the White Walk; the Antique Rose Valley; and Valley of Roses Mutabilis.
Rooms of the Rose: Hundreds of plants of Bonica 82 are planted beneath olive trees and a Pinus pinea along this cobbled walkway, interplanted with Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Silver Queen’;
White Walk: Flanked by Hybrid Musk, Penelope, and semi-procumbent Seafoam; and many white and grey plants, including Romneya coulterii and Carpenteria californica, with Mme Alfred Carrière in the background;
Antique Rose Valley: A large informal area with wide grass walkways between irregular beds and borders of different shapes and sizes, crammed with roses, underplanted with lavender, nepeta, pinks and Pavonia hastata. They include:
Rugosas (eg Blanc Double de Coubert; and Sarah Van Fleet); Gallicas; Damasks; Centifolias and Mosses; Portlands (eg Jacques Cartier; Comte de Chambord; and Rose de Rescht); Hybrid Musks (eg Prosperity; Cornelia; and Moonlight); David Austin roses (eg Abraham Darby; Claire Rose; and Mary Rose); and finally, there is …
The Valley of Roses Mutabilis: 300 bushes of 2 metre high Mutabilis are grown en masse in huge drifts with mown walkways between. Their peachy-pink, yellow, orange and crimson single open flowers bloom right through to Christmas, giving the appearance of a host of butterflies hovering over a dark sea of Ophiopogon japonicus. A rare tea rose, ‘Belle Lyonnaise’ climbs up Melia azederach trees.
The garden is open to the public from April to November and there are two major plant fairs in Spring and Autumn.Il Roseto Botanico Gianfranco and Carla Fineschi
Casalone 76, 52022, Cavriglia (Arezzo),Italy 50 km south of Florence
Charles Quest-Ritson dedicated his book, Climbing Roses of the World, to his wife and ‘Gianfranco Fineschi, who has done more for the rose in one lifetime than the Empress Josephine herself ‘, so I would have to visit this amazing living museum, dedicated to the rose!
Professor Gianfranco (1923-2010) started his rose collection fifty years ago in 1967 on his family estate in Casalone, near Cavrigio, overlooking the Tuscan Hills. It is now the world’s largest private rose garden in the world with 6500 different species of rose, each represented by a single plant, which is tagged with its botanical name; its year of introduction to Europe and its ability to hybridize.
Roses are organized according to their scientific classification and are planted in separate beds according to their species, subspecies and hybrids, with climbers and ramblers forming division walls.
Many of the beds of modern roses are grouped according to their hybridizers eg Lens, Kordes, Harkness, Buisman, Leenders, Mc Gredy, Meilland, Poulsen, Noack, Beales, Austin, Dickson, and Verschuren. This botanical and historical emphasis makes this garden particularly valuable for rose historians.
Its reputation as the world’s largest private rose garden refers to the number of rose species in the collection, rather than the size of the garden, which is only one acre! Hence, the roses are planted very close together, which necessitates the use of chemicals to control diseases! The garden has been reopened and can be visited in May and June.
I have chosen R.brunonii as my feature photo for this garden, as well as the main feature photo for this post on Italian rose gardens, as it has a hybrid ‘La Mortola’, named after the famous Italian garden, La Mortola, in Liguria.And finally, and especially for my daughter, who is living in Germany and still hasn’t visited this amazing garden!:
On the Rosengarten 2a
06526 Sangerhausen, Germany South-West of Berlin and just west of Leipzig
Sangerhausen is a huge historic public rose garden, the German equivalent of L’Hay des Roses, France, with 75 000 rose plants of over 70 classes of rose; and 8 600 rose cultivars, including 500 species roses, 1 350 historic roses, over 2 000 modern roses since the 1950s and 850 climbing roses. 2 000 cultivars are only found in Sangerhausen. According to the Guinness Book of Records, it is the largest collection of roses in the world!
It was proposed by rose breeder, Peter Lambert, in 1898, as a refuge for roses and rose classes at risk of oblivion with the rising dominance of the Hybrid Tea and as a genetic pool for hybridizers. Albert Hoffman donated his rose collection of 1 100 different roses as a basis for the new rosarium.
In 1899, landscape architect Friedrich Erich Doerr, Erfurt, designed a formal rose garden, which was extended to include an agricultural area in 1902. The 1.5 ha garden, at that stage owned by the German Rose Society, was opened to the public in 1903 with a collection of 1 500 roses. It was extended in 1913 to 12 ha and became a trial ground for testing new German roses prior to their introduction. By 1939, there were 5 000 roses and the site was extended again to its current size of 12.5 ha (31 acres).
Sangerhausen was kept going through the Great Depression; the Second World War and the Cold War by Richard Vogel and his son, Max. Being located in what became East Germany after World War II and the erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961, rosarians in the West were largely cut off from contact from it for over thirty years. The first visits from the West occurred in the early 1970s, but direct exchange and donations of roses were still not allowed, so would often reach Sangerhausen via Poland. During this time, 800 different cultivars of Polyanthas were planted together en masse for a spectacular effect and the irrigation system renewed.
The rosary was revived with the reunification of Germany. In 2003 (its 100 year anniversary), a new entrance gate with bright tourist-attracting modern roses; a restaurant and three new gardens were created, including a Jubilee Garden (a classical rosary design showing the historical development of the rose in the last 100 years); a Sea of Roses and an ADR Garden, ADR standing for Allgemeine Deutsche Rosenneuheitenprufung, the group which conducts rose trials, assessing roses over three years for disease-resistance; hardiness; attractiveness; and habit and judging 50 new cultivars annually.
Since then, a Rose Information Centre with a lecture hall and souvenir shop; a glasshouse conservatory for the more tender roses; and a fragrance garden has been opened. There is also an arboretum of over 250 rare trees and shrubs and an outdoor theatre.
Situated 170 metres above sea level on the scenic mountain slopes of the Southern Harz, with an average annual rainfall of 500 mm and a continental climate of hot dry Summers and minimum Winter temperatures of Minus 20 degrees Celsius, it would need a glasshouse for some of the more delicate Tea and China roses!
No chemical pesticides have been used since 1997 and the garden is managed by 27 gardeners. It is now owned by the City of Sangerhausen. In 2003, the World Federation of Rose Societies awarded Sangerhausen an Award of Garden Excellence.
The main blooming season for the Old Roses (pre-1867) is from the end of May to the middle of June, but other roses bloom till October, followed by a superb display of rose hips. Apparently, the old city entrance is very romantic with all the old roses in bloom.
Sangerhausen attracts a huge number of visitors. The garden had over 132 000 visitors in 2009 alone! On the last weekend in June, there is a Festival of Mining and Roses and on the 2nd Saturday in August is a ‘Night of a Thousand Lights’ featuring fireworks, food, music and dance .
The garden is also an important research centre, being named the German Rose Gene Bank in 2009, as well as acquiring a New German Rose Library, and also is a major supplier of budwood for hybridizers.
Below is a photo of Maigold, bred by German breeding family, Kordes, in 1953. Wilhelm Kordes II was very involved in implementing ADR testing in the 1950s, so this rose is a very suitable feature rose for Sangerhausen!
I hope you have enjoyed my bucket-list of overseas gardens and that you (and I!) get to visit them some day, but here is the thing about blogging! Even if we never make it overseas again, I have had so much pleasure researching all these beautiful gardens to the extent that I almost feel that I have been there! Even though nothing can really replace the real experience, the enjoyment of such visits can be tempered by huge crowds in Summer, the peak rose blooming time, bad weather and sheer fatigue! And their websites these days are so comprehensive, so many lessons can be learnt digitally from these gardens from garden design to companion planting for roses!
For the next month, I am returning to further reviews of the books in our home library and some wonderful visual treats, with two weeks dedicated to architecture books and the following fortnight to art books, before returning to posts on today’s roses: the Hybrid Teas and Floribundas; and David Austin roses.