In late March, we had a short minibreak for a few days to celebrate my friend’s birthday and revisit Victoria, our first trip back in three years! We crossed the Snowy Mountains through Dead Horse Gap, stopping for a picnic lunch on the upper reaches of the Murray River at Tom Groggin (first photo) and a spectacular view of the western fall of the Main Range at Scammell’s Lookout (second photo).By late afternoon, we reached our first destination, The Witches Garden, deep in the Mitta Mitta Valley (http://thewitchesgarden.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/TheWitchesGarden-Brochure.pdf and http://thewitchesgarden.com/). I had wanted to visit this garden for years, as the owners, Felicity and Lew, grow many herbs and medicinal plants. It’s a delightfully informal spot with many interesting corners and features, including a Lake and Monet Bridge, a Gallery, full of Felicity’s beautiful oils and pastels, a huge covered Vegetable Garden and a Witches’ Cottage, of course, complete with an extensive collection of broomsticks, lots of dust and cobwebs and a weird and wonderful assortment of magical accoutrements! We particularly loved the Parterre Garden with its Islamic design, its bright colours and all its arches covered with huge old climbing roses and the blowsy, romantic and informal Flower Garden, overflowing with bright colours and Autumn abundance. I was able to identify my Clerodendron bungei, which I grew from a cutting from my sister’s garden (first photo below) and was happy to see that the Abutilon (second photo below) could still be grown in a frosty climate. The chooks and dogs accompanied us on our rounds, then we had a long chat to Felicity and Lew at the end. They very kindly gave us some seeds for orange cosmos (second photo) and the delightfully named Polygonum, Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate (third photo).The next day, we visited the Bendigo Art Gallery to view the Marimekko Exhibition, which proved to be one of the most relaxing and enjoyable gallery experiences we have ever had. See: http://www.bendigoartgallery.com.au/Exhibitions/Now_showing/Marimekko_Design_Icon_1951_to_2018. The bright colours and bold designs of the huge fabric panels, clothing and homeware were wonderful! Being three weeks in for a three month exhibition, there was only a small audience and having booked a one-hour time slot, we were able to take our time and really appreciate it all, revisiting each section at least three times. We were also allowed to take as many photographs as we liked, so long as we didn’t use a flash, an added bonus! I adored these two panels!After lunch, we visited Frogmore Gardens (https://www.frogmoregardens.com.au/), an amazing boutique mail order nursery at Lerderberg in the Central Highlands of Victoria. Their perennial display gardens are only open in Autumn from the 9th March to the 30th April each year and are well worth exploring! The Sunset Borders were jam-packed with dahlias and zinnias, calendulas and yarrow, coreopsis and rudbeckias, and celosias and lobelias, with tall red hot pokers, cannas and verbascums at the back. The garden beds were bursting with colour: hot oranges, rich golds and bright reds, which contrasted well with the purple self-sown verbena, the formal green hedges and paths, and the serene backdrop of the Wombat State Forest behind. The Bishop’s Border was a study in deep purples and velvety reds, soft pinks, blues and mauves with berberis, amaranth, dahlias, zinnias and asters. I was quite taken with the Succisella inflexa ‘Frosted Pearls’. The ethereal Pale Garden was dedicated to white and lemon blooms: Gaura and white Cosmos and Centaurea americana ‘Aloha Blanca’, Beach Sunflowers Helianthus debilis ‘Vanilla Ice’ and a variety of asters and gysophila. The informal Prairie Garden was just wonderful and full of beautiful wavy grasses and structural teasel! The owners, Jack Marshall and Zena Bethell were so generous with their time and chatted with us long after closing time! For more about this beautiful garden, please read: http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/factsheets/a-cornucopia-of-colour/9435514.
The following day, after a quick visit to the inspiring and highly imaginative and creative Winterwood (https://www.winterwoodtoys.com.au/), where I investigated the different types of Steiner wool felt and drooled over the toys, books and other craft supplies, we celebrated my friend’s birthday with an equally inspiring visit to Alowyn Gardens (http://www.alowyngardens.com.au/).
I adored this place from its long shady Japanese Wisteria arbours (first photo above), formal Parterre (second photo above) and French Provincial Gardens (third photo above) to its Prairie Display Gardens, Birch Forest with its underplantings of bulbs, cyclamen and hellebores and succulent dry creek bed, and beautiful perennial borders, as can be seen in the photos below! There’s Birthday Girl, blending in with the amaranth! However, the highlight for us was the bountiful Edible Garden with avenues of olive trees, underplanted with rosemary; quinces (first photo below) and persimmons; apples and pears; and crab apples, including the gorgeous Golden Hornet (second photo below), sunflowers (third photo above) and fantastical gourds; and vegetables of every kind, including some rather stunning Royal Purple and Danish Jester chillies. Here are some more photos of the entrance area.The next day was a planthunter’s heaven with a driving tour of the nurseries beyond the Dandenong Ranges. First up, a visit to the wholesale tube stock nursery, Larkman’s Nursery (http://www.larkmannurseries.com.au/www/home/), which fortunately sells to the public through the mail order nursery, Di’s Delightful Plants (http://www.disdelightfulplants.com.au/), from which we purchased a range of tiny lavender tubestocks, future parents of lavender plants for our future Lavender Bank: English Lavender L. angustifolia ssp angustifolia; and Dwarf English Lavender L. angustifolia ‘Hidcote’; French Lavender L. dentata ‘Monet’; Mitchum Lavender L. x allardi and a range of lavandins: L. x intermedia ‘Grosso’, ‘Seal’ and ‘Super’.It was wonderful to acquaint ourselves with all the nurseries in this area, as we had missed out on them during our time in Victoria as we were renting at that stage, so gardening was not on the agenda! We called into my favourite source of bulbs, Tesselaars (https://www.tesselaar.net.au/); the Wishing Well Nursery (https://wishingwellmonbulk.wordpress.com/) and Yamina Rare Plants in (http://www.yaminarareplants.com.au/) before finishing the day with an interesting visit to the Salvia Study Group Display Gardens at Nobelius Heritage Park, Emerald.And then, it was homeward bound, calling into the wonderful rambly Jindivick Country Gardener Rare Plant Nursery, at Jindivick, south-west of Neerim South, en route (http://www.jindivickcountrygardener.com.au/)! Specialising in rare plants, David Musker and Philip Hunter will be moving the nursery to their home at the beautiful Broughton Hall nearby. See: http://www.jindivickcountrygardener.com.au/broughton-hall/ and their Instagram photos at: https://www.instagram.com/thegardenatbroughtonhall/.
As they share my love of Old Roses, I will definitely try to visit their garden on the Melbourne Cup weekend one year, when the Old Roses will be in full bloom! David suggested we pop in to say hello to Stan Nieuwesteeg of Kurinda Rose Nursery (http://www.warragulgardenclub.com/339592389), just to the south at Warragul (photo above), but unfortunately he was not there, though we did enjoy looking at his selection of potted roses. My birthday friend had recommended a sidetrip to Mossvale Park, between Leongatha and Mirboo North in South Gippsland (https://www.visitpromcountry.com.au/attractions/mossvale-park), so we stopped there for a picnic lunch. This beautiful park contains some of the oldest and tallest elm trees in the Southern Hemisphere (photo above) and its sound shell (photo below) makes it a popular music venue. There is a list of all the park trees at: https://www.visitpromcountry.com.au/uploads_files/mossvale-park-2.pdf and the photo of the park board below lists the significant trees. Fortunately, we only had one overnight stop at Marlo on the mouth of the Snowy River, a wonderful spot for birdwatching and a definite return visit one day! The photos below show the mouth of the Snowy River, where it enters the sea, and the East Cape of Cape Conran, just to the east of Marlo. It certainly was a lovely mini-break away to recharge our batteries and discover some beautiful Autumn gardens! Next week, we are back to my craft book library with a post on some of my favourite paper-craft books!
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.
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.
While Britain is famous for its roses, France is equally blessed, having produced a number of famous rose breeders over the years. Lyon alone had 36 rose breeders, introducing new roses between 1840 and 1924, including Jean Beluze; Joseph Schwartz; Jean-Baptiste Guillot; and Joseph Pernet-Ducher. Their famous roses included Souvenir de la Malmaison (Beluze), which is the main feature photo for this post; Mme Alfred Carrière (Schwartz); La France (Guillot) and Cécile Brünner and Soleil d’Or (both bred by Pernet-Ducher). See: http://www.lyon-roses-2015.org/en/roses-lyon_famous_roses.htm for more! One of the best places to see these roses is:
Roseraie de l’Hay
Rue Albert Watel, 94240 L’Haÿ-les-Roses 12 km from the centre of Paris, west of the Val-de-Marne.
Roseraie de l’Hay is the French equivalent of Mottisfont, holding the National Collection of Roses since 1991. Dating from 1910, it is extremely important historically, as it was the first single-species garden and the first garden totally devoted to roses, resulting in the coining of a new term, the Roseraie. Jules Gravereaux, its originator, was responsible for the conservation of many of the old rose varieties and species in danger of being lost forever.
Roseraie de l’Hay is now the oldest rose garden in the world and is considered to be one of the world’s greatest collections of Old Garden Roses, with a very comprehensive collection of Modern Roses as well. The garden was so important in its day that the name of the town, l’Hay, was changed to L’Hay des Roses in 1910. It is also commemorated in the name of my favourite Rugosa hybrid, which has a heavenly scent! See photo below. The garden was placed on the supplementary inventory of Historic Monuments in 2005 and became a Jardin Remarquable in 2011.
It was created in 1910 by a prominent businessman, Jules Gravereaux, who was also a keen early photographer. His wife, who was worried about his health and the length of time he was spending in the dark room, asked him to create her a flower garden. Little did she realize what she was setting in train!
Starting his collection in 1894, he had 1 600 species and varieties of old roses by 1899. By 1910, this number had increased to 7 500! Gravereaux commissioned landscape architect, Edouard André, to design him a garden specifically for his roses. He created a classically French garden, with geometric beds, long allées, sculpture and a central octagonal pool. The roses were displayed not just as bushes, but trained into different shapes, grown on trellises, along wires and over arches, on pillars and cultivated in pots and urns. It is a wonderful way of showcasing the diversity of the rose from ramblers and shrub roses to tree roses and climbing roses.
Gravereaux also collected a huge number of objects and documents concerning the rose: Postcards; playing cards; medals; stamps; letters; scientific papers; books and journals; posters; carpets; silks; woodwork; ceramics and paintings, which are now housed in the Archives Department of the Val de Marne. The museum now holds 11 000 objects dating from 1701 to 1961. On his death in 1916, his son Henri took over the work at the Roseraie de l’Hay, which was eventually given to the municipality of Val de Marne in 1937.
The 1.5 hectare garden now holds 11 000 roses of 2 900 species and varieties, which are organised into 13 collections, all labelled with their name and explanatory signs describing their origins, history and varieties. It is well worth listening to the website audiotapes (in both French and English), describing each section. They include:
La Roseraie décorative à la française (Decorative French style Rose Garden): Central pool and central axis of the whole rose garden with 6 collections on either side. The bush, standard, climbing and landscape roses in this section are displayed on pylons, domes, pergolas and even cradles and replicate the formal elements of classical French gardens, like the edging pink and red climbing roses, trained into pyramids like clipped yews;
L’Allée de l’historie de la rose (Alley of the History of the Rose) with iconic roses, important in the development of the rose, like R. canina; Rosa gallica; R. moschata; R. centifolia; R. foetida; and R. chinensis;
Les Rosiers botaniques (Species roses): Wild roses, the height of trees, from all over the world. The birds love the rosehips! Eg R. canina; R. moyesii; and R. pimpinellifolia;
Les Rosiers rugeux (Rugosa roses): Tough, disease-resistant roses with rugose leaves from Japan. Gravereaux experimented with Rugosa roses for perfume production eg Rose à parfum de l’Haÿ;
Les Rosiers pimprenelle (Scots Burnett roses, R. pimpinellifolia): Tough hardy roses, which flower early and have black hips. They were used by rose breeder, Kordes, in his breeding programs, to create yellow flowers;
Les Roses galliques (Gallic Rose Garden): Fragrant roses grown in Grasse for perfume production and also used for its medicinal properties since Ancient Roman times eg R. gallica officinalis. In 1828, 1 200 out of the 2 500 varieties known were in the Gallicanae genus and included Gallicas, Damasks, Centifolias and Mosses; and Portlands;
Les Roses de la Malmaison (The Malmaison Rose Alley): the roses of Empress Joséphine, 250 varieties of Gallic roses. Gravereaux planted an exact copy of her garden at Malmaison in his garden eg Maiden’s Blush; and Souvenir de la Malmaison. There is a bust of Empress Joséphine at the entrance;
Les Roses d’Extrème-Orient (Roses of the Far East); Roses of Japan, China and Persia eg R. foetida; R.chinensis mutabilis; Bengal rose; Persian Yellow; and R. sempervirens. These roses were very important in the hybridization of the rose with their yellows and their recurrent blooming ability. Support structures are made out of bamboo, stone edging replaces the box edging of the other garden beds, and there are two ceramic statues at the entrance;
Les Roses horticoles anciennes (Old horticultural roses); Largest area of the garden. Roses bred between 1845 and 1940 from crosses between the European roses and the newly introduced roses from China: the Noisettes; Bourbons; Polyanthas; Floribundas; and Hybrid Teas;
Les Roses étrangières modernes (Modern foreign roses); Roses bred in Belgium, England, Germany and America after the 1950s by breeders like Louis Lens; David Austin; Kordes and Walter Lammerts;
Les Roses françaises moderns (Modern French Roses) eg ‘Rouge Adam’ (Adam), ‘Chartreuse deParme’ (Delbard), ‘Persane’ (Dorieux), ‘Coraline’ (Eve), ‘Pénélope’ (Gaujard), and ‘Poker’ (Meilland);
Les Roses thé (Tea Roses): 100 tea roses, planted on the south-facing outer wall in the warmest position of the garden and mulched with straw in Winter. A cross between a Bourbons and a Noisette produced the first Tea rose, Adam. Tea roses have a delicate perfume and are recurrent blooming;
La Roseraie de Mme Gravereaux: Mme Gravereaux’s alley of flowers for cutting, the original reason for the garden. Roses arranged in coloured squares;
The Formal Garden has all the vocabulary of a classical garden with statues; domes; pergolas and the Temple of Love, popular for weddings. Originally hosting the outdoor theatre and other performers of the Belle Époque (comedians, musicians, poets, singers and dancers), it is still a venue for musical events, as well as lectures and workshops on rose planting, cultivation, training and pruning.While I prefer roses grown as part of a garden, complemented by a wide variety of trees, shrubs, climbers, perennials, annuals and grasses, like the next two gardens, I would not miss visiting Roseraie de l’Hay for its educational aspects alone!
La Bonne Maison
99 Chemin de Fontanières , 69350 La Mulatière, Lyon, France
If I ever get to France again, La Bonne Maison is a definite must on my bucket list. I did in fact send my daughter there in 2012 and she returned with Odile’s beautiful book about her garden, especially her beloved roses , which I reviewed briefly in my post at: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/01/10/fabulous-rose-books/. See photo below.
Odile Masquelier is an Old Rose expert, who has published numerous articles on the subject and has lectured at conferences all over the world.
Odile and her husband, Georges, bought the walled 2.5 acre (1 hectare) property back in 1966, when the original garden comprised of: An old orchard in the upper part of the garden with difficult stony soil; a kitchen garden to the east; a gravelled courtyard to the north and to the south, a lawn with Polyantha roses and some large ornamental trees, including 3 Catalpa trees (Indian Bean tree); a Chestnut Tree; pines; an Atlas Cedar; a Weeping Willow and an allée of six sycamore maples, which she immediately removed. The lower part of the garden had the richest soil and was divided between sunny and semi-shaded areas.
Over the next 10 years, they established lawns and built 12 low drystone walls and steps out of dressed slabs of Burgundy to link the six terraces of the garden and create unity, as well as limit erosion from the stormwater runoff. A trip to Scotland in 1975 opened Odile’s eyes to the soothing potential of pastel, grey and white colour schemes, as well as introducing her to Old Roses, many with French names.
She planted six hedges (Cedar stricta; Laurus cerasus; Chamaecyparis lawsonia columnaris, Thuja candensis, box and yew) to protect the garden from the northerly and southerly winds and create micro-climates for bulbs and clematis. The soil is a mixture of heavy clay and limestone pebbles and is slightly alkaline. Its fertility has been improved over the years with peat and home-made compost, the recipe being on her website.
Odile ordered her first Old Roses from England, as well as an old, now long gone, nursery in Angers, Pajotin & Chedane. She has also bought many roses from André Eve, Pithiviers (see below), as well as a grower in Ardèche. I wonder if the latter is my next rose grower, Éléonore Cruse? Many of the roses have been grown from cuttings, some of them given to her by Professor Gianfranco Fineschi, of Cavriglio, Tuscany, Italy, also featured below, like the Macartney Rose, R. bracteata, growing up a Thuya; and a double form of R. hugonis.
She had wrought-iron arches made locally and built large porticos at the entrance to the different garden areas.
In 1987, she opened the garden to the public and in 1989, established the first old rose society in France, the Association des Roses Anciennes de la Bonne Maison, to preserve and research old roses. In 2006, the garden was awarded 2 stars in the Guide Vert Michelin Lyon Drôme Ardèche for its rose collection and in 2010, was given the label of Jardin Remarquable.
It certainly deserves its title! This is a very impressive garden, over 50 years old, which is constantly in flower from March to November. There are:
Over 800 varieties of roses, all labelled with their name, date, origin and family, which flower from early April till the first frosts. They are grown as shrubs or hedges; supported on pillars; arches and pergolas; against garden and house walls; and high up into trees like the Peace Cedar; the Paulownia; the Sophora; the Prunus and the Holm Oaks, their rosehips complementing the Autumn foliage of deciduous trees;
110 varieties of clematis;
60 varieties of daffodils;
A collection of tree and herbaceous peonies; and
A collection of pest-resistant hostas, 26 listed on the website.
There are mature trees, including Cedars and Cypresses; Deodars; Golden Thujas; Buxus sempervirens trees; Paulownias; Judas Tree, Cercis siliquastrum; Japanese Pagoda Tree, Sophora japonica; two different species of Tamarisk; Gingko biloba; Golden Robinia, Robinia pseudo-acacia ‘Frisia’; Golden Rain Tree, Koelreuteria paniculata; Magnolia grandiflora; Weeping Pussy-Willow, Salix caprea pendula; Weeping Silver Pear, Pyrus salicifolia pendula; Weeping Laburnum; Silver Birches; Liquidambar; Kousa Dogwood, Cornus kousa chinensis, and White Dogwood, Cornus alba ; Chestnuts; Malus (Golden Hornet and a Purple Crab); a variety of Prunus; Flowering Cherries; Cherry, Morello Cherry and Greengage Plum trees; and Pear, Quince and Apple trees.
Shrubs include: Kolwitzia ‘Bridal Wreath’; Corylopsis; Box; Ceanothus; Sarcococca; Smoke Bush; Purple Berberis; a wide range of different species of Hydrangeas, Viburnums, Philadephus and Magnolias; Plumbagos; Moroccan Broom, Cytisus battandieri; Erica carnea; Weigela; Spiraea japonica; Choisya ternata; Cistus; Daphne; 4 different types of bamboo; Miscanthus variegatum; a variety of lavenders; tree and herbaceous peonies; Canadian lilacs; Fuchsia magellanica; yuccas and old-fashioned rose shrubs, species roses and ramblers; while climbers include Boston Ivy, Honeysuckle Clematis montana; Golden Hop, Humulus lupula ‘Aureus’, and many climbing roses.
Roses include Opaline; Fontanières; Albertine; R. brunonii La Mortola; Thalia; Mme Grégoire Staechelin; City of York; R. primula; La Bonne Maison; Pauline; Alida Lovett; R. hugonis;R. laevigata; Jaune Desprez; Sandler’s White Rambler ; Duchess de Portland; Suzie; Cornelia; Lawrence Johnston; R. cantabrigiensis; Souvenir de la Malmaison; René André; Madeleine Selzer; Primavère; Mrs FW Flight; R. ecae; R. foetida persiana; Gardenia; Princesse Marie; Thérèse Bugnet; Honorine de Brabant; Rose du Maître d’Ecole; Duchesse d’Auerstädt; Inès; Buff Beauty; Cornelia and Félicia; Albèric Barbier; Francis Lester; Stanwell Perpetual; Mme Alfred Carrière; Constance Spry; Phyllis Bide; Bleu Magenta; Léontine Gervais;Aviateur Blériot; Mme d’Arblay; Maria Lisa; Easlea Golden Rambler; Rambling Rector; Alister Stella Gray; Mme Ernest Calvat; Souvenir de St Anne; Salet; Honorine de Brabant; Hero; Cynthia; Charles de Mills; Tuscany Superb; Jenny Duval; Goldfinch; Kew Rambler; Blush Noisette; Meg; Laure Davoust; Aimée Vibert; Lady Hillingdon; François Juranville; Ghislaine de Féligonde; Max Graf; and Rêve d’Or.
The roses are under-planted with herbaceous perennials, annuals, biennials and bulbs. The former three plant types include in alphabetical order:
Allium giganteum and Allium hollandicum; Aquilegias; Arabis; Asters; Aubrietias; Basil; Bergamot; Brunnera macrophylla; Campanulas (25 different types); Candytuft( Iberis sempervirens); Caryopteris; Clary Sage; Convovulus; Crambe cordifolia ; Delphiniums; Dianthus; Dicentra spectabilis; Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria); Dyer’s Chamomile (Anthemis tinctoria); Echinops ritro; a variety of Epimediums and Euphorbias; Fennel; Ferns; Foxgloves; Gaillardias; Geraniums; Giant Sea Holly (Eryngium giganteum); Goats Beard (Aruncus sylvester); Golden Marjoram; Hebes; Helianthemums; Hellebores (H. niger; H. orientalis; and H. argutifolius); Herbs; Heucheras; Hostas; Indian Pinks; Japanese Anemones; Jerusalem Sage (Phlomis); Lady’s Mantle; Lysimachia mummularia aurea; Purple Loosestrife( Lythrus salicania); Meadow Rue (Thalictrum flavum); Nepeta; Nicotiana; Oriental Poppies; Penstemon; Poppies ; Potentilla fruticosa; Primula japonica; Rue; Salvias (15 different species;); Santolina neapolitana; Saxifraga; Sedum spectabilis; Snow-in-Summer, Cerastium tomentosum; Solanum; Stachys; Sweet Peas; Tagetes; Thrift (Armeria maritima); Thyme; Tiarellas; Tradescantia virginiana; Veronicas of different varieties; Violets; Virginia Stock (Malcomia maritima); Water-Lilies; White Rose Campion (Lychnis coronaria alba); Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) and Zinnias.
Bulbs include: Agapanthus; Crocus; Colchicum; Cyclamen; many Daffodils; Fritillaries; Galanthus; Hemerocallis; a wide variety of Iris: Iris acuminata; Iris chinensis; Iris florentina; Iris germanica; Iris intermedia (Bearded Iris); Iris pacifica; Iris reticulata; Iris stylosa; Iris susiana; Iris tectorum; and Iris unguicularis; Jonquils; many different Lilies; Nerines; Schizostylis; and Tulips (Species and Hybrid).
It is well worth consulting the website for the plants blooming in each month.
There are a number of sweeping lawns; curving paths; a pond, a well and a swimming pool; pots and statues; seats and lots of different garden areas to explore: The Courtyard; The Glass House and Cold Frames Area; The Heather Slope; The Potager and Herb Garden; the Main Lawn; the Mixed Border; the Yucca Garden; the Small Wood; the Secret Garden; the Apple Lawn; the Swimming Pool; the Species Rose Garden; the Hydrangea Beds and Magnolia Lawn; the West Border; the New Enclosure; the New Garden, both enclosed by hedges; the New Well Gardens; the Iris Walk and the Pond.
Here is a photo of a map of the garden from pages 154 to 155 of Odile’s book and a key:
The book describes each area in detail and the photographs of the garden are superb. Odile has a wonderful eye for beautiful colour combinations.
There are 5 pergolas with 65 arches:
The Hard-Packed Path Pergola, the path bisecting the upper and lower parts of the garden and bordered with bearded iris and poppies in sunny areas and herbaceous and tree peonies in the shade.; the Yucca Garden Pergola; the Orchard Pergola; the Well Pergola; and the Secret Garden Pergola.
The garden has been organically managed for the last 15 years, with no weedicides, insecticides or fungicides used.Another French garden that I would love to visit is the wonderfully wild and blowsy garden, La Roseraie de Berty, belonging to Éléonore Cruse:
Another leading French rose specialist is Éléonore Cruse, who owns a lovely romantic rose garden, the Roseraie de Berty, in the valley of the Roubreau, 6 km (15 minutes drive) from the medieval village of Largentière, 2 hours drive south of Lyons. This area experiences severe Winters and heat waves in Summer, so plants have to be tough!
Éléonore bought the 18th century stone farmhouse and land, which had been an old peach orchard, in 1970. The schist soil was very poor, acidic and regularly leached. Initially, she used it for self-sufficiency, grazing goats and sheep, and growing dye plants and vegetables. Gradually, she improved the soil with goat, sheep and cow manure and crops of rye, phacelia and potatoes. Her partner, Christian Biette, slowly rebuilt the low stone walls. She started experimenting with roses, which are tough enough to withstand the extreme climate, learning much from André Eve and garden writer, Michel Lys.
The 1.2 acre (0.5 ha) rose garden was created in 1984 and is comprised of terraces on several different levels and has a naturalistic informal romantic style, so different to the formality of the traditional French rose garden, though structure is still provided by clipped yew and box to create secret areas of the garden. Éléonore has an artist’s eye, creating beautiful harmonious pictures with roses, perennials and ground covers.
It is a collector’s garden with 600 to 700 old roses and species roses, some as tall as trees, tumbling over walls, arches, pergolas and arbours and covering the house walls. They include the Scots Burnett roses; Rugosas; Zéphirine Drouhin; Alexander Girault; Albéric Barbier; Constance Spry; Mme Alfred Carrière; and New Dawn. I have chosen Scots rose, Stanwell Perpetual, to be my feature photo for this wild romantic garden. See below.
They are interplanted with shrubs, perennials and medicinal and aromatic companion plants, including sage, thyme, lavender and rosemary, to avoid the problems of monoculture and minimise pests and diseases. Minimal sprays and no fertilizers are used, except for a dose of manure on planting. A Bordeaux (Copper sulphate) mixture is applied at leaf fall and bud swell and roses, susceptible to downy mildew, may be dusted with sulphur by hand.
The roses are underplanted with heartease, Viola tricolor; wild pansies; perennial geraniums (Geranium sanguineum; G. psilostemon; and G. grandiflorum); Tradescantia virginiana; epimediums; Phyla nodiflora; Californian poppies; rose campion, Lychnis coronaria; nepeta; and grasses. The walls are covered with Erigeron karvinskianus. Ground covers include: wild strawberries; Matricaria tchihatchewii; and Frankenia laevis.
The outer edges of the garden blend seamlessly into the natural landscape without any clear boundaries. The steeply wooded slopes are covered in arbutus; box; bay (laurel); holly oak; chestnuts and heather. The stream below the garden regularly floods, so its banks are left to rough grass, interspersed with wild orchids, and is mowed twice a year.
In 2010, the garden was designated a Jardin Remarquable. It is only open to the public in June. There is a small tearoom and nursery, whose catalogue lists 309 varieties of rose, available bare-rooted between November and March. Éléonore has written a number of books on roses, including: Les Roses Sauvages 2001; Roses Anciennes 2005; and Leçons pour un Jardin de Roses 2007.‘Les Jardins d’André Eve’
André Eve (1931-2015) was a famous French nurseryman and rose breeder, responsible for the conservation and rediscovery of many old roses, as well as being a mentor to my previous two rose gardeners, so I would have to include a visit to his nursery and gardens! He moved to Pithiviers in 1958, where he trained under the elderly French rose breeder, Marcel Robichon, then bought his nursery in 1968 , specialising in rose breeding and landscaping.
Nursery: Les Roses Anciennes André Eve
Domaine du Château de Chamerolles 301 route de Courcy – Gallerand 45170 Chilleurs-aux-Bois North-east of Orleans
The first rose he bred was a bright pink Polyantha, Sylvie Vartas, in 1968. He and his nursery team went on to breed and introduce 33 more varieties, including: Red Perfume; Sophie; Prestige de Bellegarde; Sandrine; Coraline; Suzie; Suzette; Suzon; Miss Lorraine; Mme Solvay; Carla Fineschi; Albert Poyet; Pierre Perret; Moraya Rouge; Belle de Clermont; Eccentric; Lépine; Château du Rivau; Roville; Rose des Cores; Rose des Blés; L’Auberge de l’Ill; Garden of Granville; and of course, André Eve!
His first catalogue in 1985 listed 275 varieties of roses, including 60 species roses and now offers 600 varieties.
He created a beautiful, romantic, informal walled garden, 18 metres wide by 80 metres long, hidden behind a terraced house and accessed by a narrow passage. Starting in the 1960s, it is now over 50 years old, but unfortunately is rarely open to the public, but can be visited on the links below:
28 Faubourg d’Orleans, Loiret, Pithiviers, 45300 Orleans 37 miles (60 km) south of Paris
It is such a beautiful, blowsy old garden, created on chalky soil with a pH of 7.5, with 500 roses of rare and historic cultivars, like Ghislaine de Féligonde, Bobbie James, Lady Hillingdon; Blairi No 2; The Garland; May Queen; Claire Jacquier; Rosa gigantea; R. palustris; R. omeiensis pteracantha; R. carolina; Cerise Bouquet; Felicia; Buff Beauty; Nur Mahal; Kathleen; Prairie Dawn; Golden Wings; Mme Hardy; Charles de Mills; Chapeau de Napoléon; ; Complicata; R. gallica officinalis; R. moschata; R. gallica splendens; Rosa eglanteria; Cécile Brünner; Alba Semi-Plena; Empereur du Maroc; Gloire de Dijon; Albéric Barbier; Maria Lisa; Albertine; Mme Pierre Oger; Belvedere; Céleste; Souvenir de Mme Léonie Viennot; Souvenir d’Alphonse Lavallée; Mutabilis and many Noisettes (see photo below: Mme Alfred Carrière); spilling over garden walls, climbing through trees and over the sedum-covered roof of the Summer House, as well as the glasshouse and potting shed! He sourced them from Roseraie de l’Hay; old nurseries; private gardens; and England.
He was a strong proponent of an informal style of garden with narrow curving paths, seats, and many different trees, shrubs, climbers, foliage plants of differing colour, texture and pattern, bulbs and perennials, annuals and grasses mixed in with the roses, which he planted in groups of three. Trees include silver birches and flowering cherry, Prunus Kanzan.
Here is an extensive list of his plantings, which is worthwhile including for ideas of companion plants for roses:
All year :
Monday to Friday from 9 am to 12.30 pm and from 2 pm to 6 pm.
From April to June, exceptional opening on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays from 9 am to 6 pm. (Please inquire beforehand)
Closed between Christmas and New Year.
This garden is typical of his style: Sweeping curved beds, outlined by grass paths, and full of mixed perennials amongst the roses. The entrance is via a long birch wood arbour, covered in climbing roses and clematis, with secondary grassed aisles leading off it. There are over 600 roses!
André Eve died in 2015 at the age of 84 years old. His successor is Guy André, whose real name is Guy Delbard.And finally, while in France, I would have to visit a rose farm in season:
Domaine de Manon
36 Chemin du Servan, Plascassier village, 06130 Grasse
Farmed by three generations of the same family since the 1930s and now grand-daughter, Carole Biancalana, the 3 ha farm is devoted to growing the Centifolia Rose (also called the May Rose, seen in the photo below), as well as Jasminium grandiflorum (August to October) for the Grasse perfume industry, specifically for Christian Dior (Rose Absolute is used in J’Adore L’Or; Poison, Miss Dior, Diorissimo and Miss Dior Original).
The rose harvest lasts four to six weeks, from May to early June, depending on the amount of sunshine, and the blooms are harvested daily from 8 am to 11.30 am. It takes a day to pick 100-300 kg of rose petals, 30 roses produce a single drop of essential rose oil; and 800 kg of rose petals to produce 1 liter of Rose Absolute.
At Domaine de Manon, the roses are grown organically and are still gathered and processed much as they were three centuries ago. The blooms are cold-washed and processed by extraction.My final bucket-list of overseas rose gardens is tomorrow and features some wonderful Italian and German rose gardens.
Now, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty with overseas gardens featuring my favourite plants, roses! Today’s post features English rose gardens, exemplified by David Austin rose, Heritage, the main feature photo for this post, while French rose gardens are discussed tomorrow and those of Italy and Germany on Thursday. This is just a small selection of the huge number of rose gardens in England and no doubt, there are many other wonderful gardens to visit, but here goes…! Firstly, the holy grail of old rose gardens: the National Old-Fashioned Rose Collection at Mottisfont Abbey…
These beautiful walled gardens hold over 500 varieties of pre-1900 once-flowering Old Roses, which reach their peak in the last two weeks in June, as well as some newer repeat-flowering rose varieties as well. They are open from March to October and attract over 350 000 visitors.
It was created by Graham Stuart Thomas (1909-2003), a plantsman, nurseryman and garden writer and one of the most important figures in 20th-century British horticulture. As a 22 year old foreman at the Surrey nursery, T Hilling and Co. in 1931, he was mentored by 88 year old Gertrude Jekyll, who shared her knowledge about plants, plant groupings, methods of cultivation, colour theory and garden design as art. While at Hillings, he in turn influenced fellow employee, Peter Beales, my next entry!
It was around this time that Graham began to collect old shrub and climbing rose varieties, many of which had fallen out of favour, because they only flowered once during the season.
In 1956, Graham became a partner and director of Sunningdale Nurseries, a position he held until 1971. He established a collection of old roses, sourcing them from all over the world, trialling and selecting the best for British conditions and listing them in his nursery catalogue ‘The Manual of Shrub Roses’.
He went on to write 19 garden books, including his famous trilogy: Old Shrub Roses 1955 (constantly updated and reprinted); Shrub Roses of Today 1962; and Climbing Roses Old and New 1965, all illustrated with his own drawings and paintings.
Graham was an informal advisor to the National Trust from 1948 , when he worked on their first garden, Hidcote Manor, being appointed as their official garden advisor from 1955 on. He was also responsible for the restoration of over 100 gardens, including Sissinghurst Castle (http://www.countrylife.co.uk/gardens/country-gardens-and-gardening-tips/the-history-of-sissinghursts-roses-58258), Stourhead and Mt Stewart, Ireland. He was awarded an OBE for his work with the National Trust in 1975 and the Dean Hole Medal from the National Rose Society in 1996, and is even remembered in the name of one of David Austin’s beautiful golden roses Graham Thomas (photo below).
When he wanted a site to preserve his collection of old roses, he sought permission from the National Trust to use the old walled kitchen garden at Mottisfont. By 1974, he had created a garden that combined roses with a mix of herbaceous perennials in attractive colour combinations to give a season-long display and which showed his strong sense of design and his immense knowledge of plants and love of roses. Planting schemes were based on form, foliage and texture, as well as flower colour.
A gateway set in a sunny, rose-covered wall leads to the first rose garden, with deep box-lined borders, full of rambling roses (Wichuraiana and Multiflora) and climbing roses (Noisettes and Climbing Teas) and clematis, trained on the high brick wall behind, as well as on arches, pillars and pergolas, and beds filled with Bourbons; Hybrid Perpetuals; Chinas;Scots Roses; and a few Rugosa Hybrids.
The main paths crossing the site converge on a central round pond and fountain, surrounded by eight clipped Irish yews, the box-edged paths creating four quadrants each with a central lawn, to house his Gallicas, Damasks, Portlands, Albas, Centifolias and Mosses, under-planted with many of his favourite perennials, chosen for their structure, scent and wide colour palette.
Agapanthus, aquilegias, geraniums, iris, poppies, eryngium and peonies mingle with pinks, allium, bergenias, lilies, campanulas, erigeron, yarrow, phlox, scabiosa, nepeta, lavender and naturalised purple, pink and white Linaria purpurea. The centres of the borders are a mass of soft blues, pinks and whites, whilst stronger yellows, oranges and dark pinks draw your eye along the length of the border. In June, the roses are accompanied by striking spires of white foxgloves. The northern section of the walled garden, with its wide paths, is deliberately planted with a cool colour palette to provide a counterpoint to the central rose garden.
The gardeners dead-head all our modern varieties and any old-fashioned roses that flower more than once, but otherwise leave the hips on the old roses for Winter feed for the birds.
It is an excellent place to study the differences in all the different old rose types: the Gallicas with their large sweetly-scented flowers, up to six inches across; the Damasks with their soft grey-green leaves and pink and white flowers; the Mosses with their resinous stems and buds; and the Teas and Musks with their distinctive scents.
Peter Beales (1936-2013) was a British rosarian, author and lecturer and a leading expert on species and classic roses. He worked under Graham Stuart Thomas, later succeeding him as foreman, at T Hillings and Co., Chobham, Surrey, then the home to the most comprehensive collections of old roses in the United Kingdom.
Peter started his own nursery at Swardeston, Norfolk, in 1967, raising bedding plants, then breeding his own roses, moving to the current site at Attleborough in the late 1970s, when the business outgrew its premises.
He specialised in old-fashioned, rare and historic scented roses, growing 1 200 different varieties at his nursery. He won 19 gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show over his lifetime (now 23) and was the President of the Royal National Rose Society from 2003 to 2005. He was given the highest RHS award, the Victorian Medal of Honour, in 2003 and an MBE in 2005. He is also the holder of the National Collection of Rosa Species, holding more than 100 types of wild species roses in Britain. He has written a number of books including Classic Roses in 1985 and Visions of Roses in 1996, see: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/01/10/fabulous-rose-books/.
We also own his romantic VHS video titled ‘A Celebration of Old Roses‘, in which he attributes the start of his love affair with Old Roses with the Alba rose, Maiden’s Blush, at his childhood home. In lieu of this rose, since I don’t have a decent photo yet (!), I have featured another famous old Alba, Alba Maxima (see below).
In 2015, Peter Beales Roses launched the Peter Beales Garden Centre, a specialist rose and plant centre, selling roses, shrubs, climbers and herbaceous perennials. It also has a two acre display garden, a gift shop with garden supplies, tools, books and rose-related products, and a licensed tea room and restaurant. I would love to visit their nursery and display garden in June. See: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/tours-courses-events/our-gardens/our-gardens.html.
The gardens show historic, rare and contemporary roses, growing in unison with complimentary plants like foxgloves, salvia, campanulas, iris, daisies, nepeta and anemones. The roses are displayed along paths and arches, including the iron St Albans Walkway, comprising of four arched walkways, joined together at the centre of a six metre gazebo. There is also a specially designed wildlife garden, pond, children’s woodland play area and stunning observation turret.David Austin Roses
Bowling Green Lane, Albrighton, Wolverhampton, WV7 3HB
David Austin (1926-) is the other big name in the United Kingdom rose world. He started rose breeding in the early 1950s, releasing his first commercially available rose Constance Spry (a cross between a Floribunda, Dainty Maid, and Gallica, Belle Isis) in 1961, followed by Chianti (a cross between Floribunda, Dusky Maiden, and Gallica, Tuscany Superb) in 1967 and Shropshire Lass in 1968.
His early roses were once-flowering in Spring and early Summer, but by 1969, he had produced a series of remontant varieties, bred by back-crossing Constance Spry with other Floribundas and Hybrid Teas, their names based on Chaucer’s Cantebury Tales. For example, Wife of Bath; Cantebury; The Prioress; and The Yeoman.
David’s aim was to produce a rose combining the best of the old Gallica, Damask and Alba roses (form, character, disease resistance and scent) and new Hybrid Teas and Floribundas (repeat-flowering and wide colour range).
Since founding David Austin Roses in 1969, he has introduced over 190 new rose cultivars of English Roses. They are named after:
Family Members eg his wife, Pat Austin; his father, Charles Austin and his mother, Lilian Austin; his daughter, Claire Austin; his son, James. L. Austin, and James’ wife, Jayne Austin; and grand-daughter Olivia Rose Austin, the daughter of his other son, David Austin Junior;
Well-known Rosarians: Graham Thomas; Gertrude Jekyll; Constance Spry; and Trevor Griffiths;
Geographical Landmarks in Britain: Winchester Cathedral; Windermere; and Glamis Castle;
British Gardens: Harlow Carr; Munstead Wood; Wisley; and Kew Gardens;
Historical Ships: Mary Rose (Henry VII’s flagship); and The Mayflower (the English ship that transported the Puritans from Plymouth, England to the New World in 1620);
Historical Characters and Famous People: William Morris; Charles Darwin; Charles Rennie Mackintosh; Sir Walter Raleigh; Thomas a Beckett; Anne Boleyn; Vanessa Bell; and today’s famous actress, Dame Judi Dench;
The works of writers:
Chaucer: Chaucer; The Pilgrim; The Nun; The Reeve; The Friar; The Yeomen; and The Squire;
Shakespeare: William Shakespeare; Wise Portia (The Merchant of Venice); Sweet Juliet (Romeo and Juliet); Prospero (The Tempest); Desdemona (Othello); and Cordelia (King Lear);
Christopher Marlowe: Christopher Marlowe; and Leander;
Thomas Hardy: Tess of the d’Urbevilles; and Jude the Obscure (photo below); and
Coleridge: The Ancient Mariner.
Since then, the roses have been further separated into four groups:
Old Rose Hybrids: These have the appearance of Old Roses, but are recurrent, with a wide colour range eg Brother Cadfael; Eglantyne; Jude the Obscure; LD Braithwaite; and Sharifa Asma;
Leander Group: Wichuraiana parentage; Larger bush with arching growth; Suitable for pillar or use as a low climber eg Golden Celebration; William Morris; and The Alnwick Rose;
English Musk Rose:Iceberg and Noisette parentage; Pale green, slender and airy growth, but musk scent absent in most cultivars eg Evelyn; Heritage; Graham Thomas; Lucetta; and Windermere; and
English Alba Hybrids: Tall, blue-leafed bushes eg Shropshire Lass; and Cordelia.
He has written a number of books about Old Roses (eg The Heritage of the Rose 1990; TheRose 2009/ 2012) and his English roses (eg: Old Roses and English Roses 1992; David Austin’s English Roses 1993/1996 and The English Roses : Classic Favourites and New Selections 2007). See: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/01/10/fabulous-rose-books/.
He has won 23 gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and was awarded the RHSVictorian Medal of Honour in 2003; an OBE in 2007; and was named a ‘Great Rosarian of the World’ in 2010.
Famous for its Kiftsgate Rose, this garden is worth visiting for all its other roses, as well as the rest of the garden. This Twentieth Century Arts and Crafts garden is set on the Cotswolds escarpment, overlooking the Malvern Hills, and has been in the same family (three generations of women) for over 75 years.
The house was built from 1887 to 1891 by Sydney Garves Hamilton, who developed a paved formal garden in front of the portico. It was bought by Jack and Heather Muir in 1918. Inspired by Lawrence Johnston’s Hidcote Manor next-door, Heather developed the garden organically, rather than drawing a precise plan on paper. She started by extending a lawn from the formal paved garden, then built steps in the steep wooded bank to the lower garden, 150 feet below. She planted hedges of yew and copper beech to create a series of interconnecting gardens, each with its own character. She developed a Yellow Border and a Rose Border and built a summerhouse with views to the west.
Her eldest daughter, Diany Binny, took over the garden in the 1950s, adding a semicircular pool to the lower garden; redesigning the White Sunk Garden to include a small pool and wellhead fountain; and opening the garden to the public on a regular basis.
Dinny’s eldest daughter, Anne Chambers, and husband John have been responsible for the garden since the 1980s and have built a very modern Water Garden on the old tennis court.
Kiftsgate is a typical Arts and Crafts garden with wide herbaceous borders, a four-squaregarden and terrace, a White Sunk Garden, a Yellow Border, a Rose Border, a rockery, lawns and a bluebell wood. See the website, especially the diary and the map, for more details.
The areas that particularly interest me are :
The Orchard and Wild Garden with Camassias and Tulipa ‘Jan Reus’ blooming under the Spring blossom of heritage apples, medlars, quinces and pears, as well as the Bluebell Wood, filled with English Bluebells, Fritillaria meleagris, wild garlic, Anemone blanda and the odd grape hyacinth inside the entrance gates;
The wide Double Borders of small trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants in pinks, mauves and purples with grey foliage;
The White Sunk Garden with white shrubs: Deutzias, Carpentarias; Hoherias and Staphyllea, underplanted with a riot of colour provided by erythroniums and trilliums in Spring, followed by Summer-blooming anemones, helianthemums, dioramas, santolinas and self-seeding Allium christophii. Roses include: R. sericea ‘Heather Muir’, ‘Diany Binny’, R. soulieana, R. alba semi-plena, White Wings, R. brunonii ‘La Mortola’, R. cooperii and ‘Lady Godiva’; and most importantly of all:
The Double Rose Border, full of old-fashioned, species and modern roses, with a low hedge of Rosa mundi bordering the central lawn path, as well as astilbes, asters and grasses. Some of my favourites are there: Mme Hardy; Stanwell Perpetual; and Honorinede Brabant. The original Rosa filipes ‘Kiftsgate’ rose, planted in 1938 and named by Graham Stuart Thomas in 1951, is said to be the largest in England at over 24 metres wide and 15 metres high and covering three trees. It is covered with panicles of white roses in mid-July. Apparently, 410 flowers were counted on one panicle alone, so it would certainly be a wonderful sight! The Mutabilis on the house wall, climbing 30 feet up to the eaves, would also be spectacular.
Because I do not have the Kiftsgate Rose and am featuring Mutabilis in my post on Italian and German rose gardens, I am featuring William Morris, the name of the founder of the Arts and Crafts Movement and remembered by a David Austin rose, which we are growing in our Moon Bed.Elsing Hall
Elsing Hall is a medieval manor house, near Dereham, Norfolk, dating from 1470, complete with a fully functioning moat with an arched access bridge. The house is set in a small park with old beech, plane, oak and lime trees and newer plantings of specimen conifers, sweet chestnuts and birches.
The 20 acre garden, including the 10 acre arboretum, was established over 30 years ago by Shirley and David Cargill in 1984 with a number of different areas: a Wild Meadow; Bog Garden; Autumn Garden; Moat Walk; the formal Osprey Garden; a Walled Garden; Arboretum; a medieval Stew Pond, South Terrace Lawn and the village cricket pitch.
It has a unique Gingko Avenue and a maturing Pinetum, but its main claim to fame is its huge collection of over 400 Old Roses covering the walls of the house and walled garden, as well as filling the borders, including: Rambling Rector, Albertine, Francis E Lester, Paul’s Himalayan Musk, Adélaïde d’Orléans, Veilchenblau, Mme. Alfred Carrière, Cardinal de Richelieu, R. gallica officinalis, Souvenir du Dr. Jamain, Charles de Mills, Empress Josephine, Alba Maxima, Great Maiden’s Blush, Celestial, R. centifolia, Fantin Latour, Ispahan, Kazanlik, Blanche Moreau, Mme Grégoire Staechlin (see photo below), Königan vonDänemark, Phyllis Bide, Constance Spry and Roseraie de l’Hay. The Moss roses lining the Stew Pond are particularly romantic and include Général Kléber and Maréchal Davoust.
I would love to visit the garden in June, when they are in full bloom, but the other seasons hold promise as well: Snowdrops and aconites in January/ February; drifts of daffodils in March and April, camassias, bearded irises, delphiniums, tulips and peonies in May and the herbaceous borders in July and August.
Another moated medieval country house, dated 1464 and owned by Robert Walpole, the 10th Baron Walpole, Mannington Hall is another 20 acre garden famous for its old roses, with over 1000 varieties. In his book, Visions of Roses, on page 43, Peter Beales describes it as ‘one of the finest and most important collections of historic roses in the world’.
The one acre walled Heritage Rose Garden is a living museum of 1000 years of rose history. It includes:
Species Rose Border against the entire south wall: R. moyesii Geranium, R. chinensis Viridiflora and R. omeiensis pteracantha;
Medieval Garden: Wattle entrance hurdles and fences, covered with R. moschata and Rambling Rector; Circular beds of Gallicas (R. gallica officinalis, Rosa Mundi (see photo below), Jenny Duval); Albas (Great Maiden’s Blush); and Damasks (Quatre Saisons; Kazanlik) with Scots Rose, R. pimpinellifolia;
Classical Garden: Roses from 1700 to 1836: Centifolias, Mosses, Bourbons and Noisettes: Champney’s Pink Cluster; Blush Noisette, Aimée Vibert and Desprez à Fleurs Jaunes;
Jekyll Garden: Octagonal garden made up of trellises covered with ramblers and climbers popular with Gertrude Jekyll: Dorothy Perkins; Debutante, Minnehaha, American Pillar, Cupid, Silver Moon and Elegance;
Between the Wars Garden: Hybrid Musks: Ballerina, Buff Beauty, Felicia and Belinda;
Modern Rose Garden: Iceberg, Peace, Piccadilly, Silver Jubilee, Constance Spry, Graham Thomas, Chaucer, Mary Rose, Frühlingsgold, Parkdirektor Riggers and Margeurite Hilling; and La Mortola.
Outside the Heritage Rose Garden is:
Victorian Garden: Mosses, Hybrid Perpetuals: Baronne Prévost and Empereur de Maroc; and Bourbons: Belle de Crécy, Boule de Neige, and Mme Isaac Pereire;
Sweet Briars: Meg Merrilees and Lady Penzance;
Rugosas: Blanc Double de Coubert and Roseraie de l’Hay;
Post-Modernist Garden: Recent rose varieties;
Temple Garden: Rambling Rector; and Pimpinellifolia collection;
Shrubberies: Trial roses from the 1980s: Sadler’s Wells; William and Mary; John Grooms; and Gallica hybrid, Scharlachglut, scrambling 20 feet into a Kanzan Cherry;
Moat banks covered in R. wichuraiana and Fru Dagmar Hastrup;
House gardens: Mixed borders backed with 10 foot walls, including Golden Showers, James Mason, Kiftsgate, R. bracteata, Ramona and Guinée; Formal beds of Hybrid Teas and Floribundas; and a R. banksiae lutescens against the south wall of the house. This garden actually has all four Banksian roses: Single and Double Whites and Single and Double Yellows.
There is also a Knot Garden with scented plants, including Bourbon, Louise Odier, Modern Shrub Rose, Anna Pavlova, and a number of R. eglanteria varieties; a Sensory Garden with plants selected for touch, sound and taste, as well as smell and colour; and a 4.3 hectare wet Wildflower Meadow. It is also possible to stay there with a small low key glamping venture called Amber’s Bell Tents: https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/18353490 and http://www.ambersbelltents.co.uk/mannington-hall.
Tomorrow, I will be posting my bucket list of French Rose Gardens.