Ambridge Rose
Ambridge Rose



        Last Spring I sent away for the free Austin catalogue in the mail, and spent many an hour just looking at the photos, reading the write-ups and trying to decide which ones I wanted. Austin roses tend to grow fairly tall and are for the most part shrubby and leafy. As I write this article at the end of August, they are covered with new buds waiting to burst and are as healthy as can be with not one diseased leaf. The same cannot be said of my Hybrids and Floribundas. However, I consider the Austins more of a landscaping rose because they have a shrubby habit and fit right into a perennial border.

Last year I also ventured into the wonderful world of climbing roses. I planted Constance Spry, Francois Juranville (both one time bloomers), Agatha Christie, Compassion, Freisinger Morgenrote, and New Dawn. I was very pleased with Constance and Francois - they are both healthy and vigorous. Agatha and Compassion are beautiful too, but they did succumb to mildew and black spot. I am planning to move them next year to a spot that receives more afternoon sun. New Dawn is a gratifying rose that is very healthy, blooming on and on for most of the summer

        I also grow Hybrids and Floribundas in large pots around my backyard patio. They all grow well but of course some do better than others. Among them are Candella - a gorgeous red and white, tall growing, healthy Hybrid Tea. Sexy Rexy - a rose definitely worth having, beautifully shaped, pink, small blooms on a short, healthy bush. Rosemary Harkness - a rose of indescribably beautiful pinky, yellowish, and orange blooms, like a translucent watercolor painting, a wonderful fragrance on a healthy bush. It is not very vigorous however and seems to bloom only once in June, and then very sporadically afterwards. New Zealand - again a gorgeous full petalled pink rose that seems to be fairly vigorous. Paul Shirville - a lovely warm, pink rose that blooms on and on. It does have an annoying habit of balling up in wet weather but is otherwise healthy. Leibeszauber - a sumptuous deep red rose, unfortunately not very vigorous with just a few blooms at a time and a long lull in between.

        Double Delight - (which has become my new favorite this year) a magnificent rose with beautiful red and white and yellow blooms, quite prolific and healthy, I canít imagine living without it anymore. Fragrant Delight - which is one of those roses that my neighbor will inherit next year. I have given it a few years and I am still not happy with it. Itís not a vigorous rose and when the blooms do decide to show up they only last a day or so before they totally open up and fall off the bush. Anisley Dickinson - I just love this Floribunda rose. The orange blooms are small but are beautifully shaped and keep on producing prolific sprays with masses of blooms. Lavaglut - a small, shrubby and very heavy bloomer with masses of very dark red flowers, perfect for the front of a border. I have mine right beside Bonica - another small and shrubby rose with pink flowers and amazing blooming ability.

        As I continue rose gardening, I always look forward to new roses next year. For me it will always be an unending adventure and a source of great delight. Happy Gardening!
(By Elizabeth Roth)

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