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Growing David Austin's in zone 4

Last post 11-18-2008 3:34 AM by chriscdavidt. 2 replies.
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  • 11-15-2008 1:50 PM

    Growing David Austin's in zone 4

    First of all I would like to thank those of you who have given frank opinions about your experiences with David Austin’s.  I just managed to obtain their 2009, and I do admit the write ups all do seem to be the same after a while!


    In general,  I have had reasonable luck with my Austins.  I find the newer introductions are healthier plants ( My Winchester Cathedrals (introduced in 1988) are always a mess, but I going to give them one more year ..their 3rd and it may their last to become established and healthier. I have yet to achieve much in the scent department with them)  


    Annoying habits so far have been not much growth until late August and then everything seems to go from being ground cover-like to 8 foot canes! Spindly but a good flush of blooms.  Any thoughts as to why?  ( Would a partial pruning help, and what is pegging?) I noticed one other comment but a member referring to late season growth.  Another  problem is lack of fragrance?  My soil is alkaline clay but with tons of compost added.  My beds tend to be raised or on rise of land so I have good drainage.  Of the approx dozen plus varieties that I have, Evelyn is by far the most fragrant.  Graham Thomas some, Winchester nothing, Happy Child not much either?   Would any one know why?


    Because I am in a zone 4 ( we can get to -28 Celsius very rare though), I do prune heavily in the fall and mound up the union).  Could this have any effect on what is happening?  In general I have a good flush in June and the a great one in September/October.  After that they get pruned because we have such a short period of time between our growing season and winter. I find there is too much to do in the spring to be dealing with more winter clean up.


    Finally I read about a product called Bayers All in One on this web site…..have you used it? and is it as effective as the ad says it is.   The rest of my roses ( I have about 40 bushes) are all selected for their extreme hardiness and disease resistance.  In fact some will not tolerate any form of chemical on their leaves. ( many rugosa types for example)  But I am willing to baby the Austins along but as the collections grows it would be nice to have an all in one product.  Your thoughts and comments will be appreciated as I have only been gardening for 5 years now.


  • 11-17-2008 8:14 PM In reply to

    Re: Growing David Austin's in zone 4

    Wow, if you have 40 rose bushes in zone 4 then you are already an expert. I mentioned in another post that Ambrideg Rose can be grown in zone 4. I have it and I'll tell you that it grows great in our zone 8. David Austins tend to grow fast and tall. This one is very fragrant. Never used Bayer All in One, so can't help you with any advice there.


  • 11-18-2008 3:34 AM In reply to

    Re: Growing David Austin's in zone 4

    Gillian thank you for your comment about being an expert.  Well if anything we listened to the advice, know your growing conditions!  We tend to have a lot of the Canadian developed roses which excel at hardiness, disease resistance, such as the Morden series, and the Explorer Series of roses.  However there always seems to be something that prevents them from being a perfect rose such as  lack of height, as climbers tend to have their main structure set on old wood and with our climate very little old wood survives. The other area tends to be the fragrance, or should I say lack off.  We do have a Therese Bugnet which is very slow to establish, does have lovely red stems for the winter interest, does have a lovely fragrance  but it tends to lose it leaves extremely early in August/September.  Since it is USDA zone 3b rated plant I think as soon as there is a shift in the day light growing hours it starts to shut down for the winter.  But then you are looking at "sticks  for more than 6 months of the year. 

    I will look up the Ambridge Rose, so thank you for the recommendation.




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