Ambridge Rose David Austin
Ambridge Rose (David Austin)


David Austin Roses
For The Pacific NorthWest

     Most people appreciate the roses, which come from the rose breeder David Austin. Created in England one would assume that Austin roses would do as well here in the Pacific Northwest as they do there. Both regions share similar climate and weather conditions. Yet, from personal experience and the experience of other rose growers, not all David Austin roses perform equally well in this region. This is not a critique but rather a recommendation of those varieties of Austin roses that are exemplary in a region plagued with excess moisture, many dull sunless days and an abundance of fungal afflictions many roses would soon find themselves retiring in.

     From the perspective of a typical rose gardener there are ten which have stood up to the rigorous elements of the Pacific Northwest: Sweet Juliet, Othello, Abraham Darby, Heritage, Graham Thomas, Pat Austin, Pegasus, Golden Celebration, The Ambridge Rose and Constance Spry. These roses are tough.

     Sweet Juliet pushes forth a lot of foliage in the beginning of the season. This is a very disease-free dense bush. After the initial growth flower buds begin to appear. There are many per stem. The flowers are of a medium-sized nature, soft-salmon/pink double-form and exude a delicious peachy-citrus scent. This rose blooms until the end of the season; with only brief interludes between flowering times.

     Othello is as mighty as its Shakespearean name suggests. Full of vigor and character it blooms disease-free throughout the rose season until frost. It is sturdy and stiff. Thus the beautiful double deep-red flowers do not cause the stems to bend under their weight. The fragrance is particularly strong: a velvety sweet old-rose scent.

     One of the first roses to bloom is Abraham Darby. This trait is guaranteed year after year. It is a lovely broad informal bush. The leaves are dark green and glossy. This rose is not plagued by disease at any point in the season. The oft saucer-sized blooms are a spectacular blend of salmon, peach and pink tones. The scent of these heavy blooms is heady; a delicious citrusy-fruity fragrance.

     There is a rose, which has been noted to still be in bloom in early winter: Heritage. It is fairly tall and slender with smooth canes. This rose has charisma. There is a delicate beauty about its soft pink blooms arranged in an airy way all about the bush. The flowers are somewhat goblet shaped and of a medium size. There are many per cane and rarely is the rose without blooms. There is a honey-lemon quality to the fragrance. This bush also demonstrates good disease resistance.

     Graham Thomas, a gorgeous deep lemon-yellow rose, named after the famous rosarian, is a must have. This bush is of a medium size (in warmer climates it has been known to grow taller). The leaves are a lovely bright green and disease-free. It is an informal bush, the canes exhibiting a gentle arc under the weight of the fully double large blooms. This rose is striking when grown amidst bright-blue delphiniums. It is always in bud; so as one set of blooms is nearing completion, another set follows shortly thereafter. And from the large buttery-lemon petals wafts a heady delicious tea-rose fragrance.


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