Pat Austin



     A contender to rival Abraham Darby’s predisposition to bloom early is Pat Austin. The buds on this rose begin to develop very early. When other roses are only beginning to form bud this rose is often already in bloom. And what incredible blooms! Large, satiny copper-gold petals and a very large, full flower. There is also a delightful tea-rose fragrance. The bush itself resembles Abraham Darby’s in form. The leaves are dark green and somewhat glossy with excellent disease resistance. The character of this rose is charming. Its flower heads are so large that they bow gently under their own weight.

     Pegasus is an Austin rose of distinct beauty. In many ways it charms like a camellia. The flowers are a unique blend of subtle creamy-peach towards the outside of the bloom and a deeper shade of apricot towards the centre. The petals are softly rounded and the bloom itself is full but not too deep. There is a fragrance that is sweet and somewhat tea-rose in character. The leaves are dark green and glossy. This contrasts beautifully with the flowers. The bush itself is not overly large and is very disease resistant.

     A rose noteworthy of being able to withstand the elements of nature is Golden Celebration. There are gardeners who have been able to successfully grow this rose in more northern regions of the northwest and in the interior regions of the west. This rose possesses supple light green smooth canes. They have a tendency to arc gracefully when in bloom. And the blooms they support are full, double and large. The rose petals are deep golden in colour and emit a gorgeous sweet honey-like fragrance. The rose rarely succumbs to disease and has a tremendous record of longevity.

     The Ambridge Rose is another rose of unique distinction. This is not a very tall bush, which makes it ideal for a smaller garden. This rose is very healthy and floriferous. The period in which it is not in bloom is brief. The colouring of this rose is a unique cool tone peachy-salmon. Along with the unusual colour is a heady fragrance which can be described as a ‘sweet-myrrh.’ This rose is eye-catching and beautiful.

     Where these last roses described were all bush roses, Constance Spry falls into the climbing rose category. This rose will attain 10 feet or more. It is vigorous, grows quickly and is disease-free. There is an abundance of foliage, which is very dark green. The rose will bloom only once, however the show is spectacular. The flowers are huge, deep pink and absolutely loaded with petals, which creates an incredible full effect. There are many blooms on the canes for an extended period. And the flowers themselves have an intoxicating heady myrrh fragrance. The overall effect of these blooms resembles the cabbage roses often seen in early Dutch paintings.

     These David Austin roses are strong, vigorous and winter hardy. They have proven that they can withstand the nuances of the Pacific Northwest climate; the dampness, cool springs, dry summers, wet winters and the various maladies that befall other roses. They reward with ample blooms if given the proper care and offer pleasure to the rose gardener for many years.
(By Andrea Grant)

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