David Austin rose

rosefenn(5)January 10, 2013

If you could pick just one David Austin rose, which one would you pick for your garden? I only have room for one. I am tempted by Eglantine, also by Abraham Darby. Please give me your suggestions!

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alameda/zone 8

I love Abe Darby, one of my favorites, but I also adore Carding Mill. I am getting more of that one - saw a group of them blooming at a garden tour last spring in Tyler, Tx - fabulous!!!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 3:36PM
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Abraham Darby

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 4:04PM
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I only have a half dozen Austins, and I love them all. If I have to pick one though, it would have to be Abe Darby. From time to time, and if you are lucky, you get one or two perfect blooms, unfeterred by too much rain, heat, winds and unharmed by deer and other pests. But they are to die for: impressionist color scheme, sophisticated structure but sturdy, big and down-to-earth, and the heavenly smell!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 4:06PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

Can I name three? First of all, I've grown several Eglantine roses at two different locations, and had problems with them, but since we're in different climates, you might have different results. My three picks that I don't think I can be without are: Brother Cadfael (downside: it's huge in my climate); Evelyn (downside: she can take some extra trouble to grow, for me anyway); and Young Lycidas, with no downside so far. I think, judging from comments on the forum, that Munstead Wood might be a good choice, too. Diane

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 4:11PM
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Abe Darby....and climbing Abe Darby.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 5:25PM
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I do not own any David Austin roses, but Jubilee Celebration would be the first rose I'd purchase.

Here is a link that might be useful: Jubilee Celebration

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 6:02PM
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Jubillee would be second choice....oh wait....maybe Teasing Georgia. Or maybe golden celebration.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 6:23PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

I would put cold-hardiness at the top of the list for a Nebraska garden.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 6:27PM
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I have two Eglantynes, and just love them. Very hardy, heavy bloomers, with a delicious fragrance like rosewater.

For an apricot rose, I love Evelyn. It's a beautiful rose, wonderful fragrance like fresh peaches.

I have two Evelyns; they are lovely in full bloom, good repeat bloom.

This pic shows Eglantyne as an immature plant:

Elgantyne bloom:


    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 7:14PM
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Beautiful!, Krista.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 8:46PM
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I've been growing Austins for a bunch of years in two different area's. I really like most of them. But if I was forced to take my Austin's down to one variety, It would be Abraham Darby, hands down. Now the bush gets large but let it grow and do it's thing for two years and year three shape the bush up and you have a large bushy bush full of fantastic blooms. I've had 20+ at one time, down to 7 and now 11 and adding more each year :)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 8:58PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

I don't think my Abe is very happy, but Carding Mill and Ambridge are loving life. Ambridge has several dozen buds on her today

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 9:38PM
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I would choose Evelyn. Love her blooms, and the smell! But then I feel equal about my Abraham Darby! :) Wouldn't live without either one.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 10:46PM
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predfern(z5 Chicago)

Evelyn is surprisingly hardy. That would be my top pick.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 12:14AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Pick just ONE Austin?

That's like that old commercial selling potato chips: Bet you can't eat just one!

You are warned--try one Austin, and you'll end up ordering a dozen and lamenting that you don't have room in your garden for at least another dozen!

In picking your "first" Austin, you might also decide whether or not you intend to spray for blackspot. A number of the gorgeous Austins recommended above have serious blackspot issues. If you would prefer to cut down on spraying, check out a number of the more recent Austins in his catalog--look for ones that are listed as "healthy" or, even better, "exceptionally healthy." Save yourself some worries that way.

Definitely make sure your selection is cold hardy in Nebraska--what is that? Zone 5, I think.

Good luck -- you will love your Austin!


    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 6:01AM
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Glad to see the AUstins have gained a LITTLE respect. A few years ago, on this forum , they were referred to as THE BIG MAC AND FRIES of the rose world.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 12:43PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Yeah--us Austin-lovers just refused to go away!

I suspect the Knockouts probably now are the new BIG MAC AND FRIES of the rose world. : )


    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 2:18PM
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I love Austin's, they are the roses that caught my eye years ago. Opened up a whole new world to me......and I do love the occasional Big Mac.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 3:28PM
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My choice would probably be Evelyn; she has the biggest most luscious blooms and is an easy plant to grow. Blooms last very long in the vase also.

My mom has Abe Darby and it's great but I don't think it's as healthy as Evelyn in my climate.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 3:54PM
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onewheeler(Z5 N.S.)

James Gallawy is my all time favorite for hardiness, continuous bloom and disease resitance. I have many Austins in my zone 5 garden. I love them all! :-)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 5:34PM
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I would choose Evelyn and The Prince.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 6:35PM
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caldonbeck(UK (8))

I've got 50 odd of them and can't imagine only having one!! It would probably have to be Princess Alexandra of Kent or Princess Anne, leaning more towards Princess Anne. Abe Darby is just too scabby in our climate, rarely you will get a perfect bloom, but it is too rare.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 7:39PM
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And mine is a beautifully shaped shrub full of huge fragrant blossoms at least 3 times a summer. He does get bs, but I do not care. Such a beauty....no wait, maybe Teasing Georgia is my fave....no wait......

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 10:30PM
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caldonbeck(UK (8))

lol @susan4952 - exactly how you end up with hundreds of them!!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 1:22AM
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sc_gardener(zone 5)

Just one? Actually for the record, I am zone 5 in Chicago metro and I have not had any hardiness issues with any of my austins, I have own root and grafted. Only one winter I had severe cane die back when the canes were completely encased in ice after an ice storm. Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 11:38AM
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This is making me realize how important it is to pay attention to Zones. I have not had great luck with Abraham Darby (one of my very first DA purchases). I practice organic. No sprays. I shovel pruned at least two Abraham Darbies already. (I kept giving it a chance by reordering and trying a different location with more sun.) I love my Eglantine... very large (trained as climber in a tripod). Carding Mill is new and struggling (not ideal sun). It was reccomended for my area (growing at Filoli). I also shovel pruned one Evelyn and reordered because I could not live without it. I did NOT reorder Abraham Darby. Sometimes I wonder if I overpruned? I often prune out disease. I also love my new Munstead Wood (but both the latter are small in my garden). I would say I could not live without William Shakespeare 2000. I would add photos, but they are of blossoms in spring, which are ALWAYS beautiful. What is more important to me is disease resistance and reliability of bloom and overall habit of the rose.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 12:32PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

BaaBaaRaa -- You are right about zones. Soils and water matter a lot, too.

Abraham Darby was "OK" here (until gophers ate his roots) but the blooms were so big, and the stems and canes so floppy, he was awkward to deal with.

I really liked Emanuel much better. Smaller blooms of the same type, on a gracefully-arching plant that was disease-free in our garden. We had it on Multiflora, and it eventually began to go down hill, but I'd grow it again, if I had the space.

Probably the last Austin purchases here was our first Golden Celebration -- and it continues to be a terrific rose here. Even the original one, on Multiflora, is doing very well. It rusteth not, neither doth it mildew (tho it can be touched by blackspot, when we get one of those freaky warm-humid periods. Not badly, though. I love it in the garden, and as a cut flower.

The only other Austin I really like, HERE, is Prospero. Once we quit pruning it, it turned into a little powerhouse, and is never completely out of bloom. Good in a vase, too.

Coastal Ventura County

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 1:13PM
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and today.....GEnerous Gardener

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 2:33PM
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alameda/zone 8

I totally agree about roses doing well in different zones. I am in east Texas and our summers can get brutal - 2011 was the worst - NO rain, 3 months of 105 degrees every day, never saw anything like it and hope never to again - lost quite a few roses. I am hoping some rose lovers from Texas will chime in - would really enjoy knowing which Austins do well in our climate. Chamblees carries a goodly number of Austins - I am guessing these are the ones that do well in our zone, not just what they can get. James Galway is one that is out in full, hot sun and does great. Scepter d'Isle also. Evelyn was just planted a year ago, not showing alot of growth yet, but love the blooms - may try this one in back of my horse barn, which still gets lots of sun but is protected from 3pm on from the brutal heat. Young Lycadis is doing quite well and love the color of the blooms, Lady of Megginch also. I have quite a few Austins on order for this year:

Wollerton Old Hall
Fighting Temeraire
England's Rose
Sir John Betjeman
Princess Alexandra of Kent
Princess Anne
Bishop's Castle
Lady of Shalott
Darcey Bussell
Can anyone from my area comment? Thanks....

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 4:44PM
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I added a bunch this year so it's too early for me for a fav, but I have had one of my Young Lycidas' for more than one season now, and I couldn't be happier with it. Blooms are big, purple, very fragrant, and hold for a few days in a vase. I'm really glad I placed him in front of our front steps in such a visible place, next to Bolero. Will be adding SDLM to that group, and think they'll look wonderful together.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 10:00AM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

One other here, Darcey Bussell I picked up the last two plants from the local nursery toward the end of their rose fields season. They looked a tad sad...

But, they have had a bloom on them pretty much since the day they got planted. They have gotten a touch of mildew, but they are in the shade a good part of the day and get hit by the lawn sprinkler when we use it. And the mole/gopher had a field day in their little "raised bed" So not ideal.

But always a nice fat rose on both of them.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 12:51PM
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nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

Since I'm from Nebraska too, I thought I'd chime in about hardiness and disease resistance and such from our area. In general, I agree with sc_gardener that Austins don't have many hardiness issues in our area once established. You do have to be careful to prune out all the cankered branches after a real winter (canes that have dark tan centers when pruned), but they always come back rapidly from pruning regardless. Some are totally tip hardy, like Teasing Georgia or The Mayflower in our area.

I have about 50 Austins, and my favorites in terms of frequent & quality blooms would be Scepter'd Isle, Carding Mill, and Queen of Sweden. Scepter'd Isle is cheating a bit, though, since it's planted by the water spigot in prime sun and gets twice the water of my other Austins, which has really mattered in these drought years. All three of those happen to grow tall and narrow in our zone 5 NE (at least 6' high and no more than 3' wide) particularly Queen of Sweden. I'd say my Austins blackspot less than a majority of roses in my yard - the notable offenders are on the purple side of colors (William Shakespeare 2000, The Dark Lady, Tradescant) or big honkin' once bloomers for me like The Generous Gardener (obvious my experience differs from others).

I also have both the Austins you originally asked about and either should do fine in Nebraska. Abraham Darby also gets above 6' high and wider than the others I mentioned - its blooms tend to hang down but it can be nicely bushy in a good spot. Eglantyne has survived from a teensy band in a non-ideal spot, so she's clearly a survivor, but I haven't seen enough blooms to rate her for more than that.

Basically you already have some good choices as long as you have the room, and if you're tight on space we can advise you on Austins that stay more compact.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 6:55PM
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Terry Crawford

Out of all of my gang....'Pretty Jessica'.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 7:03PM
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Abraham Darby is prone to rust in my zone, and I have to spray it. When it is healthy it has gorgeous blooms, but they tend to nod. Evelyn is perfectly healthy and HUGE - 6'w x 8/9'h. I grow it as a climber. I agree - buying Austin roses is addictive!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 10:37PM
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Abe Darby is pretty on a trellis if you want to save space. Just keep tying it on. If I had but one space, I would put up a trellis and plant Abe Darby and Jude the Obscure side by side and let them intermingle.

My favorite rose for the color+shape is Kathryn Morely but it's not my favorite fragrance so Abe wins the contest as the 'only one'.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 7:31PM
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cjrosaphile(z8 Pacific NW)

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned my fav, Crown Princess Margareta. .I can see that Evelyn is stunning, but I've heard that she doesn't bloom much. I also have Mary Rose, what a beautiful shrub and she is covered and blooms for weeks. I love her shape. Then, there is Sharifa Asma, beautiful -- Tamara, doesn't bloom that much with unusual fragrance. New for this year is Jubilee Celebration and Christopher Marlowe.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 8:44PM
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I would love to hear what DA you decided to purchase! I planted Evelyn and Golden Celebration this year and so far are growing beautifully. I love love love the fragrance of Evelyn.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 9:37PM
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charleney(8a PNW)

I have mostly Austins now! Not all of them by any means. I an a tightwad gardener. But I really want quality for the price. I just bought 7 ownroots from Chamblees
and they are full and healthy. Abe blackspots a bit for me, but I use Bayer Disease Control, and cleans it right up. So there is not much I have to do . The prices are usually 25-30$ apiece in the nurseries around here, but Chamblees was very reasonable and the shipping was also well priced & they arrived beautiful, and nothing was destroyed. I would have to go out in my garden and list them all. I don't remember the list as puppy tore out the stakes. The new ones are well-labeled though. I am surely happy with all of the Austins that I have. Mostly, I only buy the smelly ones.
Good Luck and horse manure should be in your future.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 12:42AM
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I would pick Geoff Hamilton. Gorgeous color, shape and fragrance.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2014 at 6:46AM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

I shovel-pruned my Abraham Darby. Couldn't stand the floppy canes - tried cutting back hard, cutting back lightly - didn't matter.

I love my Queen of Sweden and Evelyn!!! Evelyn is new this year, and I love how the canes and flowers stay upright. The fragrance is intense lemony (to me) and I love the petals!!! Wow!!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 1:26AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Can't make up my mind whether my one solitary Austin would be Molineux or Munstead Woods.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 10:10AM
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Kate---Keep them both. You'll be happy with both.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 11:39AM
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