Anyone have these Austin roses?

gardener-in-wi(5 SEWi)March 11, 2013

I am new to this forum, and actually somewhat new to rose gardening. I've had a few rose bushes in the past, sadly, only one is still with us now. I am pining over a few varieties of DA roses. Planning on buying 1, maybe 2, or 3 of them . . . I'm having a hard time narrowing it down to 1. I am considering;
A Shropshire Lad (climber)
Brother Cadfael
Sweet Juliet
William Morris
Wollerton Old Hall
Gentle Hermione
Any info on disease resistance, repeat blooming and overwintering would be appreciated. I'm also wondering how they are as cut flowers. Considering ordering through Heirloomroses or Davidaustinroses. Suggestions on where to purchase would be helpful as well.


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I'll be watching to see whether you get directed to sources for the roses you named...i haven't seen more than one or two offered.
I believe that Knockouts have driven better roses out of the market...and then hosted RRD to kill a lot of others. But i hope to be proved wrong.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 9:23AM
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Terri - I am in the Milwaukee area. I have Gentle Hermione, but only planted her last year so can't tell you much about her yet. I also have Queen of Sweden, Princess Alexandra of Kent, Wise Portia, and Pretty Jessica with Munstead Woods on order for this spring. The most mature ones of the group are Princess Alexandra of Kent and Queen of Sweden and they are great in my part of Wisconsin. Queen of Sweden has terrific BS resistance for me. Brother Cadfael is on my short list for next year.

My Gentle Hermione is own-root from David Austin. I've also ordered a number from Heirloom. Where in Wisconsin are you located? I ran into a nursery last year in the Delafield - Hartland area that carried a lot of Austins in the gallon size if you are anywhere in the neighborhood this spring.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 9:41AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I don't grow any of the ones you listed, but they all look gorgeous!

A word on ordering. Since you are new, perhaps you are not aware that Heirloom only sells very small little tiny plants--you have to nurse them along, usually in a pot, for a year. Then they are ready (hopefully) to go into the ground and become a garden plant.

The roses from David Austin are usually big bareroots grafted on Dr. Huey (as are most grafted plants in the U.S.). They need to be planted early in the season--like in the next week or two, perhaps.

You might check online for Roses Unlimited or Chamblees--they are two of my favorite places. They carry Austins, but I'm not sure they carry the most recent ones like Gentle Hermione. Their roses are own root and growing in a pot and ready to go right into the ground after all danger of freezes has passed by--that is the month of May for me. Of course, they can be a bit expensive since that extra soil in a pot weighs more and therefore costs more.

I order from the last three all the time--they are all good--but I don't have the patience to wait an extra year for a dinky Heirloom starter to gain enough maturity. Otherwise, Heirloom is also excellent.

You might have to check a number of places this late in the season--late for ordering, that is. Many of us put in our orders last fall or by New Year's at the latest. You could also phone a number of garden centers in your area and ask if they have Austins and in particular the ones you are interested in--but they may not carry Austins, or only a few of the older Austins--unless you have a really terrific garden center there (we don't in my region, unfortunately).

Hope that helps. Good luck with your Austins--you will love them.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 11:06AM
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I grow Brother Cadfael and Sweet Juliet, and they are wonderful. Brother Cadfael has a delicious Old Rose fragrance. Sweet Juliet has a fragrance of Tea Rose and fruit.

Sweet Juliet repeats well; I think a faster repeat than Brother Cadfael.

I don't winter protect my Austins, they are hardy here.

They get blackspot and drop their leaves, however this does not diminish vigor or hardiness. Sweet Juliet holds onto its leaves a little better than some of the other Austins.

I used to grow Gentle Hermione, but did not keep it as the fragrance was unpleasant to my nose....

I like David Austin Roses for large grafted plants. (I have an order arriving from them this April, I'm a repeat customer...)

Sweet Juliet

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 11:43AM
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ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

Gorgeous picture, Krista. I'm not sure that I've seen a picture of this rose here before. What a lovely and romantic-looking rose.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 12:06PM
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gardener-in-wi(5 SEWi)

Thanks so much for all of your quick replies!

Zaphod, I am in the New Berlin area. Delafield is just down the road. I'd love to visit the nursery you mentioned. What is it's name? I might even give them a call to see if they have any of these varieties.

Kate thanks for the info on Heirloom. I am not that patient, so I think I will try to order from somewhere that provides larger plants. The price was right, but I guess you get what you pay for. I'll check out Roses Unlimited and Chamblees. I didn't realize that many roses were grafted and not grown from there own root. I'll have to do some reading on that.

Krista, your Sweet Juliet is beautiful! That seems to be a popular variety, it is sold out at both David Austen and Heirloom.

You have given me much to think about! I'll let you know once I place an order and hopefully can post pics this summer.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 12:30PM
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Terri - Their name is Garden Gate Nursery at N48 W30756 Hill Street in Hartland, WI 53029. I don't remember which ones they had, but was impressed that they carried such a variety of Austins last year. Also, I've bought quite a few plants from Heirloom and I put them right into the ground - one of which was Queen of Sweden. I haven't lost one yet that I've done it to. (Probably just jinxed myself there by saying it.) It does add about a year, though they catch up. David Austin offers some of their roses in own root as well and those are big bare roots. We won't start planting our bare roots here until the middle of April-ish.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 12:42PM
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caldonbeck(UK (8))

If you can get Wollerton Old hall, you should, I don't think I've ever seen a blemish on it, it is extremely healthy, scent is very strong myrrh - love it or hate it. I grow a couple of the others on your list, but it is too early to say how they will do for me. Sweet juliet sold out here in the UK as bare root also, don't think it's down to popularity so much as them only producing a few each year.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 12:53PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

I've grown Brother Cadfael since the year he was first offered for sale, and had wonderful results at two different locations. He gets extremely large and has large gorgeous blooms with one of the best bloom scents of the Austins (in my opinion, of course). One of the nicest things about Bro is that in spring all his canes are the most beautiful wine color and with very few thorns all season. Right now, he is just one big solid, gorgeous deep wine hunk of rose. His rebloom is good compared to other Austins (I grow both newer and older varieties. I probably shouldn't post another of my Bro photos, since I've already done it several times, but here goes just one more. Diane

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 2:06PM
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Diane -- you grow the most the spectacular roses! Do post as many pictures as you can as they are such treat.

Terri - search for DianeâÂÂs past posts, and you should see a few shots of Dianeâ full bush Bros. DianeâÂÂs garden is rose heaven.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 2:20PM
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gardener-in-wi(5 SEWi)

Diane - your photo just sold me on Brother Cadfael, that rose is stunning! I checked one of your previous posts and saw the picture of the actual bush. It's huge, not sure if it will fit the space I have in mind. This will be planted in a garden along my fenceline. If I bought the climbing version I'm assuming it would be narrower?

Caldonbeck, I'm considering Wollerton Old Hall as well due to your recommendation on disease resistance. I just need to figure out if I have enough space for both! It seems as though roses can be addicting, it's hard to buy just one!

Zaphod, I checked out the website for Golden Gate Nursery. They are open Tues-Sat. I'll be giving them a call tomorrow to see which DA roses they will have in stock.

I can't wait for this snow to melt so I can start gardening!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 3:34PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

Thank you both for the nice comments--wow. You made my day. You know, I don't think the so called climbing version of Bro Cadfael is any different than the bush form. At least that is what I heard on this forum. Snow be gone for all of you. (I'd like a little rain before the dry season starts here. Diane

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 6:25PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

The only one I have on your list is 'William Morris', a short climber for me. The canes are only about 6-7' but so lax I attached them to the fence. Beautiful flower similar to 'Abraham Darby' but without Abe's delicious fragrance, without much fragrance at all, and not as productive as Abe. On the good side much more disease resistant than Abe.

A keeper, but to me not a must-have.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 2:59AM
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alameda/zone 8

I live near Tyler so go to Chamblees and pick up my David Austins from their warehouse there. I just added Abe Darby and Ambridge Rose to my DA order and picked them up March 1. They told me they were basically finished with 2013 orders, but they might ship - if you plan to order from them, I would call now. Their plants are huge and very healthy. Chamblees has own root Austins for $12 in one gallon - forgot the price on the larger ones as I never buy those. They are very healthy roses and I highly recommend Chamblees. They have a very nice selection tho not any of the ones you mentioned. If you cant buy locally - I would call David Austin and order from them to get the ones you want.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 1:26PM
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gardener-in-wi(5 SEWi)

Thanks Hoovb for your comments on William Morris, it sure is a beautiful rose, but fragrance and repeat blooming are important to me, so I think I will heed your advice.

Alameda, I checked out Chamblee's web site. Many of their roses are sold out now. I will have to keep them in mind next year if I decide to order more. Researching my rose choices has been so much fun. I'm sure I will want to start a collection. One or two won't be enough.

I think I decided on Brother Cadfael and Wollerton Old Hall. I was originaly worried about the size, but I am going to try to grow them as climbers on my fence and see what happens! I'm hoping they are both still available at David Austin.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 10:33PM
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predfern(z5 Chicago)

A Shropshire Lad did not make it through the first winter. Brother Cadfael is the ball king. Gentle Hermione smells bad. Abraham Darby doesn't bloom very much. I would recommend Evelyn, Sharifa Asma, Gertrude Jekyll, Charlotte, Crown Princess Margareta, Mary Rose, and Tradescant

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 12:31AM
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poorbutroserich(Nashville 7a)

I love my Sharifa Asma, Glamis Castle, Jude the Obscure and Eglantyne. They do well here no spray but as for hardiness, I'm much warmer. I chose these based on scent.
They seem to blow really quickly though in the heat and don't do well for cutting.
I know there are other Austins that do.
I ordered two Cymbaline in little bands. I'm looking forward to watching them grow.
If you don't have the Austin catalog, request it. There are rose recs for climates, placement, uses, etc. It is great eye candy and full of great inspiration.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 6:28PM
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