David Austin Roses for California

wanttogarden(USDA 9b, Sunset 15, N. Calif.)March 15, 2012

I found this blog, thought it might be interesting to many of you.


This is the list of DA's I grow in my yard.

Abraham Darby: SPed, too much rust, too weak.

Crown Princess Margarita: Too large and few rebloom. Already Gone. Might have improved with age, too late.

Eglantyne: Too large and few re-bloom. Wonderful smell and beautiful spring flush. Diseased foliage. It is gone too.

Glamis Castle: I have two of them. I moved them into pots. I am considering them Sped.

Falstaff: Beautiful flowers when and if it blooms. Too tall and lanky. I am attempting to under plant it with RdR.

Golden Celebration: After 5 years, this own root is taking off. Glad that I did not Sped it. Big flowers, smell good, repeat could be better.

Christopher Marlow: I have 4 of them. They grow on 5' tall obelisks. Always in bloom and so cheerful. Smell great.

Jubilee Celebration: I have 4 of them in different spots. The one in full sun does the best. Mannerly and compact. Repeat is very good. I think it is a better version of AD with minor color variation; less yellow, more cooler pink.

DAs planted this year:

Prospero: I planted two of them per Jeri's recommendation.

WS2K: It is grafted from DA. It is virused.

DAs in Transit:


Carding Mill: Own root

Princess Alexandra of Kent: Own root

Lady Emma Hamilton

Munstead Wood: Own root


Here is a link that might be useful: DA's suited for California

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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

My 'Glamis Castle' does best if not pruned (just the very tips, and any dead wood). 'Prospero' is the same way.

'Tamora' is great here, 'Lady Emma Hamilton' pretty good. 'Molineux' is very, very good, a real bloom machine. 'Lichfield Angel' is stingy, so far.

But California is a big state, and Sunset 15 is quite different than 23.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 10:50PM
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We live in SouthTorrance Calif near coastal area, all my DA roses blooms repeatedly, They are great, I always have a good compliment from friends and family. Most of my DA roses are healthy.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 6:02PM
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The OSH ad today had bare root roses starting at $16.95 and David Austin starting a $19.95.

I didn't have much luck with the David Austin roses I planted 25 years ago. I have room for one more rose in my small garden. I'll see if they have an Elizabeth Taylor.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 6:32PM
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ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

In my hot, dry climate my best Austins are (or were) Carding Mill, Sophy's Rose, Bishop's Castle and Potter and Moore. Pretty Jessica and Chaucer are still to young to evaluate. I truly dislike the viciously thorny and bad-smelling (to some of us, anyway) Glamis Castle. Sister Elizabeth is lovely but didn't prosper in full sun or morning sun only. Charles Darwin was a failure for me, unfortunately. Young Lycidas was bare-root and should have done well after a year in the ground but so far is disappointing. We shall see. Even after looking at the 2014 catalog that I received yesterday there isn't a single rose that really interested me. The hype and the reality at least in my garden are too far apart except for the few keepers I mentioned.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 7:01PM
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If you can still find them, both English Garden and Symphony did well for me in the Central Valley. Both had growth habits very like HTs, strong canes growing straight up, and both stayed at about 3-4' tall. The flowers on both are quite beautiful, flat and double. English Garden has lovely color shadings. Neither had the fading tendencies which have ruined (for me) some of the later English roses. Heirloom still sells Symphony; I don't know if EG is still in commerce; it is both beautiful and mannerly and did not deserve to be neglected.

The Nun does fade--to a beautiful soft white color. The growth habit is very like La Reine Victoria, kind of lanky, so you need some underplanting, but it did not for me mildew the way LRV did. Glamis Castle was nothing but mildew. Yuck.

Radio Times is one of the most beautiful of DA's offerings, and it blooms almost as readily as a china, even in the heat. Unfortunately it is not no spray. I found I had to cut back the mildewed parts 2 or 3 times a summer; For no other rose was I willing to go to such lengths.

For me, in CA, Pilgrim did not bloom at all. Lilac Rose has clusters of flowers which are too close together. Sceptered Isle had the weirdest growth habit I have ever seen in a rose. It needs LOTS of space. Mayor of Castorbridge didn't like the heat. Graham Thomas was a special case. If you want GT, you must irrigate throughout the winter. In spring, after a wet winter, GT in full bloom, in all his 8-10' glory is a sight you will not soon forget. Don't expect flowers in summer heat, but the bush itself in CA is not plagued with BS, and did not mildew for me and was not by itself an unattractive part of the garden.

The Prince seems to be excellent just about anywhere. Gorgeous flowers and another mannerly growth habit. I confess a certain fondness for both Othello and Falstaff, ungainly, thorny bushes and all. I think the bushes have character!! And, the flowers of both are to die for, as also my favorite of all Austins ,Evelyn, which has fantastic fragrance, utterly beautiful color shading at every stage of the bloom, and fairly rapid repeat, and needs no more water than most HTs.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 8:34PM
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Charlotte and Bow Bells have done very well for me. Charles Rennie Macintosh has also been lovely. I have an eglantyne that is gettning one more year to do something with herself. I am trying CPM because I need a high-impact rose in a key spot.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 11:33AM
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organicgardendreams(z 10)

'Pretty Jessica' is doing very well in my garden even though it is planted in a fairly difficult spot (palm root competition and too much shade). Mannerly size, lovely globular, wonderfully fragrant blooms.

'The Prince' is getting a little bit of powdery mildew here from time to time, but it is forgiven because of its absolutely gorgeous, velvety, dark crimson, very fragrant blooms. One of the smaller Austins.

My absolute favorite though is 'Charles Darwin'. I grow two in big containers and they are incredible floriferous. I love the always changing yellow color of the blooms (from mustard yellow, to a very pale one, to a yellow with a slightly apricot touch and anything in between). My bushes are completely healthy. They show signs that they might have outgrown their containers. My guess is once in the ground, they will become really big roses.

'Heritage', only in the ground for one year, but I am not too impressed so far. The color of the rose is mostly a pale apricot-pink here (not the cool light, pale pink, that I had hoped for), which I don't like so much. The blooms shatter very fast and the bush gets some powdery mildew.

'Mary Rose', one of the earliest roses to bloom in my garden. I love the bloom form. My rose is growing in a big container and gets some mildew from time to time.

All my roses are grown own-roots.

Good idea for a threat. I love to compare notes on how the Austins are doing in CA!


    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 9:59PM
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jo_pyeweed(z9 SF Bay Area)

I am right by the bay and we have cool summers (temperatures rarely get into the 70s). My garden is no-spray. Powdery mildew is a menace here and anthracnose and cercospora trouble the roses that are prone to "spotting".

Belle Story - grafted. 10+ years. Spring and fall flushes with smattering of blooms in between. Good health but is prone to cercospora spots in summer. It has earned its place in my small suburban garden because of its enchanting and breath-taking blooms. Great fragrance, as well.

Molineux - I have 2. Own root (4th year) and grafted (10+ years). Always in bloom. Good health. My workhorses. Can be pruned to stay 4-5 feet.

Geoff Hamilton - own root; 5th year. Gorgeous blooms but a once-bloomer in my garden. I have seen it grown grafted in a warmer summer area where it has 3 big flushes.

Crown Princess Margareta - own root in its 4th year. Good spring flush and then all she wants to do is throw out long thin thorny (she has drawn blood) canes; I have almost no rebloom from her. I am tired of constantly hacking her back in attempts to control her exuberant growth. A few miles inland, a CPM, grafed and grown as a shrub, is almost constantly in bloom. CPM will be gone from my garden after this spring.

Mary Rose - own root; 4th year. So far, she is staying small. Great fragrance, good rebloom and healthy plant. A favorite.

Abraham Darby - own root, 4th year. I am trying to grow it as a small climber. It is generous of bloom and has decent health. The blooms leave something to be desired (mine don't always look like the pics on HMF) and I would replace it with a better rose but for its fragrance...

Young Lycidas - grafted, 4th year. Good repeat and blooms are very fragrant. Color is lovely - magenta-purple with a silvery sheen. Foliage is, well, weird. Crinkley and appears diseased but is not. Needs staking as the canes are pencil-thin and can't hold the heavy blooms.

Strawberry Hill - grafted; 3rd year. Gorgeous, fragrant blooms in shades of pink, peach and lilac depending on the weather. Generous of bloom. Prone to mildew and rust in my garden. (I hadn't seen rust in my garden before). Nasty, wicked thorns that snag. I grow it as a small climber and I am hoping it becomes more disease resistant with age as its foliage when not mildewed or looking like cheetos is absolutely lovely.

The Wedgwood Rose - Grafted; 3rd year. This rose has me baffled. I get 4 flushes but each flush has only 3-4 blooms. The size of blooms have ranged from the size of a quarter to 4 inches. Completely disease-free....of course.

The following were added to my garden in March last year, so too early for me to cast judgement but I am adding my observations on health and bloom. All are grafted.

Princess Anne - lovely shade of magenta-pink. Much admired by visitors. I can't detect a fragrance but most others say it is strong and very pleasant. Good-looking shrub. Canes are covered in thorns but they are not vicious. Stopped blooming after October.

Wollerton Old Hall - lovely blooms. Great fragrance. Bloomed well into December. Is my favorite of the new four.

Lady Emma Hamilton - would grow it for the fragrance alone. Plant appears to be healthy and repeat seems to be very good. I think you will enjoy having her, FJ.

Princess Alexandra of Kent - big blooms with a color range of pink and coral. Fragrance is iffy but, when there, it is pleasant. Has been constantly in bloom and is blooming now. Unfortunately, prone to powdery mildew. It's in an east facing bed and I will be moving it to a south-facing one to see if I can keep the PM in check. Also, the blooms have a tendency to ball so I am hoping the south side will help in that regard as well. (I try not to get roses with a high petal could but I guess I wasn't paying attention when I ordered this one.) FJ - I think getting her own root is probably a good idea. Mine is already 7 feet wide.


Wollerton Old Hall

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 10:32PM
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