does anyone know how these DAs grow in California?
Can they handle the heat?
Will they grow crazy long canes or stay in a bush form?
Where in California will determine your answers, Suz. A friend in Torrance, down just a slight ridge over from the Pacific grows many Austins to perfection. "Hot" there is in the low nineties. I am more inland, San Fernando Valley, though on a high ridge between the Valley and the West Side. Here, "hot" is ten to fifteen degrees hotter. A friend lived eight miles east of right here where the marine influence penetrates through the Sepulveda Pass regularly. His garden was twenty degrees cooler on a daily basis due to the fog and cool ocean air. He had difficulties getting heavily petaled flowers to open due to moisture and lack of heat. Each of the three of us would give dramatically different answers to your question and they would all be correct...for our type of "heat". How many hours of direct sun, whether it's morning or afternoon sun and how close the plants are to sidewalks, house or yard walls, your driveway or patio, etc., makes all the difference in the world, too. An old customer of mine recorded a thirty degree hotter temperature one foot from a southern facing, white stucco wall of his house in full sun on a hundred-plus degree day. In the yard, it was hot, against that wall it was HOT! So, knowing what city you're in and what "hot" means where you are will determine the validity of the answers you seek. Kim
I agree with everything Kim said. Just wanted to add that when we hear complaints about Austin's roses becoming "jolly green giants," the complainer is usually either from California or one of the more southern regions of the country--most often from California, in my memory, however. Whether that means ALL Austins or just some, I have no idea, but it seems to me that it was most notably in connection with Graham Thomas, an earlier Austin that evidently took off as a climber when some people (in hotter regions) were expecting a manageable shrub.
Myself, I would not expect the smaller Austins like the ones you list to become out of control giants, though they may grow just a bit taller--because you will have a longer growing season than many of the rest of us. I seem to also remember some Californians claiming their Molineux would grow 4-5 ft tall, whereas in my region (Kansas) it stays pretty much at 3 ft which is the height Austin's catalog lists.
Until experience proves otherwise to you, I'd assume there is a chance that a number of Austins might grow somewhat taller than the catalog listings.
Let us know how it works out for you.
We am in the Sacramento valley just a few miles north of Sacramento. We are hot & dry. For the most part they will get all day sun, we dont have any spots with afternoon shade. We have molineux & it gets 5' tall (perfect bush) & would probably be taller but we deadhead that hard. We also have WS2000 & its sprawling form isnt very desirable to us although the blooms are magnificent. If Bishops castle, Munstead Wood or Young Lycidas grows like WS2000 we wouldnt want it.
If you want compact, go with Munstead Wood or Darcey Bussell
Young Lycidas wants to sprawl and would be happy at 8 feet or more across, very pretty though.
Bishops Castle is pretty happy at 5-6 feet tall and does well in the heat
I have Bishop's Castle in a climate similar to yours and keep it down to about 3 feet (it tends to sprawl otherwise) by cutting far back into the bush when I dead-head and pruning fairly severely in the winter. It does well in our dry heat.
I have an immature Young Lycidas and it hasn't shown that unruly growth that many others mention, but I plan to be equally firm with this one in terms of pruning.
If you like apricot colors, Carding Mill is a really excellent rose which blooms a lot, can really stand the heat and doesn't get that sprawling habit. Several people have bought it on my recommendation and I've had only positive feedback.
I have only one DA - Graham Thomas - and it has become a giant here in hot dry Pasadena.
This post was edited by henryinct on Fri, Aug 22, 14 at 18:25
Bishops castle -- crazy long canes: yes, but blooms like mad.
Munstead Wood -- compact so far
Young Lycidas -- oddball growth habit, but not too big after 4 years, beween waist and shoulder high. Also blooms like mad.
Good to see you, Henry. I was actually thinking of you the other day and was about to try contacting you. You've been conspicuously absent. It's nice to see you back! Kim
Hoovb or ingrid, can either of you post a pic of your Bishop's Castle & Young Lycidas? Oddball growth & crazy long canes scare me. I love the blooms on our WS2000 but the way it grows next to our other roses, its just ugly & out of place. I dont need any more like that.
So far I think we are getting Munstead Wood & (thank you for the suggestion Ingrid) Carding mill.
Personally, I don't think any Austin grows as awkwardly as WS2000 does. If it had some flexibility, its sprawl wouldn't be so bad. It is that rigid structure as it lurches left and right that gives WS2000 its bad reputation. In terms of blooms, they are gorgeous!
I really don't know any other Austin that has the structure problem WS2000 does.
BC. The ground on the other side of that wall is about 6' down. BC does get big here. (Sunset 23).
My own root MW is still a youngling.
I thought I had a good picture of YA's weird growth habit, but I don't. Imagine the canes about twice as long, but in the same position as this baby photo of YA, and you'll get the idea. Plant shape is kind of like a bad comb-over. I ended up jamming two YA's together, and together they make a (fairly) normal looking shrubby plant.
I don't think any Austin grows as awkwardly as WS2000 does.
Granted, but YA has to be a close second.
thank you for posting the pics hoovb. :-)
Young Lycidas is on its way to Jolly Green Giant status for me. Seems stingy this fall, too. Munstead Wood is a definite keeper. The one that gets the most horrifying habit for me is Lady of Megginch. Right now, it might give Graham a run for his money with triple the thorns.
I like hoovb's version of BP, especially since you get so many flowers that way. Here's mine, measuring 3 feet tall at the most, pounded (or actually clipped) into submission.
My YL is much too young and small to have developed any wayward tendencies, so a picture won't help. I plan to use the same technique that's working on BC to keep it in line.
I'm just pushing this to the top in case suzie hasn't seen the picture of my short Bishop's Castle without octopus arms.
I would love to see or hear about Amanda's Lady of Megginch.
Mine threw a cane that I cut and cut and finally decided to just what it was planning, that cane is probably 1.5" of multiple rows of thorns and 12-15 feet long
When seeing hoovb BC I was going to stay away from it but now that I see ingrids being clipped into submission & still looks lovely I think I might buy one now :-).
Thanks so much for the pictures hoovb & ingrid!
I'm glad you're going to consider BC, suz. Some roses resent being constantly clipped, and some won't put out flowers until they've grown to giant height again, but BC doesn't behave that way. It stays short and constantly puts out new buds even in the heat. Rather amazing for a rose bred in the English climate.
I planted Munstead Wood bare-root this winter. My plan is to keep it in a large pot. The spring flush was magnificent, but then it went into a long bloom-free period. Just the other day, a lovely new rose opened on the plant.The fragrance is magnificent.
I'd like to point out that Darcey Bussell, which is very similar in color (although more red, less blue) bloomed nonstop throughout June, July and most of August. I found Darcey surprisingly fragrant.
My Queen of Swedens are leggy (one is; I whacked the other), my two Alnwicks are developing a nice rounded shape and are both blooming, and my Tamoras stayed short, as they are supposed to do, and bloomed profusely from April into July. There are new buds on them now. Tamora is also very fragrant.
I've had one bloom from my two Falstaffs all year. They won't be here next summer ...
Hey Kippy. My Lady of Megginch performed the same way. Very stout basal shoots turn into arching monsters of 15 plus feet in length with one to three flowers on the end. And the thorns on these canes are outrageous. The smaller bushier part of the plant just sits there with little bloom. Makes a lopsided nightmare in the rose bed. Beyond time for shovel pruning.
Those were the types of growth Clair Martin used to "self peg" and train along stakes in the Austin bed at The Huntington. If you have the room and desire, as well as water and energy, you can frequently get flowering lateral growth from them when trained as climbers. If you don't want to or can't accommodate that style of growth, that's totally valid, but if you can and want the rose, it may be a way to keep it and make it perform for you. Kim