Saturday, May 9, 2015

albuquerque rose garden, part 2

 Even the David Austin roses looked good today. That's a pretty sad comment, considering that these are the ones that I most want to grow. Considering that after this spring flush, it will look more like the photo below for the rest of the year (taken last fall when 'The Squire' was blooming):

Fall 2014

 Here it is, today, though.
Why is it that I always like the ones that are the hardest to grow?

 'William Shakespeare' (the old one). Still my favorite flower form.

'William Shakespeare 2000' (the new one). Oh how I love these flowers. And their scent. How I hate the mildew and intolerance to heat. I can see why David Austin named them the same. Their flowers look almost identical, but the parentage is very different. Although the colors in the photographs look different, in real life they are about the same.

 'English Garden' is one of the first Austin roses that I ever saw. I didn't like it much then. I still don't.

 No surprise, I guess. It's yellow.

 Then again, there's this one (which was unlabelled) and I do like it.

 'Claire Rose' has stiff flowers that feel like they are made of cardboard. When at this stage they are quite beautiful. Too bad that they don't have much of a fragrance. Or that it hangs on to dead heads.

 Surprising that it can look this beautiful, and yet look so bad after the flush fades.

Looking quite similar in a photograph is 'Wisely 2008'. I didn't know there was a 'Wisely'. Looking them up, I can't understand why they are named the same. The original is a dark pink.

 Nice shrub, nice fragrance, nice cupped flower form. I don't remember this one repeating later in the year, though.

 Similar looking is 'The Shepherdess', which is a little more peachy...

...and 'Scarborough Fair' whose flowers hang a bit, and smell different...

...and 'Queen of Sweden' ...

...whose branches are stiffly upright. Again, the flowers may all look very similar, but there are other qualities that distinguish them - not the information you get in a catalog.

 'Carding Mill' didn't have its signature color variability on display today, nor the Juicy Fruit Gum fragrance.

 'The Reeve' looks quite similar.

 Here, it looks a lot like 'Abraham Darby'.

 But in real life 'The Reeve' is more pink and 'Carding Mill' is orange. The fragrance is very different. 'Carding Mill' holds the flowers upright. 'The Reeve' lets them hang.

 At perfection, 'Graham Thomas' does have lovely flowers, (gasp, for a yellow).

Too bad about the faded flowers.

I've had a fondness for 'The Squire' even though it is supposed to be rather weak, and prone to mildew. Well, it is prone to mildew even in this dry windy climate. But the flowers are so wondrous.

 And it does rebloom when almost none of the other Austins in the same planting bed do.

 How can I resist? ('Windrush' to the left and 'The Reeve' to the right, with one dark 'Prospero' between).

 Although 'Windrush' doesn't have very full flowers, they are indeed very charming. I haven't seen the plant rebloom after the first spring flush however.

 The flowers of 'Lichfield Angel' in the catalogs and in the garden center are about the loveliest white roses I have ever seen.

Too bad in the garden it's not very impressive. Maybe as it gets bigger. Also has no fragrance.

 I don't know why 'Belle Story' doesn't get more press. I find its beauty to be a bit of a shock to the heart. In a good way. Nice fragrance. I've never seen it with disease.

Not yet at its full flush. Yeah, it's kind of lanky at the bottom. Yeah, the flowers aren't fully double.

But seriously?

 'Bow Bells' is another "discontinued" rose that happens to do well here.

 Flowers stay cupped, but not too much (see Jude below).

 I couldn't understand the hype around 'Evelyn' at first. She is described as a fussy diva. Why would i want that?

But the flowers are unquestioningly lovely.  And the scent, while not your typical rose scent, is that of fresh ripe peaches that makes me want to sample again and again.

 I hope my new plants will put out flushes like this.

Even more so, is the fragrance of 'Jude the Obscure'. The fragrance is so mouthwateringly rich and sweet and fruity, that I longed to plant one of my own. But the flowers in the Albuquerque Rose Garden never open more than this.

I think it looks like a bobwhite quail for some reason.

From left to right: 'Evelyn', 'William Shakespeare 2000', 'Othello', 'The Shepherdess' with 'Queen of Sweden' the tall one behind.


  1. Queen of Sweden gets my vote.

    Is it the summer that does in David Austin roses? They seem worth it for part of the year...

    1. Ah summer. Totally does in the DA roses. Some will bloom again when the weather cools in the fall, but most of the summer they look unhappy. On the other hand, some are said to bloom all summer even through the heat in PHOENIX. What gives? Maybe the library conditions aren't right for them.

    2. I'm curious: why Queen of Sweden?