At Chelsea this year, David Austin Roses again launched a batch of new varieties. They had five this year, all with the familiar David Austin combination of an old-fashioned look but with the modern attributes of a long flowering season, disease resistance and compact growth.
Boscobel (Auscousin), named for the seventeenth century Shropshire house, features red buds which open to form a rich salmon pink cup opening further to form a traditional rosette; sparks of orange-yellow enliven the colouring and the fragrance is dominated by myrrh. Boscobel is very compact, reaching just 3ft/90cm in height.
Just a few inches taller, and slightly spreading in habit, Heathcliff (Ausnipper) features large, tea scented, deeply cupped, fully double rosette flowers in that sultry shade of deep crimson which everyone associates with old roses. This is an especially healthy variety, with dark green foliage.
With very few thorns, the flowers of Royal Jubilee (Ausparade) are rich pink, rounded in shape and with a deep fruity scent. The inwardly curved petals are reminiscent of a peony. It’s vigorous, repeat-flowering of course, and at 5ft/1.5m a little taller than most of this year’s other newcomers.
Another taller variety, The Lark Ascending (Ausursula) reaches 5ft/1.5m and is unusually vigorous and healthy. The petals of the semi-double apricot flowers are slightly frilled and create an attractive feathery look. The fragrance is light, but with up to fifteen flowers in each head the effect is impressive. Named after Ralph Vaughan Williams’ classical piece, recently voted Britain’s favourite by listeners to Desert Island Discs.
Finally, Tranquillity (Ausnoble), another almost thornless variety and with the classic old rose look. From creamy buds large, beautifully formed, rosette shaped blooms open in pure white with a creamy centre. Healthy and vigorous, upright with glossy leaves, and reaching just 4ft/1.2m, the flowers are lightly apple scented.
Find out more about all these roses, and order them for autumn delivery.