The Sweet Scent of Roses

Roses sum up everything that is great about summer, particularly for gardeners. From their beautiful flowers, delicate petals to their heavenly scent, roses are one of the most iconic summer flowers out there. 

Customers go crazy for roses and get all excited about them at CountryLife as soon as they start to blossom. In recent years I’ve noticed how much David Austin Roses have grown in popularity, particularly among gardeners who come in looking for new additions for their gardens.

David Austin Roses are known for their old fashioned flowers but modern growing habits. The roses offer fantastic flowers that have been developed using modern breeding techniques. They are much more reliable than older roses and are often blackspot and greenfly resistant. This makes them much easier to care for. 

I bought my very first David Austin Rose when I got my first ever pay cheque. The rose was called Sweet Juliet and it has light apricot coloured flowers which caught my eye. The shrub rose is still doing brilliantly back in my mother’s garden years on. In all that time it hasn’t had to be sprayed once for blackspot. 

Sweet Juliet David Austin roses

White roses are a big hit with many gardeners at the moment. ‘Winchester Cathedral’ is proving extremely popular. This rose has white flowers with just the smallest hit of pink as the flower just start to open. It is proving such a hit with customers because of its great scent. Some say it smells like a mixture of honey and almonds.

Winchester Cathedral David Austin

‘Golden Celebration’ has always been a very popular rose from David Austin. It produces large golden yellow blooms which have great impact in a garden. The plant produces a large amount of flowers. Sometimes these can be so heavy that the branches can bend. I think it is best to provide this rose with some support if you decide to plant it in an exposed site. 

Golden Celebration David Austin
Golden Celebration is a very popular rose

Of all of the roses from David Austin ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ has to be one of my all-time favourites. Gertrude Jekyll is a beautiful, old fashioned pink rose with magnificent full flowers. The rose is also favoured for its strong fragrance which seems to linger in the air for the entire summer. 

Not only does Gertrude Jekyll come in shrub form but you can also get great climbing varieties too. The climbing variety is just as great as the shrub form and produces a sea of dusky pink flowers. Another great climbing rose from David Austin is the award winning ‘Graham Thomas’. This rose produces cupped blooms which are a rich shade of primrose yellow. 

‘The Generous Gardener’ is another climbing rose from David Austin that comes highly recommended. It was first mentioned to me by an avid gardener in England who couldn’t praise its flowers enough. The pale pink flowers it produces are definitely a highlight of the plant. So too is the fact that it can grow up to 10 feet which makes it great for covering a large amount of space in beautiful flowers

Starting your roses off right

When planting new roses it is best to dig the planting hole that is twice the size of the plant’s root ball. I like to work some well-rotted manure into the planting hole to give the rose a good start. If you don’t have access to farmyard manure you can also buy it by the bag, the bagged manure s sterilized which kills off any weeds.

Use rose fertilizer when planting roses or as a top dressing for established roses. 

It is important to keep your roses watered while they are establishing. I also like to apply mulch around my roses. This helps to keep the area weed-free and avoids any competition for the rose.

For pest control use a product like Rose Clear Ultra, a combination insecticide and fungicide if you encounter problems like greenfly, mildew or blackspot.