Dame Judi Dench, Vanessa Bell and James L Austin
Rose expert David Austin is launching three new varieties at next week’s Chelsea Flower Show – and a trio of beauties they are, too.
They’ll be available to buy after the launch day on May 22 and to help gardeners explore the vast collection of roses, there is a new brochure broken down into handy sections, such as ‘roses for shady areas’, ‘roses for small gardens’ and ‘bee-friendly roses’.
The new Chelsea roses are:
Vanessa Bell (Auseasel): Named for the artist, designer and founder member of the Bloomsbury Group, Vanessa Bell – sister of Virginia Woolf.
Ten per cent from the sale of each rose will be donated to The Charleston Trust, Vanessa’s former home, now managed and conserved by the charity for the benefit of the public.
An English musk hybrid, with rounded, pink-tinged buds opening to reveal deep, medium-sized cups held in large, open clusters. Soft lemon-yellow, paling to white at the edges, the delicate texture of the outer petals is such that the light runs through them creating an almost luminous effect.
The inner petals frame a rich yellow eye deep in the centre of each bloom.
It is very free-flowering, blooming almost continuously throughout the summer. There is a lovely medium-strong fragrance, best described as green tea with aspects of lemon and, at times, honey.
It forms a short, bushy and upright shrub, which complements both formal and informal plantings and makes a wonderful hedge. Height, 4ft x 2½ft. Bare root £19.95, potted rose £24.95.
James L. Austin (Auspike): Named for the son of David Austin Senior and brother of David Austin Junior. Ten per cent from the sale of each rose will be donated to two charities, Parkinson’s UK and Cure Parkinson’s Trust.
An English old rose hybrid, with blooms of deepest cerise pink, with numerous petals forming perfect large rosettes, each with a central button eye. It flowers prolifically from early summer until the first frosts and the blooms withstand bad weather.
The medium-strong fragrance resembles blackcurrant, blackberry, raspberry and cherry with hints of lemon zest and almond.
Neat and tidy with a bushy, upright habit, James L. Austin looks at home in a formal rose border, a large pot, with other flowers in a cottage garden style planting or grown as a fragrant hedge. Height, 3½ft x 2ft, bare root £19.95, potted rose £24.95.
Dame Judi Dench (Ausquaker): Named after one of Britain’s most beloved stars of stage and screen, this English musk hybrid has rich apricot blooms, paling towards the edges. Beginning as striking, red-tipped buds, they gradually open to reveal large informal rosettes, each with ruffled petals and a button eye.
They are very resistant to rain damage. There is a lovely, medium-strong fragrance, which combines classic tea with a fresh note of cucumber and a hint of kiwi.
A vigorous grower, it produces strong, arching stems which, over time, form an attractive mound of blooms. The arching stems encourage many side shoots, which quickly produce a generous second crop of blooms. Height, 4ft x 4ft, bare root £19.95, potted rose £24.95.
These roses are available after their launch at the Chelsea Flower Show online at www.davidaustinroses.co.uk.