Normally, I would not include any of the David Austin English Roses in the category of “Easy Care” roses. In fact, a lovely photo of leaves scarred by the sawfly larva coming up next week for “Wordless Wednesday” and it is in my existing bed of David Austin Roses. It’s a problem I’ve had with them for some time. It doesn’t keep me from growing them–it just keeps me from enjoying them to the fullest at their peak bloom, so I consider that a major drawback.
I was visiting a local garden center recently and came across two new varieties, the one I show above, Darcey Bussell, and Lady Emma Hamilton. Now since David Austin comes out with new roses every year, I gave them a passing glance and went on to get what I needed.
A few days later, I came across this post on Gardenrant about some David Austin roses that Elizabeth Licata had tried last year. For her they had proved to be disease resistant and continuous bloomers–just the thing I look for in an “easy care” rose. To my surprise, they were the same roses my garden center was offering. I ran back for the Darcey Bussell (who was a British ballerina–I looked her up) because it fit the color scheme of the other “easy care” roses I was testing this year.
From the moment I put the rose in the car (even before, really, because I’ve always adored the David Austin roses) I was in love. All the way home, I could smell this rose–that’s right this rose actually has a scent! Right there, that makes it different from every other rose I’ll discuss this month.
In addition, its blooms are larger and more “rose-like” in structure. In fact, they almost look like the old-fashioned cabbage roses.
They’re still not suitable as cut flowers because they are rarely borne on single stems–like most shrub roses, they are borne in clusters. But for me, that’s okay–more roses to love.
If this rose is half as good as promised, it will be fabulous. Now if I can just keep those pesky sawflies from finding it….