David Austin produces the most exquisite roses, and this spring is no exception. The company that brought us classics like the apricot 'Abraham Darby' and the deeply crimson, fruit-scented 'Munstead Wood', is offering five new spectacular roses. Time will tell how healthy they are in our climate, but there's no doubt about how tempting they are...like the pale, blowsy, apple-scented 'Temptation', left.
English roses are shrubby, most are great for cutting (you only need a few roses with foliage to make a sumptuous bouquet), their leaves are usually healthy, and most are richly, sweetly fragrant. The reason English roses have proven so popular is that they combine the romantic forms of old roses (cup-shaped or deeply ruffled), the colors are scumptious, and most re-bloom like modern roses.
'Royal Jubilee' is a rich pink, seriously ruffled brand new rose, introduced in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee. It's near-thornless, the flowers smell strongly of blackcurrant, and it repeat flowers through the summer. A flower worthy of a queen - and our gardens.
'Heathcliff' is a quintessential rose, deeply crimson, with a strong tea rose scent, and a name as romantic as its looks. Named after the character in Wuthering Heights, this soft rose with shiny, deep green leaves, tops out at 3 feet high and wide.
Check out the excellent, thoughtfully chosen rose list from Christianson's Nursery; a little later in the season you can be sure that most nurseries will be carrying all five of these new beauties.