A truly remarkable rose named after the famous English florist, flower decorator, designer and gardener; Constance Spry. If you are interested in reading more about her, click on the name and read about her life and her books about flowers, flower arranging, flower decorations and gardening. It is not difficult to see why she in the Wikipedia Article about her is called the "the Martha Stewart of mid-century Britain".
The rose Constance Spry is remarkable since it was the first rose introduced by Shropshire farmer David Austin in 1961. David Austins roses have since become some of the worlds most popular and loved roses. The parentage of this rose was the Gallica rose Belle Isis x Dainty Maid (A Floribunda rose). The Seedlings from a once flowering rose will only be once - or summer-flowering too. The true popularity of Austin Roses is however caused by their ability to repeat flower, and still produce flowers looking like once flowering Old Garden Roses with their great scent too.
Constance Spry's flowers are soft pink and huge! Cup - or bowl shaped, formed by the petals curving inwards, in concentric circles, sometimes showing yellow stamens. Like other once or summer flowering roses it blooms overwhelmingly for about 4 weeks. After it has flowered the laterals are pruned a bit and secured. It is important to train the laterals and secure them as they grow the rest of the year, since the flowers next year, will be produced from these older canes. A late large flowered clematis or a late flowering Viticella clematis is the perfect companion for a summer flowering rose like constance Spry. I grow mine with Clematis Viticella 'Polish Spirit'. If you look carefully you can see the clematis climbing the rose, and it will bloom after the rose, from late July until mid October here.
The rose is also remarkable because of the strong sweet myrrh scent, perhaps caused by the Ayrshire rose ancestry of the Gallica Rose Belle Isis? I think it has the finest, sweetest myrrh fragrances in the world. Some say that myrrh scent in roses smell like Wrigley bubble gum, candy floss or medicinal creams. Not all like these myrrh scented roses, Constance Spry has enough "old rose fragrance" to balance the myrrh note. Other Myrrh scented Austin Roses are: Glamis Castle, Fair Bianca, St. Swithun, Scepter'D Isle and St. Cecilia. Even the Leaves and especially the reddish soft bristle-like thorns on Constance spry has a very spicy fragrance - like balsam fir resin.
Most grow Constance Spry as a climber. It is very easy to train the flexible long canes, and the more they are twisted horizontally around a support, the more flowers will be produced next year, since it flowers on "Old Wood". Another fine quality Constance Spry has, is winter hardiness. Not many climbers are as winter hardy as Constance Spry. Nova Scotia Agriculture College evaluated 58 English Roses to assess their hardiness and disease-resistance. Constance Spry was found to be winter hardy. In September 1998, the Montreal Botanical Garden -Le Jardin Botanique de Montreal carried out a survey of its roses' resistance to black spot, powdery mildew and rust. Constance Spry was one of the outstanding varieties which showed a 0% to 5% infection rate. The data was taken on well-established roses. That being said, some of it´s leaves does get some very characteristic brown spots, I have not seen on other roses.