Heritage has always been one of the most planted Austin roses. It is a fantastic rose, with all the romantic qualities of Old Garden Roses, but with all the qualities of a modern rose too. Bred in 1984 and always said to be one of David Austins own favorites among his roses.
The flowers are cupshaped - with pale pink outer petals that fade to white and the inner petals are blush pink. The outer petals most often form a concentric ring that enclose the inner petals. Sometimes the rose shows it's stamens. They have a very pleasant strong fragrance. Old rose with clove, carnation, honey, and a little musk. Some say they also smell a citrus note.
The first flowers are huge - while later flowers are smaller, but just as delicate. I have noticed that the flowers appear more fully double in colder climates than in warmer climates. People growing this rose in warmer climates also complain that this rose blows very fast on hot sunny days, which is true. When the weather is hot and sunny the flowers only last about 2 days before it drops the petals. On the other hand, I find this a good quality since the rose does not need dead-heading.
The rose is not very hardy. After a hard winter there might only be 3-4 inches of canes left. But what the rose lacks in hardiness - it has in vigor. Late summer the rose bush is about 5-6 feet tall again. I really like my planting of 3 bare root plants of Heritage, spaced 15 inches apart. This way they form one big rose bush that is rarely without flowers from late May to early November; when the frost takes the last flowers. It truly is one of the most continuously blooming Austin Roses. The rose has an upright to arching growth habit.
In my mild Scandinavian climate the rose is about 4-5 feet tall and 3 feet wide, but in warmer areas of the USA (USDA Zone 7-8 and up) I have seen huge specimens of this rose - more like 12 feet tall and 8 feet wide. That huge rose did not become, what some call a jolly green giant; meaning the rose will grow very tall, but not produce many flowers. That rose had hundreds of roses blooming. So in warmer climates the rose has the potential to be grown as a low upright climber.
The dark glossy leaves are modern in appearance and very resistant to blackspot here, a little less to powdery mildew. Others complain that this rose has little resistance to blackspot. It seems to vary a lot depending on the disease pressure in different areas. So this rose that is very healthy here, may be very prone to getting blackspot other places.
Heritage often produces 'sports'; genetic mutations causing some flowers on some canes to look different than the original flowers. One well known sport is Rose-Marie - a white sport of Heritage. 2 years ago I discovered a creamy white sport of Heritage on one of my Heritage roses. The leaves were also paler than the normal darker leaves:
I asked David Austin Roses if they were interested in getting some of the canes - but they said that they were not interested in using Heritage and it´s sports in their hybridization programs. They emphasized that if I chose to propagate the rose for sale, that I was not allowed use the name Heritage or David Austin Rose since they were trademarks. So if you discover a sport on your Austin Roses - Do not call it xxxxxxxx - sport of yyyyyyy -Austin Rose.
Some Heritage roses may take on apricot hues in warm weather. It is natural to see roses change their colour a bit due to higher or lover temperatures. But these colour variations are not sports. One thing I like about my mild climate is that Heritage always looks gorgeous here, and has better form and colour, than I see in warmer climates. Since I grow 9 of them I can afford the luxury to cut big bouquets, if I know it is going to rain, because no roses look good in the rain.
I predict that Heritage will become a classic. Few (Austin)roses are this popular 24 years after they have been introduced. I know Heritage is many rose lovers favorite - including Tasha Tudor, who passed away recently. When I come home in October I pass a Heritage rose near my front door. I am always amazed how great these last roses smell, perhaps because I know winter will come soon and it will be 6 dreary months without roses. Sitting indoors treating my SAD condition under full spectrum lighting, wilting like a dying annual, counting the days until the roses are going to bloom again.
Having a cutting garden is a luxury! I have about 200 roses in my cutting garden and often cut large bouquets of my favorite roses. I love to have their scent fill my house. Here is a bouquet of one of my favorite Austin Roses; Heritage. They only last about 3 days in a vase, before the petals start dropping - but I enjoy every minute of them.
In my neighbourhood there are a few elderly gardeners. I have learned a lot from some of them about gardening. But many of them have health problems, that prevents them from getting all the things done in their gardens they want, when climbing ladders and carrying heavy loads, or even bending down becomes HARD. I have seen them struggle, in pain but not complaining.
Some have roses on arches that are striking features in their gardens, but they can not climb ladders to prune and train these any longer. I know how much joy my climbing roses give me, so I help them with some of the things they are unable to do, and they really appreciate the help. I do it for charity and do not accept any money for helping them, even if they offer it.
Being blessed with a strong body is a gift not to be taken for granted. Sharing that blessing to help out elderly gardener neighbours is charity - Gods love flowing through me. Charity - or Love, in this sense of an unlimited loving-kindness towards all others, is held to be the ultimate perfection of the human spirit, because it both glorifies and reflects the nature of God.
I encourage you to find an elderly gardener in your neighbourhood, that might need some help in her or his garden a few times every year. Be an example of charity and the Love of God.
During the last decade, hardy geraniums have become very popular ornamental garden plants. It is not hard to see why - they are work horse perennials and many have a very long flowering time. They are easy to care for and tolerate different soil types and amount of sunlight.
December 2003 an avid gardener and collector of hardy geraniums, Birgitte Husted Bendtsen, published a beautifully illustrated book titled 'Storkenaeb' - (title translates into cranesbills). Every nursery and plant center here in Denmark have since her book was published, provided gardeners with an ever growing collection of hardy geraniums.
In 2005 Birgitte Husted Bendtsens book was translated into english titled 'Gardening With Hardy Geraniums' and published by Timber Press. ISBN 0-88192-716-3 . You can get the book from Amazon where you can also search inside the book - My Advice: Get this precious reference book while you can!
Gardening With Hardy Geraniums is the most elaborated and authoritative work written about hardy geraniums ever. The book covers more than 70 species of geraniums and their hybrids. It tells you how to plant and care for them, and how to propagate them. Many examples and pictures inspire you how to use geraniums in gardens. One of my favorite chapters is of course - how to use geraniums as companion plants for roses. All the geraniums described are illustrated with pictures and colour plates showing the flowers and leaves, making the book a helpful tool when identifying unknown geraniums. see link
It is hard not to be smitten by Birgitte Husted Bendtsens enthusiam about hardy geraniums. I know I did and now grow more than 25 different hardy geraniums in my garden, since they are perfect companion for roses. I also make sure to use them in my clients gardens, since they are low maintainance plants, providing both interesting foliage and beautiful flowers. Some varieties are great to use as groundcover and I did a garden for a man, using only hardy geraniums as foundation plantings with spring and summerflowering bulbs. A garden that never needs weeding and extremely little care - just as he wanted it. I did try to encourage him to use other perennials too - like sages, catmints, peonies, ornamental grasses and phlox but he did not want all that garden work. Speaking of Phlox - Birgitte Husted Bendtsen has written a wonderful book about about Phlox. I sure hope it will be translated into English too.
I will go out in my garden and enjoy the warm sunny summer day. I will bring some elder flower lemonade - and my copy of Gardening with Hardy Geraniums. I never get tired of reading this great book.
Imagine a rose with dark red, almost burgundy colored petals glowing like rich exclusive velvet, and showing its yellow stamens like the sun setting an early summer evening over the sunkissed hills of Tuscany.
Tuscany: a gallica rose of unknown origin, dating back to at least 1596 is that very beautiful rose - often called 'the old Velvet Rose'. Gallicas are Old Garden Roses. Before 1753 when Karl Von Linné classified them as Gallicas, they were often called Rosa Rubra - Red roses.
Tuscany is one of the smaller more compact growing gallicas. Like other gallicas it is very winter hardy and over the years forms a nice 3-4 feet tall and 3 foot wide shrub. It takes a few years to get established, but over the years it will bloom for about 3-4 weeks at the peak of summer here or late spring in lower latitudes and warmer climates. Gallicas actually need winter chill in order to bloom well, as many with great grief in warm climates have experienced. Gallicas have a suckering habit meaning that it will send up genuine shoots - whether you have planted the rose as a own-root plant or a bare-root plant it will sucker. Over a 5-10+ year period that will make gallicas form a dense shrub - I prune my gallicas down by a third after they have flowered and remove old or dead canes. When flowering, the weight of flowers weigh down the canes and it is a good idea to stake the bush so the canes do not flop to the ground. A Sport (Random genetic mutation) of Tuscany gave a rose that was a bit more vigorous and had more double flowers and is called Tuscany Superb. I do not find it as beautiful as the original.
Rozanne is a spectacular hardy geranium. It is one of the best hardy geraniums ever - far superior to the formerly much planted Buxtons Blue. Is has a very long flowering time - here it starts blooming in the middle of may and does not stop until the first real frost days in November. It was a seedling found in the garden of Donald and Rozanne Waterer in 1990, but first introduced in 2000 by Blooms of Bressingham in England.
Another hardy geranium; Jolly Bee was introduced in 2003 in Holland/Netherlands by Hybridizer Marco van Noort - it is said to be a found seedling. Jolly Bee has become very, very popular in many gardens all over the world. No wonder since it has outstanding vigor and and produces a mass of rather large flowers for a very long time.
But many who grow Rozanne and Jolly Bee, have found it very hard to see any differences between to 2 geraniums. It has raised speculations whether Jolly Bee is an imposter and really is Rozanne. There has been some heated discussion about the issue!
Rozanne has been been chosen as the "Perennial plant of the year 2008" and Jolly Bee is a Proven Winners selection. I highly recommend both of these - they are hardy to USDA zone 5 and are wonderful companion plants for roses or in mixed borders. Both get quite big - about 1 feet tall and up to 4 feet wide. It can be trimmed if it becomes too leggy, and will keep flowering. It is actually interesting to grow both - I have 3 Jolly bees and 2 Rozanne - and I can not tell any difference. Jolly Bee may be more bushy and vigorous - but that could be a coincidence. Both are great garden plants and I love the blue flowers and the green leaves with yellow marblings. It is not hard to see why they have become so popular:
My fishing buddies claim I grow far too many "girlie" pink roses. I actually grow many roses that are not girlie pink - but since I only have very small garden areas, and I can not stand to watch colours clashing in my garden - I only grow a few yellow roses - most of them in my vegetable garden, that I turned into a cutting garden, where I grow roses and other flowers for cutting. Yes the rose obsession got a bit out of control over the years - but who says we always have to be in control and never allow ourselves to be passionate about anything?
Today I just want to show some pictures of some of my wonderful golden Roses:
The picture on top is The pilgrim. Austin Rose - here glowing in the evening sun. I am trying to make it climb, but so far it is going nowhere, but the Viticella clematis is! The Pilgrim has a sweet honey fragrance, unlike any other rose I know of - so unbelievable sweet!
Golden Celebration. Austin Rose, Best yellow rose in the world?
Lady Hillingdon Climbing: A climbing Antique tea rose - grown in a sheltered position she keeps her golden yellow colour and does not fade like she does in a sunnier position - one hard winter here and she freezes to the ground:
Pat Austin. Austin rose, named after David Austin´s wife, who passed away recently:
Lady Emma Hamilton. Austin Rose - Named after Lord Nelsons mistress:
I wonder if hosta or daylilly growers and collectors call all the other plants they grow for companion plants too? For rosaholics all other plants are just that - companions. Roses are the Queen of flowers, but a Queen is nothing without her companions - and to be honest I think a garden with roses alone is a bit boring. So I also collect hardy geraniums or crane bills. I have many different types, but prefer those with a long flowering time.
One of my favorites are Geranium Cinereum 'Ballerina'. It is an alpine type geranium, that forms small mounds about 6 inches tall, and flowering from spring to late fall in flushes. Like other hardy geraniums the plant look more tidy if trimmed down each time it has flowered. It prefers a vell drained soil, but tolerates anything but poorly drained clay soil and are hardy down to USDA zone 5. It spreads slowly compared to other hardy geraniums and may only need to be divided after 3-4 years. It looks nice in the front of mixed borders. It is so elegant - the name ballerina very fitting.
If you are looking for some of the worlds best garden blogs - look no further. They all got their plot on Blotanical - a garden blog directory unlike any other.
Where gardenbloggers in the past tried to form small mutual admiration societies - A young handsome Australian gardener and gardenblogger; Stuart Robinson, chose to dig a bit deeper and was able to "Think Big". He created Blotanical - a social networking site for gardenbloggers and those who like to read garden blogs. Now there is no need to be picky - In fact good social skills and being extrovert is rewarded, by networking outside the former exclusive blogrolls and mutual admiration societies. Using feedburner and the Picks list on Blotanical, you can read the latest posts from 822 garden blogs from all over the world. If you like the posts you can "Pick" posts and be rewarded points for that. All who join Blotanical, whether they have a garden blog or not become Blotanists. The more you interact with other blotanists the more points you will get and the more influential you will become - getting the right to fave more blotanists and garden blogs. Finally it is not up to a few selfappointed garden blog gurus to decide which garden blogs are good enough to get strange awards that will clutter up the sideboard of the blog layouts. I choose to call it a democratisation of the garden blogosphere and garden writing.
So if you are interested in reading about every sort of plants and gardening under the sun, join Blotanical and read about beginners and master gardeners experiences, joys,frustrations and reflections about gardening. A forum for Blotanists seems to be one of the new features coming.
Alba roses are among my favorite Old Garden Roses - They are very winter hardy, have good disease resistance and very fragrant rose flowers. It is hard to choose just one, but if I had to, I would choose the Alba Rose Félicité Parmentier, and not Köenigin Von Dänemark - Queen of Denmark - even though I am a Dane living in Denmark. Félicité Parmentier was bred in Belgium before 1836, by Louis-Joseph-Ghislain Parmentier. Félicité Parmentier is smaller than many other Alba Roses - rarely grows more than 4-5 feet tall and 3 feet wide, and have a more upright growth habit than the bigger more lax growing Alba roses. It grows and flowers well even in a fairly shaded position with only 3-4 hours of direct sunlight. Alba roses tolerate more shade than other groups of roses, but they still need direct sunlight to produce flowers. Like many other old garden roses it takes the plant about 4 years to form a nice little rose bush that flowers more and more each year. The first years it is best to prune it lightly and then cut the canes and laterals down by a third, after it has flowered. Shape the bush pruning it lightly in the spring - if you have more room you do not have to prune it at all, it will become more arching and wide. Only take out some of the older dead canes if needed.
It is the flowers of Félicité Parmentier that makes it my favorite Alba rose. In spite of the name Alba - meaning white, the flowers are not really white. The buds have a yellow green colour and when they develop, we first see a little circular opening showing pink petals. As the flower develop it opens into blush pink rosette shaped flowers, that reflexes into a dome shaped or pompom shaped flower that fades to white.
The flowers are very strongly scented - not that the scent "carry on air" but when smelling the individual flowers they have a very strong sharp spicy rose scent that is wonderful. I often pick a newly opened flower of Félicité Parmentier and smell it and put it in my shirt pocket - during the day I many times smell the little rose flower - one of the best ways to get aroma-therapy! Even the glands on the sepals exude a spicy fragrant resin. The flowers are fairly small only about 1,5 - 2 inches/ 3-5 cm across.
Félicité Parmentier flowers for about 4-6 weeks here and if they promise rain I often cut a nice little bouquet, because like most roses with many thin petals they do not like rain much, which makes them unsightly.
Is there really any true blue roses? One of the roses that has come close is the modern floribunda rose: Rhapsody In Blue. Bred in United Kingdom in 1999 by Frank R. Cowlishaw, this rose quickly became extremely popular because of the interesting colour and also the name - piggybacking on George Gershwin's musical composition: Rhapsody In Blue. (See and listen to video below). Are the flowers really blue? No - they are in shades of mauve, violet and purple. In some light conditions - dusk and dawn the flowers sometime appear almost blue!
I planted 3 in a group in 2004 - enabled by the fact that it was voted "Rose of the Year 2003" in England. I must say that it was not as blue as I had expected, and it had a strange growth habit the first years, sending up a few 4-5 feet tall canes with huge clusters of flowers above the otherwise spindly canes. Like many other roses it took some years to get established, but it became better over the years. Now that they have matured they are about 3 feet tall and wide. Here is one plant - as you can see it produces its flowers in big clusters, which makes the rose less suitable for cutting:
The flowers are semi-double and have a moderate sweet rose fragrance with aniseed and violet notes. They may not be blue but visitors in my gardens really like them for their unusual colour and are drawn to them always making them a subject of conversation:
Disease resistance was poor the first years - it seemed rather prone to Blackspot, but it also seemed to get better over the years - the last 2 years I have not been spraying them with fungicides and they are doing fine, I just remove the leaves that do get Blackspot and can control it this way.
Rhapsody In Blue - Gershwin - from "King Of jazz":
I ran into a stranger as he passed by. "Oh, excuse me please" was my reply. He said, "Please excuse me too; Wasn't even watching for you." We were very polite, this stranger and I. We went on our way and we said good-bye.
Later that day, cooking the evening meal, My son stood beside me very still. When I turned, I nearly knocked him down. "Move out of the way," I said with a frown. He walked away, his little heart broken. I didn't realize how harshly I'd spoken.
While I lay awake in bed, God's still small voice came to me and said, "While dealing with a stranger, common courtesy you use, But the boy you love, you seem to abuse.
Look on the kitchen floor, You'll find some flowers there by the door. Those are the flowers he brought for you. He picked them himself, purple, white, pink and blue. He stood quietly not to spoil the surprise, And you never saw the tears in his eyes."
By this time, I felt very small And now my tears began to fall. I quietly went and knelt by his bed; "Wake up, my little boy, wake up," I said.
"Are these the flowers you picked for me?" He smiled, "I found 'em, out by the tree. I picked 'em because they're pretty like you. I knew you'd like 'em, especially the blue."
I said, "son, I'm sorry for the way I acted today; I shouldn't have yelled at you that way." He said, "Oh, Mom, that's okay. I love you anyway." I said, "Son, I love you too, And I do like the flowers, especially the blue."
This week I caught a glimpse of a butterfly that is very, very rare here - and chased it with my camera across the meadow. It is so beautiful. Isn't it?
On the meadow I also noticed the beautiful thistle flowers - ahhhhh it really is summer here - so no wonder I felt a little lighthearted and remembered a line from the song "Butterfly" by Crazytown - you're my butterfly sugar baby!
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.
My name is Niels and I am a shopaholic. Hi Niels!!!!!!!! Well only a garden shopaholic and I almost got it under control. As long as I don´t visit garden centres, nurseries or even look at the plants for sale at the supermarket, I can resist anything - (But temptations).
Ever bought something you really don´t need for your garden? You visit your local plant dealer and see some really nice plants (more likely 15)and think they would look nice in your garden. A week or even 2 later (well a month or more right?) they are still sitting in their pots, price tags waving in the breeze,since you never got a round to planting them?
I go to a nursery looking for 3 roses and come home with 8. I rationalize I can always plant them in pots (The ever growing pot ghetto) until I know where to plant them. Each year they have a plant sale in my city - I promise myself every year only to buy the plants I really need this year. Obviously I need a lot more than I was planning or thinking before I went. I come home with really nice terracotta pots (They were cheap I lie to myself) and they are still in my tool shed. I had promised myself to buy more faux terracotta planters this year - but when I see the real thing I sort of loose control. A friend told me that he never seen anyone buy this many huge pots - after we went shopping at a supermarket and I saw these big terracotta pots. THEY WERE ON SALE! With many other things I am frugal, but when it comes to plants, garden equipment, books and other garden stuff I never seem to be able to get enough. Let me read an article in a garden magazine about peonies or new day lilies and I begin to compile a list of varieties I MUST HAVE.
Compulsive shopping is often a smiled upon addiction. I always tell myself that it is better than smoking or drinking, and that it is not so bad... but I have to admit that I do shop all things GARDEN compulsively - sometimes. At lest it does not impair other parts of my life I tell myself. When we think of compulsive shoppers we most often think of women who buys too much clothes,shoes, jewelry and cosmetics. It can become a serious problem that end with debt problems and even broken marriages. Research shows that 9 out of 10 compulsive shoppers are women. But perhaps men are better masking their compulsive shopping? Men seems to buy different things compulsively than women (Sporting goods - think golfer, hunters, fishermen, sailers and don´t even get me started on things for the car!. And how many weird collectors of strange items have you known or heard of?
Compulsive shopping relieves tension. Some shop out of loneliness, others for the rush of it, still others to fill some inner need. Some seek greater self-esteem, others use it to battle depression or anxiety. Some shop to return to a happy childhood, others to escape a bad one. I always felt cold as a boy - and I buy way too many coats each year...
I promise ... well I will try not to buy more Clematis than I need this week when I am going shopping for those. There are some really nice new ones that I must have ... At least they are useful and I have not (yet) become a collector of garden figurines and gnomes. I will not post pictures of all the potted plants standing all around my garden - IT REALLY ISN´T THAT BAD - IS IT? IT´s just a few things for the garden!
Today Americans will celebrate Independence Day. Fireworks will b(l)oom on the evening sky all over America. The Japanese word for Fireworks is Hanabi, which literally means "Fireflower". As Gardeners it is not hard to see the resemblance between real flowers and fireflowers - bursting in air:
Some of the shells that will explode look like golden palm trees:
Even though almost every bigger city has a public 4th of July fireworks display, the most impressive shows are in New York City on the East River, The Boston display, and the display over the International Mall in Washington DC. Here you will definitely see some huge "Fireflowers". I wish all my American friends a happy fourth of July!