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Jul 11 • 2012 • AustinAutumnBarerootChelseaEnglishFlowerNew Roses For 2013Pottedroses

ROSE NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

UK

NEW ROSES FOR AUTUMN DAVID AUSTIN ENGLISH ROSES

David Austin Roses have launched five new English Roses at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. They will be available to order as bare root or potted roses from autumn 2012.                 Tranquillity ‘Tranquillity’ is an English Musk hybrid. The flowers are of a beautifully rounded shape with neatly placed petals, making up a perfect rosette. The buds are lightly tinged with yellow but as the flowers open they become pure white. There is a light apple fragrance. The growth is upright, gradually curving outwards at the top. ‘Tranquillity’ has typical light green Musk Rose foliage and is almost thornless.

Royal Jubilee ‘Royal Jubilee’, an English Alba hybrid, has been named to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. In the press release, the breeder refers to this variety as “a unique rose for a unique occasion”. The deep pink flowers are large and of a deep chalice shape; the petals are incurving so the stamens within can just be seen. The blooms have a rich fruity fragrance with hints of blackcurrant. ‘Royal Jubilee’ has very few thorns. The Lark Ascending ‘The Lark Ascending’ is again an English Musk hybrid. This variety illustrates the great diversity that is now to be found among English Roses. The flowers are cupped in shape and of a light apricot colouring. Produced from the ground upwards in heads of up to fifteen, they are medium in size, with about twenty petals in each bloom. They have a light fragrance that has been observed to vary from one flower to another. Some of them are Tea scented while others move towards the scent of myrrh. Heathcliff

David Austin says in the press release, “There are few roses as popular as those of deep crimson colouring, and none so difficult to breed”. However, their new rose, ‘Heathcliff’, an Old Rose hybrid, is a beautiful addition to English Roses of this colour. It has large, fully double flowers of a deep rosette shape. The deep crimson colour has a certain softness that reminds some of the old red Gallica Roses. It has shiny, deep green leaves and rather upright growth. Its fragrance is pleasing and rather unusual – Tea Rose with a mixture of Old Rose and just a hint of cedar wood. Boscobel

English Leander hybrid, ‘Boscobel’, bears rich salmon coloured flowers. “They commence as red buds which open at first to pretty cups, gradually developing into perfectly formed blooms of classic rosette formation”, says the rose breeder. The numerous small petals are of varying shades, mingling to provide a most pleasing effect. The delightful, medium-strong myrrh fragrance has a hawthorn character with hints of elderflower, pear and almond. It forms an upright shrub of medium size, with dark green, glossy foliage. All new varieties, according to David Austin Roses, are vigorous and healthy.

Details of all our roses are available on our web site. Over 1000 varieties to choose from.

www.countrygardenroses.co.uk

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May 23 • 2012 • ChelseaDisplayFlowerGardenRose NewsWeatherroses

ROSE NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

UK

Chelsea Flower Show Beats The Weather.

The display gardens for the 99th Chelsea Flower show burst into full bloom in London on press viewing day, despite one of the driest winters and wettest springs in Britain for decades and a tough economic environment sweeping Europe.

Severe drought in the southeast English region that includes London has led to the imposition of water restrictions and Chelsea designers have responded by making responsible water use one of the show's key themes.

Caroline Spelman, the British secretary of state for the Department of Rural Affairs and Food and a keen gardener, visited the Climate Calm garden, an installation that showed the effects of climate change in the water-stressed southeast.

"I feel I've learned a lesson as a gardener for this year and for all future years, which is to think carefully when I'm making choices about which plants use water sparingly, so that I too can use water wisely," she told Reuters.

The show, which takes place on the sprawling lawns between the red-bricked elegance of the Royal Hospital, a 17th century retirement home for army veterans, and the river Thames, draws in over 150,000 visitors each year.

This year, with the London 2012 Olympics fast approaching and the nationwide celebrations for Queen Elizabeth's 60th anniversary as monarch two weeks away, the show had a definite patriotic feel to it.

Union Jack flags were ubiquitous, dotted around displays, woven into patterns in the flowerbeds and even adorning the jackets, t-shirts and dresses of attendees.

To commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, a number of growers unveiled new varieties of flowers. In rose grower David Austin's installation, the pale pink Royal Jubilee romped with the fiery Fighting Temeraire and white Tranquility varieties.

CHELSEA RED

Adding a nostalgic touch, the Chelsea Pensioners, the residents of the Royal Hospital, turned out in force in their unmistakable bright red overcoats to pose with members of the British Korean Veterans Association by a garden that recreated the landscape found in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.

The Great Pavilion, the central display tent, housed over 150 exhibits and thousands of flowers, where the heady scents of lilies, roses and other garden favorites vied with wafts of expensive perfume for supremacy.

Perhaps also reflecting the more sober economic backdrop, there were a greater number of visitors clutching cups of upmarket tea or coffee than the more usual champagne flutes.

The flower show attracts a varied audience, from green-thumbed television personalities, to business executives and social high-flyers, as well as the many celebrities that lend their faces to individual gardens.

Formula 1 boss Frank Williams posed with a topiary in the shape of one of his Williams team F1 cars, complete with topiary pit crew, while Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden posed in a replica Corsican garden, complete with fragrant olive trees, lavender, rosemary and stone sheepfold.

Former Beatles' drummer Ringo Starr unveiled an artisan garden sponsored by WaterAid, a charity geared towards providing clean drinking water in developing nations.

"I truly believe everybody should have clean water and I'm just doing my small part to make sure that happens," Starr, a passionate environmentalist, said.

Towering above the show was the Westland Magical Garden, a multi-storey pyramid that featured level upon level of gardens designed by award-winning gardener Diarmuid Gavin, who set out to explore the idea of making the most of precious open space, especially in urban settings.

Comedy actor Ricky Gervais, the acid-tongued former Oscar host and star of the original TV comedy series "The Office", said he was in awe of what he called "true artists at work"

"It's fantastic that they try, particularly with the installations, where they have to bring out how beautiful it is naturally. It sends a chill down my spine," Gervais said.

Chelsea Flower Show, which is organized by the Royal Horticultural Society (www.rhs.org.uk) runs from May 22-26.

Details of all our roses are available on our web site. Over 1000 varieties to choose from.

www.countrygardenroses.co.uk

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May 19 • 2012 • ChelseaDroughtFlowerJubileeRose NewsRoyalShowWeatherWettestgardeners

Rose News From Around The World

UK

Chelsea

POOR WEATHER AT CHELSEA CAUSES PROBLEMS

The Royal Jubilee rose looks worryingly floppy and the Turk's head lilies won't open on the penultimate buildup day

It was a mild, calm day at the Chelsea flower show on Friday, which is more than could be said for the gardeners. With a bitterly cold winter followed by a hot, dry March and the wettest April on record, plus the odd slash of hail and sleet in the last weeks of the buildup, their nerves were shredded.

Nigel DunneTt's rainwater-saving drought garden was built while rain was coming down in torrents. Now the rain had stopped, he had to fill the pools with tap water, and it was so dark that his swaths of Turk's head lilies would not open. "They will open," he said determinedly, "and if they don't, they look very nice as buds."

According to young David Austin, his arms full of a rose bush almost as tall as himself, this was "the worst Chelsea, no question, the worst". Old David Austin, founder of the eponymous rose-growers and still a flower show regular at 86, would be along any minute to check his work. All their show roses had to go back into heated glasshouses to persuade them to bloom in time, and some did not like the treatment at all – including Royal Jubilee, a new rose that is looking worryingly floppy before the Queen's visit on Monday evening.

"A lot of patience. A lot. But no swearing," Darren Share, head of Birmingham council's gardens, said firmly. The centrepiece of the Brum garden is an old Mini, confiscated from a colleague's wife and now planted all over with sedum. "Done her a favour. I reckon we saved somebody's life when we took the engine out of that."

If the plants all die in Tony Heywood and Alison Condie's Glamourland, it would be an artistic statement more than a disaster. Their concept garden is about the struggle between natural and artificial worlds, with a soundtrack nightmarishly mixing birdsong and computer game noises. So far nature seemed to be winning, Condie conceded, down on her knees tidying the ground-cover plants that were being pecked to pieces by birds, and breathing in a heady reek of fox pee.

Diarmuid Gavin was reclining on a sofa 12 metres (40ft) up in the air, giggling. "Anywhere you like – astonish me!" he chirped as one of his gardeners staggered past, weighed down by pots of lilies. Last year he created Chelsea's first and almost certainly last flying garden, hauled into the air by a crane. While working on that he was walking along the river past Albert bridge, which was swaddled in scaffolding while being refurbished, and had a brainwave for this year's show: the hanging gardens of Babylon, on five levels and 24 metres tall, involving 4.2 miles of scaffolding and trees sprouting out at wild angles.

The way up is by alarmingly swaying lift past the first-floor vegetable garden, second-floor bar and third-floor potting shed, to the rooftop. Down, for the brave, is by stainless steel tube slide, inspired by Carsten Höller's at the Tate. "I'm going to do something really special next year, I've got it all in my head, just you wait," Gavin said. "It'll be a surprise."

In truth, the only way he could surprise Chelsea is if he brings a neat rectangle of nicely mown lawn, with a few daisies to add excitement.

She probably would not say it too loudly in front of the gardeners, but the weather struck the deputy show manager, Sarah Easton, as pretty perfect. "No watering this year, so we're really happy," she said, "and the result of all that rain is that it all looks incredibly lush for visitors."

In the wretched weeks of April, she had a mud crew scraping the top level of soil off the show garden sites and a puddle crew on standby to pump out developing lakes. "Incredible camaraderie" developed as a result, she said.

Early visitors included Daniel Chamovitz, American author of What a Plant Knows, and a bit startled by the trench warfare of Chelsea on the penultimate buildup day: "Wow. More plywood than plants." He was charmed by a tiny Japanese-designed, moss-covered cottage. "What does moss know?" he pondered. "Moss doesn't really care. Give me water and light and let me just sit here and hang out and photosynthesise, that's what moss knows."

Details of all our roses are available on our web site. Over 1000 varieties to choose from.

www.countrygardenroses.co.uk

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