History of English Garden Roses:
English roses are the name given to many varieties of the classic styled garden roses created by the world famous rose breeder David Austin. His very first rose was introduced in 1961 and called the Constance Spry. Since that time he has introduced almost 200 new types of English roses into the horticultural world. There are few others who have produced flowers that have caused such a stir in the gardening community.
English roses are bred to be adaptable in most mixed landscaping ideas where their fragrant scents and bountiful colors will have a tremendous impact. Most of the varieties tend to have long blooming seasons which makes them favorites among growers who love the timeless look of old fashioned roses. Many of the most popular varieties are also bred in more compact versions to be ideal as container roses. English roses are such vigorous growers that some of the varieties are well suited for training as climbers.
Fragrances of English Garden Roses:
English garden roses are generally divided into 5 different categories of fragrances, although many varieties have elements or more than one category. Some varieties will have a delicious smelling fruity fragrance, such as the Lady Emma Hamilton and Jude The Obscure. If you are the type that prefers the more traditional rose fragrances, then varieties such as the Gertrude Jekyll are more for you. David Austin's first creation, the Constance Spry introduced the myrrh fragrance into world of English roses. Strawberry Hill and Scepter'd Isle are also good examples of English roses with a fine myrrh fragrance.
There are many varieties of English garden roses that are blessed with tea fragrances, such as Golden Celebration that blends a tea fragrance with a hint of fruit. Charles Darwin on the other hand has a floral tea fragrance with a hint of lemon. If rose with a strong musk scent are more to your liking, then the Generous Gardener is more your style where its musky scent blends well with old rose and myrrh. No matter what your taste in roses is, there are varieties of English garden roses to suit your style.
Versatility of English Garden Roses:
What many gardeners do not realize about English garden roses is how versatile they really are in a wide range of landscaping ideas and designs. For instance the climbing varieties can be pruned lightly and trained to grow along fences and walls, or you can prune them heavily each season and keep them growing as large to medium shrubs. How is that for versatility? One good example of this is the Teasing Georgia variety that is not only a vigorous climber but it will give you ample autumn blooms as well as in the summer months!
English roses also grow very well in locations that receive partial shade during the day. This is a rather unique quality among roses that many gardeners simply love. Not every location is ideally suited to growing roses, so it's great when you can find varieties that are as adaptable as these. Just make sure you don’t plant them directly under any trees because trees will shelter your roses from the rain as well as the sunlight. You also need to make sure the location you select has at least 4 to 5 hours of good sunlight everyday for English roses to do well.
Benjamin Britten & Charlotte English Garden Roses:
The Benjamin Britten rose has a very unusual coloring compared to other English roses. When they first bloom the flowers start off as a strong shade of orangish pink, that eventually fades out with age into a pure pink. The Benjamin Britten grows about 4 feet tall and about 3 feet across and it exhibits a fragrance that has an intense fruit smell, combined with aspects of pear and wine. This variety makes for a great container rose or any border garden and its unique color makes it the perfect companion for softer rose shades.
The Charlotte rose is one of David Austin's recommended varieties. This variety is free flowering and offers repeat blooms throughout the season. The ample blooms start off with a soft yellow in the center and eventually fade out to a yellowish cream along the edges of the bloom. If you love roses with the pleasant tea fragrance then this is the pick for you. Another great feature of this particular rose is it is extremely hardy to cold winters so if you live in a climate where others varieties struggle to make it through the winter, this could be the solution to that problem!
England's Rose & Lady of Shalott English Garden Roses:
Another hardy variety is England's Rose that is a rather reliable and tough English rose that produces gorgeous blooms of a deep glowing pink. This great variety will continue to bloom starting around June and going right to the end of the growing season; in some places into October or November. England's Rose is very resistant to wet weather and even if it suffer through periods of continuous damp, it tends to weather well. This shrub will grow upwards about 4 feet tall but it could grow even higher if only pruned lightly.
The Lady of Shalott is arguably one of the most hardy and robust English roses and it has an excellent resistance to disease. When the blooms first appear they come out as a very rich color of orange on one side and golden yellow on the reverse. This variety has a pleasant tea scent with subtle hints of cloves and spiced apples. Lady of Shallot is a fast grower and will grow to about 4 feet tall with a spread around 3 and a half feet wide.
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