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Romantic English roses, fragrance meets beauty at last

Dew-covered English rose

Merging the qualities of both ancient and modern roses, new English roses have won over amateurs across the planet since 1960.

Large soft petal pompoms with pastel colors, rich mellow fragrance: English roses are distinctly recognizable at first glance. One name stands out, David Austin, the horticulturist who created over 200 varieties since the 1960s.

In those days, “modern” roses were bred to be strong, hardy, stiff stemmed with beautiful but bland-smelling flowers. He had the idea to cross these hybrids with heirloom roses.

Results were amazing: huge fragrant blooms with soft-stems on bush rose trees or climbing rose trees. English roses were re-born, and they were perfect to plant near houses!

Five major scents in English roses

English rose fragranceFor David Austin, half the beauty of the rose is its fragrance. Scent is diligently sought after on each of his creations, and each new rose tree is proofed and checked by a scent expert.

A rose’s perfume doesn’t only come from its petals, it can also waft from the stamens that add notes of musk or cloves.

Specialist have since classified rose fragrances into five dominant types reminiscing of tea, myrrh, fruit, musk and old classic rose.

Caring for English roses

English roses don’t call for any particular growing conditions. Like conventional roses, they appreciate a good exposure and cool, moist soil (mulch recommended).

Sold with bared roots, they are to be planted between November and March in soil amended with decomposed manure or compost, at a distance of 20 inches (50 cm) from any neighboring plant.

Add a little fertilizer at the beginning of spring to boost blooming and cut each rose tree back by a third in winter.

New English roses

Double-flowered English roseEvery year, new creations enrich the David Austin catalog.

In 2013, the ‘Lady Gardener’ was born, first among the English roses to bear apricot-colored blooms.

The ‘Albrighton Rambler’ is a resilient rambling rose variety with small pink flowers.

‘Carolyn Knight’ bears orange double flowers smelling of honey and almonds.

The ‘Thomas à Becket’ variety is a particularly resilient rose tree, with carmin red roses that exhale the classic old English rose fragrance.

Laure Hamann

Smart tip about English roses

These delicious fragrant roses are a blessing when you can grow them in the meditation corner of your garden. They will help you reach that soothing focus where the entire body is at peace!

Images: CC BY 2.0: The Greenery Nursery and Garden Shop, Pixabay: MarionF, Public Domain: Bernard Spragg
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