Austin purples

dregaeMarch 4, 2012

I am trying to decide which purple Austin to get this year. I am looking at munstead wood, William Shakespeare 2000, The prince, or wise Portia. How do these rank with everyone regarding general health, blooming, black spot, and fragrance. (pics r nice :-) to)

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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

I have Wise Portia and W.S. 2000, and I'm debating on getting the Prince (if it likes partial shade and alkaline soil). Wise Portia likes my wet alkaline soil - W.S. 2000 doesn't. Wise Portia flower is small, but the repeat is excellent. W.S. is nicer looking, but he doesn't do well own-root in my alkaline soil.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 6:31PM
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Whoops forgot to add tradescant and prosperous.

Grace e

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 6:44PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

'The Prince' is best for fragrance, but lacks vigor and needs TLC. 'Prospero' has no fragrance but good repeat. It dislikes pruning. 'Tradescant' has been good here. WS2K has an odd growth habit, low and wide here, but largest flowers and some fragrance.

All of the above repeat regularly here. The last two are larger plants, the first two are smaller. BS resistance unknown. Best fragrance is 'The Prince', and it is the most purple-y.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 7:31PM
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caldonbeck(UK (8))

Will shakespeare more a red than purple. Munstead Wood is probably the healthiest. Never seen even so much as a blemish on it. The prince here is small, but apparently big over there. WS200 can throw up some big long canes. I have got a tradescant but it's new so hasn't flowered. I have also put a pic of Falstaff on for you to look at. Pics below:

Munstead Wood

The Prince



    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 7:38PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Thank you, Caldonbeck, for those gorgeous pics. They help a lot! HMF should have more bush pictures like yours so users can see foliage, growth habit, and flowers. I wonder what's that pretty yellow bush next to W.S.2000? Your roses are very healthy and compact.

My kid sat my lap last night to tell me that she doesn't like thorny roses, dark purple, and esp. no ruffles - so the Prince is out. Thank you for posting those pics.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 10:21AM
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The Austin reds are wonderful roses, love 'em.

I love the fragrance of William Shakespeare 2000, perhaps my favorite Austin red for its sweet fragrance.

The Austins get blackspot in my no-spray garden, but this does not diminish blooming.

The Prince is a compact grower here, but beautiful and sturdy. Strong fragrance and the blooms are really velvety.

Tradescant is lovely as well, dark red blooms that age to purple.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 11:59AM
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caldonbeck(UK (8))

The yellow behind Will Shakespeare is Golden Celebration.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 4:15PM
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Munstead Wood is all the rage in Sweden at present. "Everybody" grows it and raves about it. I have ordered one for spring delivery, my first Austin since Abraham Darby died, my latest among the only three Austins I have grown.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 5:31AM
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aimeekitty(9-10, SW 18)

I have my Prince in a little bit of shade, it's really more like very bright shade. it gets some sun, but not all day sun. I find that so far it's doing really well there and has grown pretty well and bloomed. It's only about 3 years old though. It's kind of a thinner habit (i.e. more upright than wide)

I've had a lot of trouble, however with WS2k. I bought two, planted near each other, both languished. They leafed out but didn't grow. They bloomed, but often would have vegetative centers. And then about a year later, one of them completely died. The other is still about the same size as it was 2 years ago, and doesn't seem to want to die, but doesn't seem to want to grow much either.

While about 3 or 4 feet away James Galway cl, Alchemist, Sombreiul and Eden cl are growing like gangbusters.

I'm a beginning rose person, so take what I say with a grain of salt. :\
There are 3 or 4 gorgeous huge WS2k's at Huntington gardens surrounding a bench, but Huntington has pro rose gardeners and their climate isn't as extreme as mine. :)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 10:48AM
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Munstead Wood is my favorite dark red Austin. (I don't see it as purple.) With this rose, he finally got it exactly right -- color, fragrance, superb repeat, attractive shrub form, and excellent health, at least that is so here in California.

I have also grown The Prince (okay here, and pretty, but iffy in many climates), Prospero (small and pretty, reasonably disease resistant, but never robust), and a grafted WSII (healthy here, but octopus tentacles I did not enjoy managing). My soil is alkaline, so perhaps being grafted was good for WSII. I had not noticed any problems with it.

MW is a smaller rose but is noticeably more robust than Prospero, which frankly often seems to me to be a feeble little thing. I'm trying to not prune it much, which Jeri Jennings has recommended, but If I just take off dead material it seems as if I've already done quite a bit of pruning. Perhaps it needs feeding up like a fashionably starved actress. Most of my roses get a yearly fertilizing in the spring topped by generous mulch, some years composted horse manure as well, and that is it.


    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 11:35AM
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I thought The Prince was a splendid rose, but I had it in CA, hot and dry. It can tolerate alkilinity. The growth habit is like a bushy HT, with splendid purple flowers held upright on strong stems. No weak stems on this one.

It is allegedly hardy to about zone 4, but I have not seen it or tried it in NY.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 4:05PM
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Both 'Tradescant' and 'The Prince' Blackspot to the point of total defoliation in my experience. 'Prospero' ain't much better, and is a weak grower to boot. 'William Shakespeare 2000' is far better than many other "reds" by Austin, but not perfectly clean all the time. After that one was introduced, I stopped buying any new Austins because in my garden, not one of 'em has what I would call acceptable resistance to Blackspot. Many are downright martyrs to disease. However, there's always 'Mrs Doreen Pike', but that one requires patience to get established. (and its not purple)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 6:07PM
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caldonbeck(UK (8))

Will Shakespeare was one of my first roses, I had two and killed them both - have mastered him now though!! I do think Munstead Wood is his best rose for a good while, second only maybe to Princess Alexandra of Kent but that is pink not purple.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 10:45PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Caldonbeck: How did you master William Shakespeare? I might have to move him to full sun. My 5a zone, Chicagoland is gloomy, so I have just ordered "The Prince" thanks to the pics. that you and Krista posted. Hopefully The Prince likes my partial shade location more than William Shakespeare.

Thanks, Nastarana, for the info. that The Prince tolerates alkaline soil. One more question for Caldonbeck: How do you keep Golden Celebration short and bushy? I wonder how do you feed your roses to get such good result? I keep chopping Golden Cel. down but it wants to climb. I'm reluctant to give Golden Cel. nitrogen fertilizer for fear of octopus arms shooting all over.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 3:17PM
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The only one I have is Will Shakespeare and I think it is an awesome rose. Mine is own root - going on third summer, so I'm hoping for a breakout year. It laughs at blackspot in my garden. Blooms change color over the summer. Start deep red/purple and get more fuchsia. Blooms are not huge, but that may be because it started small on its own root and is still a young plant.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 4:52PM
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caldonbeck(UK (8))

Hi, I give the roses Tomorite, a tomato fertiliser which is low nitrogen. When I switched to that is when Wills started to do better. I still give them a spring feed but for the rest of the year it's tomorite.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 7:13PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Thanks for the great tip, Caldonbeck. I think I put too much alfalfa meal NPK of 2-1-2 in Will's planting hole. The rose park nearby uses high phosphorus fertilizer on their roses, all are compact and loaded with blooms except for Austins who went wild and crazy, but with few blooms.

I'll make sure to use low-nitrogen on my Austins so they don't throw long arms.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 9:41AM
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Campanula UK Z8

well, the only non blackspotting austin I have come across in this colour range is the hybrid rugosa, Wild Edric. Slow to get going but a good healthy rose (which is more than can be said for most austins, especially in the red'purple range). As you may have guessed, not a huge fan of DA roses.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 12:24PM
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caldonbeck(UK (8))

Well I have 40 odd of them and I have no blackspot.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 7:23PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

I have 10 Austins and zero blackspots. We had a wettest summer, 49" of rain. Eglantyne came in the mail badly blackspotted and spider-mited. She cleared up when I mulched with horse manure and dusted with WHOLEGRAIN cornmeal. I wiped out the spider-mited branch with 97% alcohol.

The lime in the horse manure is a potent fungicide. I don't use bark mulch since it retains moisture too long after a prolonged rain and breed all sorts of utterly gross mushrooms. There's a big pile of free bark mulch within walking distance, but I'm not getting any.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 9:48AM
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In my climate the darker roses aren't. The Dark Lady and Wise Portia are both fuschia.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 7:06PM
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caldonbeck(UK (8))

Wise portia is Magenta - The Dark Lady is a brightish red. Neither are what I would call purple.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 8:40PM
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daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

The only one of these that I grow is William Shakespeare 2000.
It is under the apricot tree.
The blooms that open in the shade of the apricot tree are fine, but the ones that reach out into the sun, get a bit crisped.
I would love to try Munstead Wood, but I am running out of shade space.

The colour is just a little deeper than my camera shows.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 5:03AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Daisy: how can I thank you enough for giving us the most delicious pictures of your garden? It's like a view to another paradise. I love your pics. of Willie. I run out of sun here, so I kill Knock-out roses to get more sunny space. Last year was our wettest year, lots of rain and little sun. My neighbor was diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency (he's always outside doing something). I was also diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency last month, our winter is long and gloomy.

I pay money for the 50,000 IU vitamin D dosage, while you are getting that free from the sun over there. One more reason for gardening, considering the risks of vitamin D deficiency: backpain, diabetes, cancer, MS, and asthma in children.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 9:48AM
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