a few observations on some of my more doubtful Austins

the_bustopher z6 MOAugust 6, 2014

I thought I would pass on a few observations this year that may be significant. There was another post about Lady Emma Hamilton on its own roots. While I have two plants, they are grafted, so I can't comment directly on that. However, I do have other Austins on their own roots. The Squire was recently transplanted to another spot and is slowly trying to get re-established. It did have a nice red flower this year. That was important because I don't remember it blooming at all last year. Symphony and Eglantyne have both been in the ground now about 10 years. Both had record flowers this year and nice, new growth. Symphony still remains a small plant. My Happy Child on its own roots has had more flowers this year and is getting bigger. It, too, has been going for about 10 years now. By comparison, my own-root Duchesse de Rohan took about 7 years to start repeating. My grafted Rokoko took about 8 years before it started to repeat at all. Maybe these small band Austins just take extra time.

The other observation I want to make is regarding my Summer Songs. They have actually rebloomed this summer, and the color was a solid orange, not the funeral parlor pallor pink that they have had in the past if they rebloomed at all. They still get long and lanky, but they are beginning to repeat credibly. Maybe they take time also, and more than some of the others. Just thought I would share what I was seeing.

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Thanks bustopher for providing some useful information on how some of your Austin's are doing. How well do you like your Eglantyne?Is it very fragrant?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 2:51PM
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the_bustopher z6 MO

Eglantyne does produce a slow trickle of flowers during the summer. I do like it, but I wonder if it would do better as a grafted variety. The flowers are a light pink that almost look like porcelain. They are also quite fragrant with an old damask fragrance. It leaves you wanting more flowers from it. It does want to get tall, like so many of the others.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 5:16PM
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Out of curiosity, how did you get Summer Song? I have been dying to get one, but it was never released in the US.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 5:29PM
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ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

I wonder if part of your problem is your location, bustopher. I have several own-root Austins and they all bloomed by at least their second year, if not sooner. The last two years we didn't even make it down to a freezing temperature and before that it went down to freezing and a little below just for a few days here and there. That gives bands a good chance of setting down roots and putting out top growth and that has to make a huge difference. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have the patience to wait as long as you did for your first blooms.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 8:29PM
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the_bustopher z6 MO

To answer a few questions, I got my Summer Songs from Hortico and Palatine Nurseries in Canada when they offered them. I have three plants of them on two different rootstocks. The two on multiflora seem to do better, but location in the yard may be a factor. As for orange Austins, I would pick the winner as Lady of Shalott. As for bright orange color in the shrub class, I think Kordes' Brillant is the winner.

As for my location, I think I need to clarify a thing or two. The Squire, Eglantyne, Symphony, and Happy Child have all been blooming, but not as much as they have this year. Except for The Squire, the others have had as many flowers in their spring flush this year as they have been having for a whole growing season up until now. All the plants did flower their first year, but not with much. So, I was surprised to see such a showing of buds and flowers this year in spite of the fact that we had some late freezes that set some plants back. Last year we had a warm stretch in April followed by a freeze and snowstorm in May. Because of the weather anomalies, one of my tree peonies that has bright red flowers has not flowered in two years. Poor thing. We have a well-established history of having roller coaster temperature swings during spring in this section of the country. It is not particularly good for rose growing, and you see who the sturdy varieties really are fairly soon.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 10:16PM
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poorbutroserich(Nashville 7a)

Bustopher, have you ever tried summer pruning? Also, Bustopher if you like those warm tones have you thought about Pat Austin? I got her this spring bare root and she has been my healthiest best repeating rose this summer! She is not the bright orange usually seen but a softer warm coppery tone. Old fashioned bloom. Love her!

Heather, I saw Summer Song available from the David Austin US website. It is a beautiful rose, I saw it in bloom in England.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 7:16PM
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