Pick one: Munstead Wood, Darcy Bussell, Sophy's Choice, Alexandra

dublinbay z6 (KS)August 4, 2012

I'm considering giving away a floribunda--Pink Parfait--that occupies a prominent spot near my back door. There is nothing particularly wrong with Pink Parfait--it just bores me, doesn't make my soul sing! It also isn't quite as disease-resistant as the catalog copy claims, although it is still above average in that respect. I just don't love it.

So I'm looking for something that is visually appealing, good on the reblooming, and disease-resistant. And I think I want it a bit smaller than Pink Parfait--maybe 3 ft tall maximum. I really can't decide yet whether I want a red or will a good solid pink be sufficient? I think either might work in that spot. I've even wondered if an apricot-yellow blend might not work--but I already have several Molineux elsewhere in the yard, so want something different in this spot. I also have a Pretty Jessica already, so don't want to repeat that either.

So which of these Austins comes out the best in terms of beauty, floriferousness, and BS resistance--in the 3x2.5 range or thereabouts? The candidates so far are: Darcy Bussell, Munstead Wood, Sophy's Choice, Princess Alexandra of Kent. What do you think?

Appreciate any suggestions.


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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Maybe you mean Sophy's Rose.

It has an excellent, dense, compact shrub habit; repeats fast and heavily; can be completely resistant to blackspot or highly susceptible, depending on the races of blackspot that are in your garden.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 3:55PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

I can only comment on Princess Alexandra in a limited way, since I just got her this spring, and I finally got around to planting her in the ground at the end of June. She is a real trouper in this heat with a pretty growth habit--no weird long canes, just a nice rounded shrub that blooms constantly. We don't get bs here so I don't know about disease resistance. Almost all I read about Munstead Wood is good, and I'm eager to own one myself. I had special ordered one through my favorite local nursery, and they couldn't fill the order (I think because demand was so high). Diane

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 9:59PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Thank you, micheal--yes, I mean Sophy's Rose. Guess that 107 degree heat got to me yesterday--I also meant Cherry Parfait, not Pink Parfait. Write it off as minor heat stroke? LOL. Well, last night we had a genuine rainfall and this morning it is almost what they call "cool." Amazing!

At the moment, I'm kinda flipping a coin between Munstead Wood and Princess Alexandra of Kent, but I'm still not sure about how well they do (or do not) look in the garden and how good they are at BS-resistance. Anyone who can fill in on those?


    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 10:40AM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

I have only Sophy's Rose of those mentioned and it has many good qualities, but I don't care for the fact that it begins as a bright red which then turns into a more lilac red. I really don't care for red roses unless they lean toward the mauve or purple spectrum, but otherwise it's a very fine rose.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:07PM
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lori_elf z6b MD

I grow Munstead, and Alexandra and used to grow Darcy. They all get BS and will defoliate some, but Darcy was worse in terms of health and would be totally naked though blooming her bare head off. Blooms were smallish and lightly fragrant. I got rid of Darcy. I like Munstead quite a lot, blooms are larger and fragrance is good. This one won't bore you. BS is acceptible for the Austin lot, loses half or less leaves. Alexandra is new to my garden and I'm still evaluating her... Blooms are sparse right now and the bush is still tiny.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 9:38AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Thank you everyone for your input.

I also love to hear from anyone in middle America who grows any of the roses listed in this thread.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 9:36PM
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jerome(z9 CA)

I only have Munstead Wood and Princess Alexandra of Kent of the four you mentioned. I am also not in your area, so cannot evaluate the blackspot issue. I like Munstead Wood a lot - the fragrance is beautiful and it's a nice bushy plant. It would be a good choice. Even more do I like Princess Alexandra of Kent. It is (easily) the most floriferous Austin I have ever planted. It went in (several of them actually) as new a new plant last February, and it has bloomed continuously since it got into the ground. The warm color is eye catching without being in the least bit gaudy or loud. I don't know how future years will see it mature, but in the 6 months I've had it - I am super impressed.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 12:36PM
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chickpeas(6a IL)

Hello. I'm a Garden Web newbie but have been reading the blogs and finally decided to join.
I just ordered the Munstead Wood rose from David Austin roses in Tyler, TX. And I'm planning to put it in a large pot. Anyone think it would grow this big given a few years?
4 years old , planted in november 2008 . Height = 170 cm . Width = over 200 cm

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 10:42AM
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chickpeas(6a IL)

I like Darcey Bussell, although I only have her for 3 months in a 20 inch pot. She's been blooming constantly, except the blooms burn when temps reach over 90. And we've had serious heatwaves last July. The color is really nice cherry red that turns to mauve, very graceful growth and cup shape.
The Princess Alexandra I have is in a larger 24 inch container hasn't grown big yet but have bloomed a lot and really beautiful pink blend and fresh rose and lemony scent.
Both have been disease free so far. Here's a picture I took.

Here is a link that might be useful: Princess Alexandra of Kent rose

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 10:59AM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Thank you, chickpeas for the link and the info. Great pic. you posted.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 12:12PM
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chickpeas(6a IL)

You're welcome Strawberry Hill. I'll upload more pictures as soon I am able.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 1:20PM
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