What is your opinion of these Austen roses?

nastarana(5a)August 12, 2014

These are some not so well known roses from DA.


Alnwick Castle



Buttercup looks interesting. I am always looking for good yellow roses.

Also, Brother Cadfael. How fragrant is it? Charity looks like it would be nice for arrangements.

Has anyone here grown any of the above, and how did they do for you? I have to consider disease and hardiness, as well as growth habit and blooming.

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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Nastarana, I tried Brother Cadfael for the first time this year. I planted bare root back in April, so it's still early. I'm actually enjoying it quite a lot. I grow organically so I need something that is very disease resistant. I have had thrips on roses every spring and the foliage is not at it's best then, but after the first flush of roses and thrips are gone, a new flush of healthy foliage replaces them and they've looked great the rest of the season. Brother Cadfael has been pushing out lots of flowers all season and I'd say the growth rate is pretty vigorous.

It hasn't had any Blackspot so far and we've had more rain than usual this year. I like the foliage color and appearance and shape. And it's really been very good at blooming. I wanted a red rose, but they were out of Munstead Wood, and I switched to this because of comments about how healthy it was. Now I'm glad I did because the pink is a pretty color and I like the blooms at all times, bud, open in a cup shape and later when it opens fully it has pretty yellow stamens and the color doesn't wash out. I've brought them in for a vase and they've lasted a fair amount of time, about 5 days tops. The only complaint I've had, is that it's not as fragrant as I was hoping for. I was actually going to ask on the forums if it might be less fragrant in it's first year as it gets established? I would say it is mildly fragrant at the moment and it was listed as strong old rose fragrance, so I still think it will increase in fragrance. Hopefully someone else who has had the rose longer can describe the fragrance.

This post was edited by prairiemoon2 on Wed, Aug 13, 14 at 12:29

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:20AM
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I can only speak of the Awlnick rose. It does really well here in Texas. I have my two in morning sun with evening shade. They bloom at least monthly. Excellent rose, great fragrance!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 12:38PM
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nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

The only one of these that I have is The Alnwick Rose as well, and it's quite reliably hardy for me. The blooms are a nice shape, but mine doesn't rebloom as often as others have reported around the country, even though I have two bushes over 6 years old each. One is in part sun, but in fact that's the one that blooms a little better than the one in more sun, but it still may be the locations of the plants.

Sorry I don't have any input on the rest.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 3:35PM
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john_ca(CA US9/SSZ14)

I grew one plant of the Alnwick Rose in south eastern TX and it grew around 4 feet tall and 12-18 inches wide. It had very nice blooms but I was disappointed with its tall,narrow growth habit. I now have 5 plants at my home in central CA and the plants are around 6 feet tall and perhaps 5-6 feet wide. It cycles quickly if you deadhead promptly here. It is an excellent rose here.

I grew 3 plants of Bredon in a planting with English Garden around 10 years and 2 houses ago in CA. They grew together well and produced nice clusters of flowers which went well together. I was recently able to root a cutting of Bredon and it is now growing in my garden. There are few roses that do not grow very vigorously in my area (very long, warm, and dry growing season), but I think that this one does not do well in areas with a short, wet growing season, which probably is one of the reasons that the David Austin Roses Company is no longer propagating this one. I grew quite a few of the older Austin roses and am having difficulties finding them today. One own root nursery told me that the David Austin Roses, Ltd company is threatening to withdraw their contracts from propagators who continue to sell some of the "superceded" rose hybrids. One of my favorite older Austin roses, Cressida, is not sold by any North American rose nursery. I have been able to find many of my old favorites, but not this one.

I have not grown Buttercup, but do grow 2 other yellow Austin roses, Molineux and Happy Child. HC has the deepest yellow color that I have seen among all the English roses that I have grown or seen in gardens; I think that it may suffer from foliar disease in a wet climate, but it does fine here, as it almost never rains in summer. Molineux grows well and cycles very quickly, with yellow and yellow-orange petals. Of the 2, M is more vigorous.

I did grow Charity in TX and I would not recommend it. It grew to a large size in a short time and seldom flowered; the flowers it did produce, were unremarkable. This is one of the few Austins that I would not grow again.

I have Brother Cadfael and I like it. It does not cycle quickly here and it is quite fragrant. I prefer St. Swithun, which has a similar growth habit and huge flowers.

I would suggest that you contact your local rose society and ask which Austins perform the best in your area and select among those that are highly recommended.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 6:12PM
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I may try Bro Cadfael. John, the DA Co. has been trying to control the dissemination of their superceded roses for some years now. There was a long discussion of the practice several years ago. One of the nurseries which is no longer in business had had to discontinue some older English roses in order to secure the contract for the new introductions. Opinions were heated on both sides of the question.

Bredon ought to be a good choice, having good roses for parents. There are some lovely pix from the E M Mills garden in Syracuse, which is very near to me.

I suspect Buttercup is not to be had in North America.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:55PM
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Alnwick is awesome!! I love it!! After looking up Bredon I'd love to have one. I emailed RU but they are no longer growing it. Do you mind me asking where it's available at? Thanks so much, Judy.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 2:08PM
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I was wrong about Buttercup, which is currently available from Heirloom. HMF shows two USA sources for Bredon, on of which is Roses Unlimited. You might to contact RU about propagating Bredon so they know there is a market for it.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 9:42AM
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plantloverkat zone 9a north Houston(zone 9a)

Nastarana, I have a grafted Buttercup which I ordered from Hortico nearly three years ago. I have kept it in a large pot that is in a location that receives only half a day of sun. I like this rose quite a lot. It will get a little black spot in my hot and humid zone 9 climate, but I do not spray for diseases at all. Since mildew is rarely a problem here, I cannot tell you about that. It blooms quite regularly, with only a slight pause between flushes. I haven't grown Graham Thomas for over a decade (and that was in another garden), but I think that Buttercup's flowers have fewer petals and are a little bit lighter in color than Graham Thomas. Buttercup's flowers will fade to either a soft yellow or a cream color before the petals drop, depending upon the time of year. This rose will continue blooming during the hottest part of the summer here, although the flowers will be smaller. My plant has an upright habit, with the majority of the canes growing upright and a few on the outer part of the plant arching outward, but still the plant is taller than it is wide. My plant is currently about 4 - 5 feet tall and 3 - 4 feet wide. Obviously, my zone is much different than yours, and I have no idea how Buttercup would perform for you.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 2:24PM
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plantlovercat, how large are the flowers of Buttercup? I had the impression from HMF, that it had small flowers in clusters. I rarely see any mildew, but BS is a constant menace.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 7:54PM
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plantloverkat zone 9a north Houston(zone 9a)

Right now with daytime temperatures in the mid 90s and nighttime lows in the mid 70s, the flowers are 2 - 2 1/2 inches across. There are 2 to 4 flowers in each cluster. In cooler weather, the flowers are larger, as are the cluster of flowers.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 10:41AM
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Too late this year, but maybe I will try Buttercup for next spring if Heirloom has it next year. I am thinking I have to add Bro Cadfael to the alba border, for some summer bloom there.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 9:53PM
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plantloverkat zone 9a north Houston(zone 9a)

I was looking through some old photos, and I found this photo of Buttercup from May 2013. I had forgotten how much larger the flower clusters are in cooler weather.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 11:54AM
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That is a lovely picture. I thought I saw Buttercup on the Heirloom website; now it does not seem to be there, so is likely unavailable, alas.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 9:00PM
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ratdogheads(5b NH)

I was disappointed in Bro Cadfael! Mind you it's just the first year, but my chief complaint is balling and also I don't like the foliage, kind of shiny and modern. I like cupped roses but this year my very full cupped roses were prone to balling. I'm growing more fond of DA's less full varieties. I'm considering Butterup too...David Austin has it available. I grew The Lark Ascending this year and it's lovely.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 9:39PM
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