David Austins in Virginia?

HeartRN(z7 VA)April 2, 2005

Hi, all! I've been a lurker around here for a while now, and, needless to say, my plant collection is growing by leaps and bounds! I'm very new to gardening, and because I live in a townhouse and have seriously limited yard space, most of my plants are in containers. I have recently fallen in love with the David Austin roses and would like to try a couple in some large containers. However, from what I'm seeing on this forum, they don't really like our area with the hot, humid summers. Is this really the case? If anyone has had any success with the DA's in the area (particularly the Ashburn area), whether in the ground or in containers, I'd love to hear about it!

Thanks so much for all your help (past, present, and future!) :-)


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slubberdegulion(z7 VA)

I can't say the David Austins that briefly graced my yard weren't pretty, but they did seem to succumb to blackspot quickly. Brother Cadfael was slow to start, but puts out lovely foliage (unless the 'spot gets it) and huge flowers (I didn't think they had a very strong fragrance). Scepter'd Isle and Noble Antony were pretty, but not productive. Then there's Snow Goose, which did very well (it's a white rambler with tiny little flowers that start pink and then turn white and look a little frowzy). The flowers had a light scent, but when they started turning brown, ick. And there were LOTS of flowers. All those are prospering at a friend's house, she claims they rarely get blackspot for her (@#*&!) and bloom very well.

What I do have left of the DA roses is William Shakespeare 2000. Their catalogue claims the original W.S. had too great a problem with blackspot and was pulled off the market. This one is a martyr to it too, but the roses smell so GOOD and it struggles with its diseases elegantly enough that I keep it. Last year, the 'spot wasn't nearly as bad as it has been before, I'm hoping for the best this year.

I've always heard good things about 'Sharifa Asma' (sp?). The only other complaint I have about DA roses is that they aren't great cut flowers because most seem weak-stemmed or fragile, but they can be arranged well enough in bowls.

Have fun choosing your roses!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2005 at 4:02PM
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You may have seen one of my previous posts criticizing the performance of David Austin's here in Loudoun County (Northern) Virginia. As mentioned above, mine did not perform well and were quite susceptible to black spot and powdery mildew.

However, I think there are some varieties that do better than others. I returned to a previous home recently where I had planted five or six varieties. Most were gone, however Graham Thomas, a fabulous fragrant yellow was going strong, and doing so for owners who provided no maintenance and certainly no spraying.

These roses are fabulous and very different from what I seem to be able to find from Jackson Perkins or some of the smaller American discount brands. Fragrance tends to be stunning. Look, just about all roses require more attention than care free perennials... I know there are those who will argue this point. But we grow them because the are one of the most spectacular plants for the garden. David Austin's are some of the very finest of a great plant. If you love roses, you owe it to yourself to try them and see how it goes. They are worth the work. If you only get a couple of seasons out of them, so what. They are relatively inexpensive, not a major investment.

I would again recommend Graham Thomas, as well as The Pilgrim and Glamis Castle. These have flourished for me with regular spraying, perfect soil and perfect location (full morning sun and late afternoon shade). I think that they will do very well in containers, but would encourage you to pot up with a richer mixture than you might usually. I'd suggest going with 1 part composted manure, 2 parts quality potting soil, a cup of RoseTone, and those water retentive gel crystals. Water them religiously (not alot, just regularly. At least every 2 days until August and then every day until Septemeber. Again, position the containers well, ideally providing full morning sun, and shade by 3pm. Good open air circulation is also desirable.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes. ;) -S

    Bookmark   April 2, 2005 at 4:33PM
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HeartRN(z7 VA)

Wow! Thanks for the quick (and informative) responses! I've heard some nice things about Sharifa Asma as well--that might just have to be my first attempt! And I'm definitely going to have to use those water retentive gel crystals!

Charlene :-)

    Bookmark   April 2, 2005 at 6:12PM
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The only David Austin I have is Perdita and it's almost bullet proof. I never spray it since my attitude is "live happily in my yard or move on" and this one has almost no black spot. The blooms will suffer if it's as wet as the last couple of years but before that they were beautiful and kept up the show till into November.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2005 at 7:35PM
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Here is my Mary Rose last spring...she was the first Austin I tried two years ago.

I added Pat Austin, The Mayflower, William Shakespeare 2000, Charlotte, Abrham Darby and The Herbalist last year to my collection and this year I have just finished planting up Tamora, Carding Mill, Wisley, Jude the Obscure, Molineux, Sophie's Rose, The Dark Lady, The Prince, Winchester Cathedral, Tess of the d'Urberville and another William Shakespeare 2000. Can you tell I'm obsessed? I try to choose the ones that seem to be the most disease-resistant according to what I hear from others on the rose forums. In past years, I have gotten by with just spraying them for blackspot with a pre-mixed hand held spray solution available from Lowes whenever I saw signs of trouble and they all did fairly well. This year I have invested in a rechargable battery operated sprayer and will start a regular spray program simply because of the number of roses I now have. Are they more trouble than other plants? Yes... Is it worth it? YES! I would think a small collection in containers would do very well for you! I love my Austins!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 4:28PM
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HeartRN(z7 VA)


Your Mary Rose is gorgeous! Thanks for the picture. All the rose photos on these forums are such an inspiration! I just ordered Molineux, Sharifa Asma, and Ambridge Rose and am counting the days until they arrive! I planted Tamora about a week ago. Hopefully they'll all do well--I need to prove to my husband that my thumb is at least semi-green! ;-)

Good luck with your Austins!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 7:25PM
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myloki(7 Va)

I've had good luck with Tamora - good repeat and fairly clean. I've finally added Sharifa Asma after years of hearing good things. I also really like Abraham Darby - gets some blackspot in my no spray garden, but the big fat flowers and wonderful fragrance are worth it.
You should also try some Tea roses (not to be confused with Hybrid Tea - diva's of blackspot) and Chinas. They are generally more disease resistant and many are wonderfully fragrant and repeat bloom. My personal favs are Old Blush, Mrs B R Cant, Archduke Charles, Louise Phillipe, and Duchesse de Brabant. Those should get you hooked.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 3:03PM
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HeartRN(z7 VA)

Myloki--I looked up your suggested roses. Drop dead gorgeous!!!! Especially the Duchess de Brabant! Disease resistance is a big thing in my book! Hypothetically speaking (wink, wink), if I were to get just one of these teas or chinas, which would you recommend for a newbie? I have space for one in the ground, and would really like a pale color.

So, for the best all-around, knock-my-socks-off, tea or china that will completely win me over, what should I go with?

I promise, I had no idea I had so little self-restraint until I discovered roses! :-D


    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 11:10AM
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myloki(7 Va)

Oh, Charlene - that question is so truly unfair - its like choosing between children. I will say this: my all time favorite rose is Mrs B R Cant - but she is really big - like 6'x6' and not pale. If I were to pick an easy, can't go wrong rose, no maintenance blooming fool that doesn't hog a lot of space and IS a pale color, I'd probably say Old Blush. But so many nurseries have a minimum order of three - you might as well throw in Marie Pavie - another pastel, fragrant, easy care rose that is no bigger than 3'x3'. And you can't go wrong with the Duchesse or Louise for more smell and repeat to round out your order.
The madness has only just begun!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 11:28AM
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beeinmybonnet(z7 TX)

I want to plant a couple of "RED" (crimson) David Austin's,
Can someone recommend one that blooms consistently? I want lots of blooms all summer! I have enjoyed reading your comments here. Ya'll keep on taking time to smell the roses! :)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2005 at 5:10AM
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myloki(7 Va)

Well, its not a David Autstin, but I would recommend either Louise Phillipe or Cramoisi Superior. They are nearly identical Chinas that are very disease resitant, a nice red, bloom all summer, and smell great. If you don't care about fragrance, Knock-Out is also very disease resistant, blooms non-stop, and you can get it any where.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2005 at 11:57AM
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susanchristine(z6b VA)

Can you suggest a nursery/store where I can find David Austins. I'm in Great Falls, and have found limited number in my area-that have been outragously priced.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2005 at 5:50PM
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Beeinmybonnet, How about red with a purplish tone? The Austin rose William Shakespear 2000 is just gorgeous...an old rose look with a beautiful frangrance and lasts well as a cut flower. He got very little blackspot for me as a new bare root last year and put out many blooms...so impressed that I ordered another for this year. Susanchristine...I have not been able to find any Austins at nurseries in my area. I have mail-ordered all the ones I have...most from David Austin Roses in Texas as well as some from Pickerings and Wayside.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2005 at 9:15PM
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HeartRN(z7 VA)

Not that I should really be offering much advice around here, since, after all, I am the "newbie", but I've been doing quite a bit of reading on the David Austin roses (mostly the rose forums, but also books and other websites). The two crimson David Austin roses that have been recommended way more than any others are The Prince and William Shakespeare 2000.

I've been ordering my DAs from Pickering and Chamblees. Both places sounded awesome both on the Dave's Garden website and the rose forums. Since all of my roses are brand new from them this year, I can't really vouch for these places longterm. All the roses I received from them looked great to my admittedly inexperienced eyes. Both places were very reasonably priced, even including shipping.

I started out shopping locally in the northern VA area, and I agree completely with susanchristine about the high prices on roses around here. I think that ordering was definitely a good way to go!

Thanks again for all your help with selecting some great roses for this newbie! :-)

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 10:34AM
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thistle5(z7 VA)

I added 4 Austin roses last year, 3 of them bloomed the first season after planting-Gertrude Jekyll, Crown Princess Margaretha, Christopher Marlowe, & Golden Celebration(which did not bloom last year, but this year is absolutely covered with buds & blooms!). Of these, CPMargaretha & Christopher Marlowe are the top picks, I added another Christopher Marlowe, they are covered with buds, look very healthy (I've used Bayer 3-in-1, but may have to use a fungicide for BS, especially on the Golden Celebration). Gertrude Jekyll is the most fragrant, but has wicked thorns, I plan to prune heavily after the first flush of blooms. I can't say enough good things about the other 2, though, gorgeous form, color, & fragrance, although they don't last too long when cut...

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 7:06PM
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bobkat13(z7 Richmond VA)

I just started gardening about a year ago and now have 97 roses planted along with many other plants & shrubs. I really love David Austin roses! I planted 2 Pat Austins last year and just love, LOVE that color! Also have Carding Mill, Lillian Austin, and 3 Graham Thomas, plus I put in another 3 Pat Austins last fall.

I buy own root roses for the most part, and the first year Pat Austin will lay it's blooms in the dirt because the canes just aren't strong enough to hold them up yet. My 2 Pat Austins that were planted first are doing a MUCH better job of holding up those fat blooms now.

For the record, I have a survival of the fittest attitude and don't mind some blackspot. Carding Mill got it and dropped almost all of her leaves last summer. I thought she was a goner, but au contraire! Back came the leaves and she covered herself with glory in a final fall flush. She's got even more blooms on her right now for her first spring fling.

Here's a fall planted Pat Austin

and here's Carding Mill (on the right)

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 10:19PM
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I know it's not a DA rose, but of the few roses I have grown, my Jackson & Perkins "Midas Touch" rose was unbelievable. Very nice yellow with nice dark green foilage and very vigorous, it got 4 or 5 feet tall, great scent. It even survived me moving it when it was that big. No blackspot to speak of while my others were suffering. Just thought I'd pass that along....

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 10:54AM
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harryvetch(Cent.VA/ Zone 7)

Those are mighty pretty roses, but I think I see a couple of weeds at the top of the photo, let's hop to it!
Also it looks like your petioles are slightly distended, you might want to have them looked at.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2006 at 7:07PM
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The only nursery I've found in N VA is Blue Mount Nursery, Ashburn (rt 7, btwn Dulles & Leesburg) They have a huge selection that come in for Mother's Day. Apparently they sell quickly. 30$ a pot when I saw them last. They looked better than the roses I've seen any where else. Still considering mail order, though.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 9:54AM
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i have had over the years about 6 different d.austins. over the last 3 years all have died or are dying. they are the most beautiful of roses to my eyes but i'll not spend another dime on replacing them.
between the droughts and humidity mine cannot thrive.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 8:39AM
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This is an oooold thread, but I thought I'd chime in a good source for Austins in NoVa. Gardens of Delight in Peonian Springs (North of Leesburg on rt 9) sells actually "David Austin brand" Austins. It's a tiny nursery but they also sell some plants you aren't likely to find anywhere else.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 10:30PM
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ensatagirl(6a Floyd VA)

I bought several a few years ago. Graham Thomas and Sharifa Asma are flourishing. The others are barely hanging on: William Shakespeare, Glamis Castle, Mary Rose, etc.

However, Why don't you wait for the www.parkwholesale.com sale (I hope it is written correctly.) I bought many last June for $3.89 and planted them in containers. Almost all bloomed. I will put them in the ground in the spring and have a whole new rose garden (fingers crossed.)

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 12:24AM
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thistle5(z7 VA)

After vowing, no new roses, I did end up getting Bishop's Casle (the only Austin so far, although I'm still thinking about Janet), Purple Passion, & Strike it Rich... So much for swearing off roses...

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 2:58PM
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