New David Austin Roses

January 15, 2018

It’s no secret that roses are some of my favorite landscape plants—especially those in apricot shades. So, imagine my delight when two of the new David Austin introductions for 2018 are peachy-apricot goodness!

Now, I know that rose rosette disease is a big concern in certain areas - especially here in Texas. The best thing you can do is keep an eye out for infected plants and remove them from the landscape immediately. That means bag them and trash them. No compost. The best way to stop the spread of the disease right now is to be proactive. That said, I’m still planting roses in areas that are not affected.

Along with 116 other David Austin varieties, we will now see ‘Roald Dahl’, ‘Imogen’ and “Bathsheba’ on the market for online and mail order bare-root shipping January through mid-May of 2018.

‘Roald Dahl’ is a spectacular peach shade that is suited to a wide range of growing conditions, including hot and humid or dry locations. It is known for its heavy blooming all spring and fall, with a brief break in the summer.  The flower has a wonderful scent so commonly found in the garden rose varieties. According to technical director of David Austin Roses, Michael Marriott, “’Roald Dahl’ blooms its heart out from late spring till well into autumn, with just the slightest pause to catch its breath in mid-summer during peak heat.” The flowers are 3” across and filled with the signature full head of petals. The rose is named in honor of the author of James and the Giant Peach, on the 100th anniversary of his birth.

David Austin Rose 'Roald Dahl'

If you prefer a soft, lemon yellow flower, another new introduction ‘Imogen’ may be the one for you. ‘Imogen’ also exhibits the desirable button-eye. The very floriferous shrub starts blooming in late spring and continues with repeat blooms until frost. It is mildly scented, and the shrub will grow 3-4 foot in locations with cold winters; possibly larger in locations with warm winters.

This rose takes its name from a character in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline.

David Austin Rose 'Imogen'

Another new introduction that I will have to have is ‘Bathsheba’. This beautiful, myrrh scented, apricot flower is not only large (with 170 petals), but also a vigorous climber. It reaches 10’ in height and blooms from early summer to frost. ‘Bathsheba’ is the first new apricot-colored climber to be introduced in 20 years.

This selection is named for a Thomas Hardy heroine in Far from the Madding Crowd. What a beauty.

David Austin Rose 'Bathsheba'

For further information on all English Rose varieties available to North American gardeners, see www.davidaustinroses.com.

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