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  • Joanne Herbert

David Austin Roses

Updated: Mar 29, 2021


Pink Gertrude Jekyll roses in bloom
Roses in full bloom

I have loved roses for as long as I can remember. The beautiful blooms, the colours and fragrances, they remind me of being a child. Roses would be given as gifts on special occasions, 'Whisky Mac' for dad, 'Golden Celebration' for my grandparents anniversary and so it went on. I remember falling in love with 'Blue Moon', its parma-violet fragrance and unusual blue/mauve colour, my mum planted this too but it didn't do so well.


So, it was on my mind to buy some roses for the cattery garden and David Austin Roses sprung to mind. They produce some truly beautiful roses and are highly regarded. I got my laptop out and started to browse David Austin's website, before I knew it there were ten roses in my basket and I could easily have added another ten! So many colours but my only criteria was for them all to be highly scented. I chose five shrub roses: Lady of Shalott (Orange), Roald Dahl (Apricot), Boscobel (Coral-Pink), The Poet's Wife (Rich Yellow) and Gertrude Jekyll (Bright Pink). The climbers I chose were: Claire Austen (Creamy White), The Generous Gardener (Pale Pink), The Pilgrim (Soft Yellow) and the final two ramblers I chose were: Paul Noel (Light Pink) and Malvern Hills (Soft Yellow).

Having placed my order for the above mentioned bare root roses, we then had to prepare the area they were going to be planted. This meant digging a 16inch square hole for each and every one of them, ensuring the soil was weed free and then adding well-rotted horse manure and compost to improve the soil. We have a lot of heavy clay so this step is really important.

I was so excited when the roses arrived, well packaged and sooner than expected so we weren't quite ready for them all.


Unfortunately, whilst sorting out the shrub roses, we noticed The Lady of Shalott was missing but that we had two Paul Noel Ramblers.


A quick phone call to David Austin sorted out the problem and they said we could keep the extra rambler (yay!) and that they would send the missing rose straight away. Just means another hole needs digging, 'Jay, get that spade out'...

We soaked the bare root roses for two hours before planting, added the mycorrhizal fungi over the roots as suggested and got them in the ground.


We also had to think about where to plant the climbers and ramblers. The front of the cattery was an easy choice, and next to the shed, we also thought about the front of the house but still needed a large pot or planter so some could go next to the fence.


Having seen the price of large pots, we decided to make use of the leftover decking wood and use that to make a planter. Jay comes in handy at this point, chop saw, screwdriver, wood. and this is what we made:

A lovely big planter for a climber and a rambler, we stained it using protek Hazelnut and hey presto. It was incredibly heavy to move into place and took an awful lot of soil, compost and manure to fill, but we got there in the end and planted the last two roses. Hopefully they will be happy and reward us with beautiful blooms later in the year.


Whilst I'm writing this blog, our missing rose is delivered, so we are off out into the garden to plant it.

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