The June gap just passed and the longest day behind me, I wanted to pause in the history of my garden begun earlier in the year to write about roses. I have plans to add more to my cottage garden. To that end, I ordered two varieties from David Austin Roses: The Claire Austin and The Poet’s Wife. The Claire Austins were bare root and the others came in containers.
My plan is to keep the shrub sized Poet’s Wife in containers on the patio as a front-piece to the Claire Austin climbers. The Poet’s Wife has done wonderfully. Advice from a few rosarians along the way was invaluable. Mrs. Vicar chose them due to their superior scent. I planted them out at the end of March/early April in two new raised beds I assembled. A month later it was clear I had a problem. One of the roses failed to thrive. I contacted David Austin and they sent a replacement. I switched them out but rather than discard the first I potted it up not expecting much.
Then a remarkable thing happened. The discarded rose rallied ’round and flowered as did its successor! But that brought another problem. The second rose from the original order had grown well, but when it put out its first flower it was distorted, too yellow and had no appreciable scent. It flowered first before the other so I thought, “Ah well.” Then my replacement and discard flowered wonderfully exhibiting all the characteristics we had chosen. You can see all three in the photographs I’ve added.
I contacted David Austin, again. They had reports from all over the country that Claire Austin was showing more yellow in warmer zones but when they saw my pictures, it was, “Oh wow! This one isn’t anything like the reports they’ve received. This one is definitely an oddity.”
Another replacement is ordered. The bare root will be shipped for 2020. Excellent.
I don’t know if you would agree, but I think my first Claire Austin deserves another chance. I will transfer it to its new home soon and discard Frankenstein.