Friday, June 10, 2011

Our David Austin Roses

Our rose bush has a short bloom period; when we purchased it at the garden center three years ago, we were told that it would repeat bloom into early fall.  We've never been able to get it to bloom but the one time in Spring every year, and that's all until the next year.  But its beautiful flowers and the rich, haunting fragrance it bears make up for the brief bloom time.  At certain times of the day, the scent wafts across the air, and then we experience the sensation of real, old rose magic.

My husband found this book for me several years ago on the bargain table at the bookstore, and I treasure it for the beautiful photographs, as well as the information it contains.

I pored through the pages, promising myself that one day, I would have one of these rose bushes (or something very similar) growing in our yard.  But roses have always intimidated me.  I see them as the temperamental, high-maintenance queen of the botanical world.  Then one day we were strolling through our local garden shop looking for a Mother's Day gift for one of our Moms, and we discovered that they were having a sell on their rosebushes.  We picked out a lovely Old Garden Rose variety for my MIL, which she has really enjoyed.  But while we were still looking around, I spotted a David Austin label on one of the plants, and I stopped to have a look.  The flowers had already been pruned back after their first bloom, so we just had to trust the picture on the label, and the word of the garden shop's rose expert that the roses would be a lovely pink, and have an irresistible fragrance when they bloomed again.  We have not been disappointed.

The nursery did not stock the rose I was originally looking for, called the "Cottage Rose".  Our rose is called the "Gertrude Jekyll" rose, and it too is in my little rose book.  The book's description says, "A magnificent rose and a fitting tribute to Britain's greatest woman gardener, Gertrude Jekyll has large, rich pink flowers and a well-balanced, Old Rose perfume, described as the quintessential rose fragrance".  The great thing about Old Garden Roses is that their old-fashioned look is reminiscent of grandmother's garden and they have gorgeous, fragrant blooms.  The other important thing is that they are quite hardy, mostly disease resistant, and have few problems with pests (unless your local deer discover them).

I love this rosebush, and I thought I would share some pictures with you today.  I used these flowers on our dining room table in my Mother's Day tablescape HERE, and they really are pretty in vases scattered throughout the house, where you can enjoy their sweet perfume.  Below are some pictures my husband took last year.  Pretend you don't notice how our shrubbery needs pruning in the first picture ;)

Can you spot the little bug at the top of the rose in the picture below?  He managed to sneak into several of the photos.  I think he's also been munching on some of the foliage.

These blooms shatter easily after they've been in a vase for two or three days.  So I collect the fallen petals...

... and after the remaining flowers have wilted and dried, I make potpourri.  Then I can still get a mild whiff of that wonderful scent until next Spring when our trellis is again covered with these marvelous rose blossoms.

This week I'm linking to Pink Saturdays hosted by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound and Seasonal Sundays hosted by The Tablescaper.  Thanks so much to The Tablescaper and Beverly for hosting these great weekly blog parties!  I hope you'll take time to visit these sites and hope you have a wonderful weekend!



  1. I really liked your Pink Saturday post. See you next week.
    Joyce M

  2. I love this shade of pink - it is gorgeous. These roses are so beautiful they almost don't look real. Now I'll be looking at garden centers to see if any have them. It's fun to dream about such beauty.


  3. Just beautiful, Denise. I would love a rose garden, but I have one bush, and it isn't anything to blog about. Oh well...

    I like to made potpourri out of fallen petals, too.

  4. What a beautiful shade of pink! Your roses are lovely. I enjoyed visiting your blog!

  5. Gorgeous pink roses. I can just imagine their lovely fragrance. ~ Sarah

  6. Pink is right! Such a lovely rose. I keep my rose petals too! Love the pomander. Fun post. Happy Seasonal Sunday!

  7. Such glorious photos. What an amazing rose. Your vignette with the rose petals is beautiful in it's simplicity.

    Thanks for being a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  8. Lovely roses.. I have some that are supposed to bloom all through the summer and they bloom once. I'm thinking of ripping them out and replacing them. Many blessings, marlis

  9. I too am rather intimidated by roses, but yours is so beautiful. And that was so sweet of your DH to get you that book.


  10. Stunning roses! Have a great day, from one southern gal to another.

  11. Beautiful color of the roses and amazing photography! I love the one you took in the bud stage... and I'm amazed at the size of these gorgeous blooms!I have a tough time growing roses... Thanks for sharing these beautiful images!I love it how you made potpourri, you can enjoy their beauty even after they faded. Have a lovely evening!~Poppy

  12. What stunning photography! The roses are SO gorgeous up close!



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