100 English Roses for the American Garden
Book published 1997 by Workman Publishing
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100 English Roses for the American Garden was written with the American gardener in mind. Clair Martin was one of the first Americans to become interested in English Roses and has done much to popularize them both in his writing and in his role as Curator of the Rose Collections at The Huntington Botanical Gardens in California.
Martin begins with a short history of the rose and a discussion of each rose class, leading up to the story of the English Rose. English Roses are a comparatively recent rose phenomenon -- they've been around for about thirty years and available in the United States only within the last ten. The ways these roses perform in the different climates of the U.S. are very different from the way they grow in their country of origin. Martin makes it his mission to provide Americans with a better understanding of how these roses will behave in their own gardens.
He also tries to answer the question, "What is an English Rose?" These roses are descended from a number of different breeding lines. Although many of them are fragrant, there is no such thing as an English Rose fragrance. English Roses come in a variety of heights. He presents a number of ideas, but can't quite define what it is that the rose-buying public means when it says this or that rose looks like an English Rose. The closest he comes is to say that an English Rose is at its most perfect stage in full, open bloom, regardless of how many petals it has, and the color of the blossoms have remained on the strict pastel-and-primary side of the spectrum. The hottest of the orange and red tones, as well as the blends, have been avoided. (However, Austin has even started to break this rule with the introduction of the very orange Pat Austin.)