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English Roses
A term coined by David Austin to describe roses that resulted from the hybridization of some of the Old Garden Roses (Gallicas, Damasks, Portlands, and Bourbons) with modern roses (Hybrid Teas and Floribundas). They combine the flower form, fragrance and shrubby growth of the Old Roses with the wider range of color and remontancy of the Modern Roses. 'Constance Spry®' is the original English Rose that caused such great interest when it was introduced by Graham Thomas in 1961. Since David Austin introduced the first English Rose, other breeders have developed roses that also fit into this category and are often marketted as such.
[See, David Austin's English Roses, p. 92.] Austin introduces his new varieties each year at the Chelsea Flower Show.
[From Gardening with Roses, by Judith McKeon, p. 34:] All varieties bloom profusely in early summer. However, individual garden performance, including growth habit, disease resistance, and reliable repeat-flowering varies regionally... Often vigorous, upright cultivars such as 'Graham Thomas' throw tremendously long canes after the first bloom and throughout the summer when grown in North America, and gardeners find this behavior most confusing. It is a vigorous response to the hot, sunny days and warm nights in many regions of North America, which cause bushes to react with a vegetative spurt instead of setting more flower buds, as they do in England. Manage these long canes with hard pruning; reduce canes by two thirds of their length to encourage later blooms and to maintain a tidy habit.
[From Gardening with Old Roses, by Alan Sinclair and Rosemary Thodey, p. 36:] In warmer climates many... grow tall enough to be classed as pillar roses or small climbers..
[From Peter Schneider on Roses, by Peter Schneider, p. 155:] Austin has named almost one hundred varieties of English roses to date, with plans to introduce five or six new ones each year. Many are quite similar to one another, and rosarians will eventually settle on a dozen or so that will endure. After they are all sorted out, English roses will probably be seen as a phenomenon similar to that of the less well-named hybrid musk. Just as perceptive plantsmen treasure Joseph Pemberton's 'Moonlight' and 'Penelope' today and have forgotten all about his 'I Zingari' and 'Princess Nagaka', rosarians in the next century may well still grow Austin's 'Heritage' and 'Mary Rose' but probably will not deed space to his 'Glastonbury' or 'Proud Titania'...
[From A Celebration of Old Roses, by Trevor Griffiths, p. 147:] It is [Griffith's] prediction that this family, along with others now being created, will inevitably supersede the present-day modern roses, which for some years now have been losing their identity...
Harkness Roses in their catalog list Austin's roses, as well as roses from other breeders including their own that are similar, as Modern English.
[In his book, 100 English Roses for the American Garden, Clair Martin wrestles with the question, What exactly is an English Rose?, pp. 16-20:] So far, English Roses have been defined by the eye of their hybridizer, David Austin... the American Rose Society placed them in the rather nebulous, all-encompassing "Shrub" class... [although] the class "English Rose" is not yet an accepted designation, it is the name by which the rose-buying public identifies this group... Austin's roses share very few common characteristics of parentage, flower form, or growth habit... most, but not all, are repeat-bloomers... An English Rose is at its most perfect stage in full open bloom, regardless of bud shape or number of petals... Until very recently, the flower color of English Roses has, on the whole, 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... [although many English Roses are fragrant] there is no one fragrance that can be said to define an English Rose... English Roses can be low growing, low and spreading, medium and bushy, and even tall and spreading in habit. The one unifying feature seems to be a shared habit of fountainlike shape... which makes the class very desirable as landscape shrubs...
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