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Yolande D’Aragon

After discovering the alluring world of old garden roses, I felt the need to add as many as I could. I was on a conquest looking for a rose who’s fragrance could compete with David Austin’s Gertrude Jekyll. I didn’t expect Yolande D’Aragon to fit this check box, in fact I added this rose for the large, voluptuous, old world blooms that I had seen on several Instagram accounts. She was bred in 1843 by a rose breeder called Jean- Pierre Vibert of which I have begun collecting several of his roses. Yolande is from the Portland class, a remontant class of old roses that preceded hybrid perpetuals.  I ordered this rose from Heirloom roses months after placing my bare root orders for spring of 2021. This was a last minute, late night shopping splurge. She came well rooted but much smaller than my bare roots, which is to be expected with own root specimens. I was thrilled however when she became one of the first of my new roses to produce buds, and even more thrilled when I saw the size of th

Carding Mill- the scent of old fashioned candy

Carding Mill was the third David Austin rose that I added to the garden. I found him locally at a garden center and was delighted at the large blooms with the most wonderful fragrance that reminded me of old fashioned candy hearts. This of course would be my introduction to the “myrrh” fragrance that many David Austin roses are famous for.  His first summer was spent in his nursery can on my deck while I debated where to put him. In those early days of gardening I wasn’t very efficient at finding pockets to tuck roses into or very adept at moving things to fit additional roses. But his time in his can on the deck was well spent. He produced bloom after bloom that I got to enjoy while relaxing outdoors. I couldn’t get enough of the unique fragrance.  The myrrh fragrance is described as “licorice” or “medicinal.” To me, carding mill smelled like pure candy and I couldn’t get enough of this new fragrance. Later on I set out to add more roses with this myrrh fragrance, including Scepter’d

Olivia Rose Austin- is this the perfect pink rose?

 After discovering david Austin roses and adding Gertrude Jekyll from a local nursery, I found myself perusing the DA website to see what else was being offered. There were many incredible looking varieties, but I kept coming back to the newly offered Olivia Rose Austin. Described by the late David Austin as being quite possibly the best Rose that he had ever bred, she tempted me enough to become the first Rose that I would purchase directly through the David Austin website as a bare root plant. She has since been in my garden going on five years and so I figured I would write up my thoughts on her.  The perfect pink rose? When I’m asked what my favorite pink rose is it usually evokes several questions- best pink for fragrance.... for disease resistance, light pink, bright pink, clear pink.... you get the idea. The answer is usually pretty complex because not everyone knows exactly what they are looking for.  Like many other Austin roses, Olivia has a range of colors depending on a bun

Adding Old Garden Roses to My Garden

Although 2020 has seen many of our plans change and forced us to work in entirely new ways, our gardens remain a positive respite that despite whatever is going on in the world remain a constant source of stress relief and happiness. Photos of Madame Isaac Periere taken June 2020 at Elizabeth Park I began 2020 with a couple of garden initiatives- firstly to visit more public rose gardens, and secondly to expand my collection of roses into old garden varieties - Both of which I have done. Now in regards to visiting more rose gardens, this hasn't been the easiest year to travel and many public spaces have been closed or open with limited access. Early in the year I took several trips to Elizabeth park in Hartford, CT and joked that I had seen the park full of dormant roses so many times that I probably wouldn't get back to see them in bloom. That was foreshadowing at its finest, but I was intent on getting back down. I was able to visit a couple of weekends ago and will be

Gertrude Jekyll

As spring is nearing closer it’s hard not to get excited for the upcoming growing season. Especially with the abnormally warm start to the year, the roses are already beginning to show signs of life. This will be my first year growing several varieties of old garden roses (roses from before 1867 when the first hybrid tea was introduced) but its fun to think about what led me to where I am which is essentially my obsession with David Austin roses. At my very core I am a researcher. I cherish many memories sitting around the family encyclopedia (google for kids that were born before 1990) looking up information on everything that I could possibly want to know. I was the type of kid that wrote reports for fun. Fast forward back to my adulthood and I am still odd and everything that I find interesting becomes researched until I know as much as I possibly can. So after my first season of gardening, I had decided to add Mr Lincoln, and was giddy and looking forward to the following seas

Rose Dose: Organic Rose Buds

Aside from enjoying roses in the garden for obvious reasons, I also love to harvest fresh blooms for culinary purposes including floral tisanes. During the growing season this is done easily by taking a stroll through one of my rose beds to see which plants might have a spare flower or two for the taking. During the off season however this is a little tougher, and this brings me to one of my favorite winter past times. Along with going over the David Austin catalogue in addition with various seed catalogues (and quite honestly whatever other garden inspiration I can get my hands on) I also enjoy perusing rose based or inspired products including soaps and lotions, artwork, and of course dried rose buds or petals. The trouble with the later has always been finding a reputable source to purchase from at an affordable price. I am pretty sure that I have tried every rose based tea on the market, some of them I enjoy and others not so much. I usually end up adding rose water to