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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 isle which is said to have one of the strongest myrrh fragrances. Needless to say I don’t love the myrrh fragrance in general, however carding mill has a unique twist to the myrrh note that really makes it special. 

His blooms are spectacular, or rather most of them are. He is sort of a chameleon producing a range of colors and shapes. His colors range from pink to apricot, to orange with some yellow, and then some salmon or coral.... I honestly can’t keep track of the colors, however they look the best when all of them show up in a single bloom. The bloom shape also ranges from full cupped shaped balls of petals to flatter more open showing stamens like a water lilly. I think both forms are beautiful although I prefer the deep cupped blooms best. 

His shrub is well behaved in my garden. He doesn’t sprout long canes, although he has plenty of vigor and puts on plenty of growth each year. He just tends to stay tidy. His blooms grow upright on strong stems. Although I personally think nodding blooms are beautiful, I understand that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and often I see people looking for David Austin roses that face upright. He gets some blackspot in my garden but nothing too serious and it doesn’t seem to stop him. He quickly recovers. 

It’s a shame that David Austin no longer offers this rose to our friends in the UK. It’s one that I look forward to seeing every year and it’s by far my favorite of the myrrh scented varieties. I fully recommend carding mill for both beauty and fragrance. 


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