It’s true, David Austin roses have their downsides. They are marginally hardy below zone 5, they have tall, leggy bushes that really would like to be climbers, and I guess they’re somewhat susceptible to blackspot and other rose-related ills.
Nonetheless. I still love all the DA’s I’ve tried, including my new ones, Darcey Bussell and Lady Emma Hamilton. They smell heavenly, they rebloom better than shrub roses I’ve had that were supposed to be foolproof, and I love their old-fashioned flowers (very similar to authentic old roses), which are infinitely preferable to the easy-care roses used for landscaping. I like hybrid teas in theory, but wouldn’t have one in my garden. Also, there are ways to plant DAs so they'll survive in colder zones. Kathy Purdy/Cold Climate Gardening has some good advice about that.
Yesterday, I slipped back to a neglected side garden, where the composter is hidden, and found the Darcey Bussell—which I’ve only had for a year—exploding with deep red blooms. I also have the gorgeous yellow Charlotte, whose perfect blooms are sometimes the last I see at the end of October.
As for Abraham Darby, shown at top, I am sure there are better roses out there, but not that much better.Posted by Elizabeth Licata on June 13, 2011 at 11:46 am, in the category It's the Plants, Darling.