November 13, 2009

Mugshots: 2 Mauve-Pink English Roses


Today I'm highlighting two of the cool-mauve-pink english roses in my collection: Sister Elizabeth (shown above and below) and Charles Rennie Mackintosh (last 3 pictures). While the flowers are very similar in color, the forms of the shrubs differ widely. Sister Elizabeth is very low and compact at about 2.5 feet by 2.5 feet. Charles is taller: David Austin's catalog estimates 4.5 feet high by 3 feet wide.


I planted Charles in the spring of 2008, and Elizabeth joined the garden in spring of 2009. Both of them got off to a rocky start. Charles made a feast for the thrips (I have a major infestation that I haven't figured out how to handle yet). I put Elizabeth in a pot that only received a few hours of intense, hot afternoon sun and then watered her less often than she needed. Next year should be better for them both, as Elizabeth is planted in the ground now and I'm going to use a systemic insecticide on Charles (hopefully this will be a temporary tool until my garden's biological balance is better).


But even with their poor care, you can see that their flowers are sweet and dreamy. Maybe part of that dreaminess comes from me using the 'soft focus' button a bit too much in Picasa. Sorry if I went a little overboard.


The great thing about this color is that it blends well with my crimson 'William Shakespeare 2000' roses and with other cool colors in arrangements. Both of these roses have medium sized flowers, which provides a nice contrast to large roses. Charles makes a much better cut rose than Elizabeth, though. You know how cut flowers get that tissue-paper-soft texture right before they wilt in the vase? Elizabeth's flowers always seemed to be like that, even as they opened on the bush. But that might have had something to do with my watering issues.


As for their placement in the garden, Elizabeth definitely belongs near the front and makes a good groundcover rose for a small area. Tall, upright Charles needs to be in the middle of the border with surrounding plants to brush against his stems. Neither one had problems with rust or blackspot in my garden, though both had some powdery mildew by the end of the season (again, better watering might have staved that off). I'm glad to have these sweet flowers in my garden and hope to take better care of them in the future.

19 comments:

  1. I will have to try the soft focus sometime. I love your roses, very delicate and fresh looking! You have quite a nice blog, if I haven't ever told you. I was admiring your header and thinking it looked professional. Did you design it yourself?

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  2. Hi VW, these are certainly dreamy, no matter what you did in the darkroom! I love them both, and especially the color. They look quite healthy now. My roses look better now that we have had a few light frosts to get rid of those pesky insects. Finally!

    Frances

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  3. Your post made me realize how much I miss growing David Austin roses. I miss their beauty and fragrance. I just have not had much luck growing them at my current house. I did have Abraham Darby and Juliette at my home in Phoenix and I just love them.

    Your roses and photography are so beautiful.

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  4. Oh, how pretty. I love Charles. Your photograph lessons have been very interesting. Of course I had to download picasa and try some things ;-)
    Have a great weekend VW!

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  5. Oh my god, I felt in love with your roses!!!! such beauties. I have many roses but know only few of their names.
    A very beautiful blog.
    Muchos cariños
    María Cecilia

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  6. Hi VW, Your roses are beautiful! We're pretty much way past the rose season now... however, I saw a sheltered plant that was still blooming, recently. I'm very curious about where you designed a garden in Iowa!? :-)

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  7. simply beautifully captured shots...can really feel the fragrance of those roses!

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  8. I love pink roses and these are really lovely. Pests in the garden are a dilemma. Last year I had a very serious problem with phlox bug. Finally it seems to be under control~~Not an easy task, but necessary. Summer phlox is a mainstay of the garden. gail

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  9. Beautiful roses, I love both of them (but will chose the second one if I'd need to chose) and good information!Thank you!

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  10. Hey VW ! I am so behind in reading blogs it is embarrassing ? .. let alone posting ;-)
    I love the soft focus and had used it with Pamina anemone which made it look spectacular .. so don't apologise for using it .. the affect is beautiful !
    I use a product called "Rose Doctor" when my roses really get into trouble but this year went by without me reaching for that so it was a GOOD year !
    These are gorgeous roses and such a lovely touch in your garden : )
    Joy

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  11. Hi VW, Your photos are fabulous. Isn't it interesting how roses just will themselves to bloom, despite their conditions? [To a point, anyway.] I'll never forget an abandoned lot I used to drive past. It had a tall red rose bush among thousands of weeds and grasses. Every summer it bloomed despite no human intervention whatsoever. Sadly an ugly Walgreens has replaced it.

    This past summer, powdery mildew was my biggest issue with roses too despite my diligent watering AND spraying with fungicide, so take heart.

    I know what you mean about some roses not performing well in the vase. My Rose de Rescht is like that. Wonderful color, scent and form but bring it in the house and within 24 hours the gazillion sweet little petals are scattered on the table. They all have distinct personalities, don't they? I love Charles and Elizabeth. I wish I had more room, I'd buy them in a flash.

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  12. They are both beautiful. My plan to rip out the rest of our grass and turn part of the open space into a rose garden is sounding better and better each time you show more of your roses.

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  13. Those English roses are so pretty. Wish they handled Oklahoma's heat better, but they are English after all. Thanks for showing them to us.~~Dee

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  14. Morning VW, will be emailing you later..thanks for the info.
    These roses are super dreamy! I love Sister E. her petal count is incredible. I like how she is a low growing rose.

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  15. You know those colors are most dreamy and soft. I can only imagine the wonderful fragrance they have. I like their names too.

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  16. They look so healthy.

    Somehow your blooms have not drooped. My William Skakespeare always seemed to droop, blooms facing downward as if too heavy.

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  17. Rob, many of my english roses do droop - William Shakespeare included. I have heard that it takes several years for the shrubs to develop strong enough stems to hold up the flowers. I'm sure that can be encouraged with proper feeding and pruning. I'm hoping to guide my roses toward strong stems over the next few years. Will have to report on my success later.

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  18. Oh, and Rosey Pollen, I did make the blog header myself in photoshop. Thanks for the compliment! It was envisioned as a rainbow of flowers, but I didn't have any good shots of a vivid yellow flower, so I skipped yellow and added pink instead (no complaints there, as I like pink so much).

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  19. sweet and dreamy says it all - there's something about old fashioned roses, and you capture it beautifully VW.

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