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Stunning rose that’s worthy of this dame

The Dame Judi rose.

The Dame Judi rose.

Richard Wright

[email protected]

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 13:30

DAME Judi Dench is a hardy perennial English rose so it was most appropriate she should have a bloom named after her - and what a wonderful one.
The mail order company David Austin has always been at the head of the pack and it was no surprise Dame Judi is a stunner, launched as it was with a visit to Osborne by the grande dame herself.
Oh, there was also the small matter of her becoming patron of the Friends of Osborne and the new film Victoria and Abdul.
More importantly, Dame Judi (the flower) is an English musk hybrid said to have the fragrance of fresh tea.
I'm not sure there has ever been a rose that is not beautiful - even the vivid red of superstar has its place - but this one is an especially gorgeous colour - a particularly rich shade of apricot, paling prettily towards the edges.
Beginning as striking, red-tipped buds the flowers gradually open to reveal large informal rosettes, each with ruffled petals and a button eye.
Maintaining their beauty throughout their time in flower, they are very resistant to rain damage.
The company says Dame Judi Dench is a particularly reliable and healthy variety.
A vigorous grower, it produces strong, arching stems which, over time, form an attractive mound of blooms.
The arching stems encourage many side shoots, which produce a generous second crop of blooms.
Another newly released English musk hybrid wouldn't look amiss next to Dame Judi.
Vanessa Bell has large clusters of very free-flowering soft yellow blooms.
Rounded, pink-tinged buds open to reveal deep, medium-sized cups held in large, open clusters.
The inner petals frame a rich yellow eye deep in the centre of each bloom.
David Austin said it was very free-flowering, producing flowers almost continuously throughout the summer months.
Its fragrance is said to be best described as green tea with aspects of lemon and, at times, honey.
It has a bushy upright habit.
Named for the artist, designer and founder member of the Bloomsbury Group, Vanessa Bell - sister of the writer, Virginia Woolf - ten per cent from the sale of each rose will be donated to The Charleston Trust, which manages and conserves her fascinating former home.
The third new release, James L. Austin, on the other hand, might clash a tad.
This English old rose hybrid has large blooms of the deepest cerise pink and a lovely fruity scent.
Numerous petals form perfect large rosettes, each with a central button eye.
It too is said to flower prolifically from early summer until the first frosts and the blooms are not affected by bad weather.
It is named after the son of David Austin Snr and brother of David Austin Jnr and ten per cent from the sales of this one will go to Parkinson's charities.

 


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