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JENNIFER STACKHOUSE SAYS This is one of the most beautiful, fragrant roses you could grow in your garden. Due to its two-tone cream and rose red petals, which open from cherry pink buds, and its great perfume, it’s called ‘Double Delight’. It is widely available at garden centres and from specialist rose growers so you should be able to find one either now or in autumn when roses are available via mail order as bare-rooted stock. It was introduced in 1977 and inducted into the World Federation of Rose Societies’ Rose Hall of Fame in 1985, having been voted best in the world.
People often say modern roses have no scent, but many do. Much breeding work has gone into selecting roses with good perfume, long stems (like ‘Double Delight’), interesting colours, an appealing flower shape and size, and disease resistance.
Late spring, when many roses are in full bloom, is a good time to literally stop and smell the roses. As well as finding roses in flower now in gardens, parks and special rose gardens, you can visit rose shows, where the roses are named and plants offered for sale. Make a note of blooms you like, then talk to the growers and exhibitors at rose shows about the size of the bush and how it grows.
Rose scent varies according to the health and vigour of the plant, along with the age of the bloom. Fragrance is best when the plant is growing strongly, with lots of sunlight, regular fertiliser, organic mulch and regular deep watering.
Some of the best fragrant modern roses that are also strong, healthy, good for picking and readily available include ‘Just Joey’ (apricot) and ‘Dame Elisabeth Murdoch’ (two-tone orange and gold, and named for one of Australia’s truly great gardeners). Among the recent releases, ‘Dark Desire’ (deep red flowers, disease resistant) and ‘Summer Romance’ (pink flowers, disease resistant) have strong colour and excellent scent.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT ‘Summer Romance’; ‘Just Joey’; ‘Dark Desire’; ‘Dame Elisabeth Murdoch’.