Your letters, photos, ques­tions

Gardening Australia - - CONTENTS -

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’.

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