Spring has sprung at Dawson’s! Stop and smell the roses!

Well another exciting, fragrant and magnificent rose season has just begun. Our roses seem to be roaring along despite the cool and wet start to Spring. Our stores are starting to fill with new seasons roses, so it’s a great time to visit your nearest Dawson’s or shop online for enticing new and recent releases and tried and true garden favourites.

We are seeing some interesting trends in roses. Fragrant roses are back in a big way! It wasn’t long ago, you’d often hear people saying “roses don’t smell like they used to!” There are of course fragrant roses and those that don’t have any discernible scent. But, the overwhelming trend in modern rose breeding over the last 15-20 years has been very much to select and breed for fragrance and there are now many deliciously scented roses once again waiting to grace our gardens.

Breeders like David Austin and the French rose breeders the Delbards have been particularly active in trying to produce fragrant roses. David Austin roses have quite complex fragrance profiles as do for example, the Delbard roses; Chateau Versailles, Chartreuse de Parme and Soeur Emanualle.

Our new 2013-2014 Dawson’s Rose Catalogue, provides a helpful guide to fragrance in our roses, but it is often best to let your nose be the judge. Fragrance can be a very subjective thing. Remember that as a rule rose fragrance will be strongest in the morning on sunny days.

We are often get asked, what’s the most fragrant Dawson’s rose? It’s a difficult question to answer, as everyone has different perceptions of fragrance. The bi-colour hybrid tea rose Double Delight is one that often comes to the top of the list. It is certainly very popular choice with our customers and it does have a strong, sweet, all day fragrance. There are however many fragrant beauties; Pope John Paul II, Granada, Fragrant Cloud, Dolly Parton, Neptune, White Lightnin’, Candlelight, Heaven Scent, Mr Lincoln, Sir Donald Bradman,  Souvenir de la Malmaison, Angel Face and Alec’s Red, also spring to mind. So, you be the judge…it’s time to smell the roses!

Eyes For You is one of the most unique, new roses we’ve seen for a long time. It’s a floribunda rose, with pale pink, semi double flowers with contrasting carmine pink-purple “eye” in the centre of the flower. It actually looks more like a peony than a rose. Eyes For You is something completely new in modern garden roses. It is the result of a thirty year breeding process by English rose breeders. In the early 1970’s English rose breeders became fascinated by the “eyed” colour contrasts seen in Persian roses, Rosa persica and set about trying to breed this feature into modern roses.

Eye’s For You has impressed us in our nursery trials and as well as being a consistent performer through the season, it also displays an exciting level of black spot resistance. In, fact it is the most black spot resistant rose we have ever seen.

Another outstanding new plant is the Geranium Big Red. Big Red delivers that Italian Geranium look in spades, with unrivaled intensity of colour and non- stop flowering. Our intense summer light, requires bright colours to shine through and draw the eye and Big Red does just that! It is actually a cross between ivy type geraniums and normal geraniums, so it has a wonderful spreading, mounded habit, just ideal for baskets, window boxes, pots or garden beds.

Take some time to smell the roses and enjoy spring gardening.

The Dawson Gardener