A Few Words about the David Austin Roses

When the David Austin roses came to the US, I bought and planted about two dozen of them in my garden in Nashville. How seductive they were, and still are, and yet not one of them would I grow again.

I never thought I would live in New Hampshire and be writing about those roses. They were marketed at first to Higher zones than 5, but now I see their sellers are committing Zone Creep and selling them four miles from me at the local hardware store in Goffstown. Businesses who sell plants locally are conservative souls who do not want to hear about what rose someone paid 60.00 for that froze and died over the winter. But who could resist “Graham Thomas” and its resplendent golden blooms when the Missouri Botanical Gardens, Dave’s Garden, and the vendors agree that Zone 5 is possible.

I do wonder about the hardiness, but my argument is that this may bloom well and constantly in California , a known paradise for roses, but do poorly elsewhere.

In Nashville, my “Graham Thomas” had 13 foot canes and bloomed once. All it did was get bigger. I tossed it after two years.

I still have a paper I wrote for a plant society about my evaluation of these roses in 1992. Granted, they could be improved now, but over and over I wrote:

No repeat bloom

Riddled with blackspot.

Beautiful blooms on a short angular ugly bush


Maybe these roses will do well in New England, but I would advise going to the Dave’s garden website and reading real gardener’s comments about them.

If these are going for 10 bucks at Walmart and you do not mind gambling, try one.

But at 50.00 or 60.00 dollars a pot you will gamble the cost of two tanks of fuel.


There is Gardening Mania abroad in the US ,and people new to gardening are on a spree. The Online nurseries are sold out. All beginners spend foolishly and make mistakes. I was once one of them, and after 40 years of digging was stupid enough to buy Digiplexis when it first appeared., which is proof.

Published by talesofanashvillegardener

Professional gardener, Experimental Cook. Constant Reader

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