The English Rose Darcey Bussell bred by David Austin
Profiling plants which we grow in our garden, results, that on occasions my posts may not reflect the current month.
Not the case with the English Rose Darcey Bussell, picture above was taken in November and the two below in July.
Performance in our Garden
First of all, for any of my visitors from Aberdeen, its important to be aware that the David Austin Roses do not thrive in the North East of Scotland.
Jim Mccoll the presenter of the gardening show Beechgrove gardens, informed me of this many years ago. Well, you know what its like, I had to find out for myself. I didn’t half persevere , and over a five year period Jim proved to be correct, The Roses performance were mediocre in their first year, deteriorating rapidly thereafter.
Here in our Cheshire garden, this Rose was purchased as a pot grown plant, and planted in May of this year in a west facing border of the back garden. A few buds were starting to form, and by early July blooms were fully open. General quality of the shrub has been excellent, sturdy, bushy, with a height of about 90cm/3ft blooms have been pretty much continuous.
The deep crimson blooms of Darcey Bussel (named after the world famous ballerina) are fully double and have the old fashioned appearance which we have come to expect from David Austin Roses.
As the blooms age, they have a distinct hint of mauve just before dying off. David Austin describes the fragrance as being fruity.
Although these English Roses have the appearance of the old fashioned varieties, they differ in their ability to bloom freely throughout the season, none more so than this one I highlight today. The compact bushy form, makes it ideal for the mixed border, has to be one of the best red Roses we have had in the garden, in fact I think (I’ll give it TEN)
Pruning advice from David Austin
*** Darcey Bussell ***
Did you ever watch television gardening programmes before colour arrived
These nutty thoughts pop into my head willy nilly! I guess it starts when I first saw television in 1952/53 when I was seven/eight years old. Father had just died and an uncle and aunt who lived in Edinburgh took us away for a while, probably to help mother in her grieving and to get her head around how she was going to cope with bringing up three kids after the loss of her husband.
Well anyway, television, in spite of the awful time in our lives, I was blown away, the first programme my brother and I saw was (The Grove Family) probably the first British tv soap. It didn’t matter that it was black and white, I would watch anything, even cricket.
It was 1954 when television arrived in Aberdeen, I don’t think it arrived in time for the Queens Coronation in 53 but I may be wrong.
The first time I saw a gardening related programme on television was in 1954 when Percy Thrower had a slot on an afternoon show where he was seen potting up plants and so on in a greenhouse. Percy Thrower went on to host gardening club in 1955, and for two decades or more anyone showing an interest in gardening would receive a comment like, oh my, a right Percy Thrower aren’t you.
Television reached our household in 1955 when I was 10 years old. The screen size available was generally 12 inch,14 inch or if you were well off a 17 inch. We had an (Ultra 15 inch) which I think was a one off as I never heard of anyone else with a screen this size.
I wonder if any of you other oldies remember the celebrity’s on the tv screen in those early days. What about the comedians, the first I can recall was Max Wall, just about killed me laughing at the age of nine with his black tights and crazy antics. (Bill Maynard), many will remember him as Greengrass in the popular series (where the heart is) but long before that, in 1955 he started off as a very young comedian, cheeky chappy style with his trademark of wearing very sloppy sweaters.
The earliest American comedy series which I can recall in those days was (I married Joan) with Jim Backus and Joan Davis, she played a real scatterbrain in the style of Gracie Allen, Burns and Allen, that was another great comedy show.
Dave King UK tv presenter and entertainer was never off the box in the 1950s, also Charlie Chester, Jimmy Edwards,Tony Hancock and Harry Worth. Better not get me going on popular music or radio before I was nine years old.
Where was I, oh yes, the highly optimistic decision to give us television gardening before the advent of colour. As well as the Rose Darcey Bussel we planted a few other Roses, lets have a look at how it was in Percy Trowers days.
Well, maybe not.
Another Rose still blooming in November is the climber Aloha
(Wildeve) David Austin shrub Rose nice blooms, floppy habit
Climbing Rose Golden Showers **** English Rose Benjamin Britten
Climbing Rose New Dawn red
Ghislaine de Feligonde in June (Multi-flora climber)
Couldnt resist adding the Passion Flower (Passiflora Caerulea) blooming in late October
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