2020 might have been a dodgy year for people, but not so for the roses in my garden. Here are my Rose Awards, and the ultimate prize : Rose of the Year.
Nominations for the Best General Shrubby Rose :
Burgundy Iceberg, The Fairy Rose, Erotica (no chance with a name like this), and Unknown Yellow Rescued Rose (wondered if giving the title Upper Case letters might give it more validity). Two more ladies have just made the cut - Sally Holmes (a lovely country rose) and Nancy Steen.
Nominations for the Best Climbing Rose :
Summer Wine, Crepuscule, Parkdirektor Riggers (Hey! This is a joke, right? He's behaved abominably this summer), Casino, Sir Edmund Hillary (Another joke - he doesn't even bother to climb, and the cool ice white flowers are unmemorable). And the lucky last - Compassion.
Nominations for Best Rose Hedge :
Roseraie de l'Hay. Only one nomination because I only have one rose hedge. Hmm...
Nominations for Best David Austin Rose :
Darcey Bussell, named after a top British ballerina (I have taken up adult ballet classes this last year - suspect some personal bias here), Charles Austin, Graham Thomas (an evergreen, or ever-yellow, in anyone's rose list), Mary Rose (again, there may be some bias here). Add in John Clare for the poetic gardeners, and Strawberry Hill (another pink fluffy for the romantics).
Nomination for Best Old Fashioned Rose, Including Ramblers :
There are only two contenders : firstly, the white Rambling Rector, the naughtiest rambling rose on the block. The bees adore him. The other nomination is Rosa Woodsii, equally beloved of the bees. Picking this category's winner will be difficult.
And the winners are... drum roll, fanfare of D-trumpets, opens virtual envelope...
Best General Shrubby Rose :
Unknown Yellow Rescued Rose. You don't have to have a fancy-pants name to be a winning rose in my garden! You just have to bloom beautifully, and it helps if you have a lovely smell and last a long time in a house vase.
Unknown Yellow Rose
Best Climbing Rose :
Crepuscule. Two distinct flowering times, cheery reddish foliage, no thorns, pretty soft apricot flowers. Just adorable. And no inclination to smother the next garden...
Crepuscule on the Pergola
Best Rose Hedge :
Roseraie de l'Hay. A fragrant rugosa with gorgeous clean green rugosa leaves and purple-crimson flowers. A good doer, to use a rather uninspiring phrase. A great hedging rose (completely blocks out the neighbour's rough scruffy paddock). And it suckers - yeay!
Roseraie de l’Hay Rugosa Rose
Best David Austin Rose :
Charles Austin. This rose takes the MOST exquisite photographs. Actually, it's me that takes them, but you know what I mean. It lasts for ever in a vase, and always looks stunning in the garden. Rich apricot shades which vary according to the season, so you never know quite what to expect.
Charles Austin Roses
Best Old Fashioned Rose, Including Ramblers :
A tie! The judges (me and the garden bees) couldn't decide between these two wonderful bee-friendly nominations. So the award is shared equally between The Rambling Rector and Rosa Woodsii.
Best Old-Fashioned Rose - Rambling Rector and Rosa Woodsii
Two more awards...
Two other awards have already been voted on : People's (AKA Non-Gardening Partner's) Choice and Miss Personality. The People's (AKA Non-Gardening Partner's) Choice Award goes to David Austin's Othello (possibly the only rose NGP knows the name of). Miss Personality goes to a newish climbing rose, Autumn Sunset (a sport of Westerland, who is rather peeved. Oiy! What about meeeee?)
Charles Austin Rose
The Supreme Rose Award
And now, The Supreme Rose Award for 2020. Long drum roll, crescendo poco a poco... And the winner is....Charles Austin! Ta da! He was purchased from a local supermarket for the Hump Garden a couple of years ago. I had no expectations, and wow! What a handsome stunner he has matured into.
Actually, Charles Austin is every bit the elder statesman, rose-wise. He's one of the early English Roses, introduced back in 1973 - that's ages ago, before my garden was 'born'. He's named after David Austin's father.
So even though new English roses are out there each year, luscious and tempting, the older bred rose wins through! Congratulations, Charles Austin.