Gardening: Chelsea debut for three new beauties in the rose garden

Mill on the Floss rose. Picture by David Austin Roses
Mill on the Floss rose. Picture by David Austin Roses

Three new roses made their debut at last month’s Chelsea Flower Show and they’re real beauties.

David Austin Roses won another gold medal with a traditional rose garden provided the backdrop for the launch of varieties Emily Brontë, Tottering-by-Gently and The Mill on the Floss..

Emily Bront� rose. Picture by David Austin Roses

Emily Bront� rose. Picture by David Austin Roses

David Austin Jnr said: “Our roses work really well, even in smaller spaces such as planted in a large container on a patio.”

Here’s more on the new roses:

Emily Brontë: named to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of the famous novelist.

The distinctive blooms are soft pink with a subtle apricot hue.

Tottering-by-Gently rose. Picture by David Austin Roses

Tottering-by-Gently rose. Picture by David Austin Roses

The central petals deepen to rich apricot and surround a button eye.

It flowers freely and almost continually from early summer into autumn.

The fragrance of the flower is strong, beginning as tea but becoming more old rose with hints of lemon and grapefruit.

It forms a tall, bushy shrub with strong, upright growth; the foliage is tinged red at first, later turning green. Size 4½ x 4ft.

Tottering-by-Gently: named to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Annie Tempest’s weekly cartoon, first published in Country Life in January 1994.

This variety’s beauty is found in the simplicity of its single bright yellow flowers and the spectacular display they create when viewed en masse.

Flowers have a light musky fragrance with fresh notes of orange peel. Size 4½ x 4½ft.

The Mill on the Floss: named after the novel by George Eliot.

A very free-flowering rose, bearing large clusters of small, neat, deeply cupped blooms.

Initially mid-pink, verging on lilac-pink, they pale as they open, the individual petals defined by carmine edges.

There is a sweet, fruity fragrance, size 4½ x 4ft.

Bare root roses cost £21 plus package and posting, potted roses are £27 plus P&P, visit, freephone order line 0800 111 4699.


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Runner beans need well-prepared ground and suitable supports (I use a frame of New Zealand flax flower stalks) for the shoots to twine around and grow upwards.

Don’t forget to give greenhouse plants more space as they put on new growth. This will help to prevent disease, and to contain early pest infestations.

Perennials such as hollyhocks, delphiniums and lupins can be sown directly into drills outside. If space is limited, sow them into pots and place them in a cold frame or by the base of a sheltered wall in filtered sunlight.

Hellebore seed can be harvested once the seed heads have ripened. Sow immediately, while fresh – they need a winter’s cold season to break their dormancy. Seed-grown plants will differ from the parent.

Spreading and trailing plants, can become tatty – trim them back after flowering encourages fresh growth and new flowers.

Tackle bindweed when it appears in a border.

Stake tall perennials to prevent wind damage to flower spikes.

Inspect lilies for red lily beetle and crush them.

Tie in climbing and rambling roses as near to horizontal as possible. This will encourage side shoots to grow along the length of stem, for more flowers.

In wet areas, plant container trees and shrubs. In dry districts, wait until autumn.

Ward off carrot fly by covering plants with a fine woven plastic mesh like Enviromesh.

Net cherries against birds, keep protection in place for all soft fruit.