June is National Rose Month and, just in time, the New York Times has published this: In Fragrance, Rose is the New Unisex. I love roses — flowers and fragrance — almost as much as I love lilies of the valley. More, in some ways, as the flowers of roses are so varied, much more than lilies of the valley.
David Austin of England, pictured above meeting HRH Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Chelsea flower show (where he won another gold medal at the age of 90), is a giant in the world of roses. He began his ambitious rose hybridization program decades ago, to bring back to modern roses the strong fragrances and softer shapes he knew from the roses of prior centuries. David Austin English Roses are the happy result — and they do make me happy! I can only grow a couple in my mostly shady, hot and humid Southern garden but they live up to their reputations as highly fragrant, beautiful roses. The one that does best for me is “Teasing Georgia”, a soft yellow rose I grow on a metal obelisk structure.
Mine isn’t quite as glamorous as this but it comes close! It has a strong tea rose fragrance.