David Austin Roses
Barbara Lea Taylor
Photos by Juliet Nicholas
Published by David Bateman
CANTERBURY garden writer
Barbara Lea Taylor's enthusiasm for old-fashioned and David Austin
roses has already led to three books. Her latest offering is a readable,
affordable introduction to choosing and growing these types of roses.
Historical snippets and
anecdotes leaven the book's description and practical advice.
Once- and repeat-flowering
old-fashioned roses are dealt with first. David Austins are also
covered thoroughly more than 50 English roses are described.
As the author explains, hundreds more are available, despite many
being chopped from Austin's catalogue in the quest for quality.
The chapter on cultivation
has no-nonsense tips such as: "Be wary of small plants in small
pots. Look for strong growth rather than flowers." There are also
simple illustrations on how to plant container-grown and bare-rooted
roses, planting cuttings, what type of cut to make when pruning
and so on.
Pests and diseases get
obligatory coverage, too. ("Unless you have special dispensation
from God, most of your roses will get black spot and some of them
will get mildew.") That the predatory Japanese beetle is listed
here shouldn't ring alarm bells. This listing (and the spelling)
tags the book as destined for the US market as well as our own.
Lea Taylor is an entertaining
and passionate advocate. "Roses are easy to grow," she asserts.
"Like most living things they need food, water sun and shelter.
A measure of love is always advantageous."
Gardener, Issue 147, 2004, Page 22
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH