A Rose (Constance Spry) and a Tip for a Happy, Healthy and Successful Living

Constance Spry

Constance Spry, introduced in 1961, is one of the first English Roses hybridized by David Austin and its success contributed to the founding of the English Roses. David Austin Roses is a flower arranger’s dream. They can be used to make wonderful floral arrangements either on their own or with other plant materials. With its voluptuous blossoms and dainty habit, you can duplicate the beauty and charm of an Old Dutch floral painting. 


Constance Spry Climber by DARPhoto Credit – David Austin Roses

 

Constance Spry can grow to a height of 6-12 ft. with a width of 6-8 ft. or 10 to 18 ft. as a climber. Bloom size is 3” with a petal count of 80+. It has a lovely pink color and very fragrant. The only drawback is it only flowers once in the spring but it blooms profusely.

Constance Spry by Flower Magazine
Photo Credit – Flower Magazine

Who is Constance Spry?

Constance Spry is the mother of modern floral design. She would have loved to use David Austin Roses for her floral arrangements. After World War 1, she changed the formal, rigid composition of floral design with unconventional pastoral compositions; flowers arranged asymmetrically with assorted shapes of foliage in various types of containers. She used all kinds of wildflowers, grasses, pods or practically anything the Victorian ladies shunned. Her style was full of drama and a refreshing reprieve from the more staid, stiff floral design of her contemporaries.

Constance Spry PinterestPhoto Credit – Pinterest

Connie, as she was known to her friends, was born in Derby, England, in 1886 and raised in Ireland. She found refuge from her domineering mother in the gardens of her childhood, where she began to take note of what would become her favorites: old garden roses, lilac, mock orange, laurel, buddleia, and evening primrose, as well as grasses, weeds, and other typically overlooked plants and materials.

Though flowers and gardening would be her lifelong passions, under her father’s direction she began her early professional life as an educator and social reformer. Traveling by horse-drawn wagon through the Irish countryside, she became a proponent of healthy living, educating housewives on the benefits of fresh air and nutritious food as part of a “War on Consumption” campaign. After a disappointing marriage to a coal mine manager, she took her only son back to England to begin life anew. It was there she met and fell in love with Shav Spry, a colonial civil servant who would be her lifelong companion.

It wasn’t until the age of 41, that Spry’s amateur talents as a floral designer were noticed by an influential lunch companion, leading her to Norman Wilkinson, a theater designer whose encouragement would launch her meteoric design career. With a commission to do flowers for cinemas and a perfume shop, Spry took her unorthodox visions of gathered materials and artful references out of the homes of friends and into the public eye, where she was praised for displays that in an incredibly modern twist included leaves, berries, seed pods, wild clematis, and golden hops mixed with exotic orchids. Her fate was sealed.

Suddenly this middle-aged woman found herself thrust into the social scene, befriending legendary decorator and fellow entrepreneur Syrie Maugham and an exuberant crowd of theatrical personalities and social luminaries. She became the florist of choice to London high society organizing the flowers for royal weddings. She designed the flowers for the Queen’s wedding and Coronation. Her books on flower arranging made her a household name.

Constance Spry Cookery Book by antique-atlas.com
Photo Credit – Antiques-Atlas.com

 

Besides being an influential floral artist, Constance Spry is the founder of the Cordon Bleu cooking school and an author of a bestselling cookbook bearing her name.

 

 

 

Tip of the Day – Turn your passions and interests into a career.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda

A Rose (Rosa banksiae) and a Tip for a Happy, Healthy and Successful Living

 

Rosa Banksiae

Class: Rose Species

Syns:   R. banksiana, Banksian rose, Banks’ Rose, Lady Banks’

Cultivated since 1796

 

Rosa banksiae is one of the best shrubs for a wall and in a few years will reach the top of most houses. It produces an abundance of pretty small roses with the sweetest fragrance you can imagine. The flowers are borne on last year’s wood and so it is well-advised not to prune in the spring. Only dead or useless branches have to be trimmed. The date of introduction is not known but the double white form was first described in the Botanical Magazine for 1818 as Lady Banks’ Rose and one of the sweetest of roses. It has also been known as a native of China and had been introduced in 1807 by William Kerr. The double yellow was introduced in 1824.

 

Definitely not for the small property, this vigorous species rose offers a spectacular spring show in warm-climate gardens that can accommodate its rampant growth habit. There are four different forms of R. banksiae, varying by flower color and flower form.

·        R. banksiae normalis is considered to be the “wild” form, with single white flowers.

·        R. banksiae banksiae (also known as ‘Banksiae Alba’, R. banksiae alba, R.banksiae alba-plena, White Banksia, or White Lady Banks’ Rose) offers exceptionally fragrant, double white flowers.

·        R. banksiae lutea (R. banksiae lutea-plena, Yellow Lady Banks’ Rose) is the most well-known form of Rosa banksiae in cultivation with small, fully double, bright yellow flowers that come in clusters. They are only slightly fragrant.

·        R. Banksiae lutescens has single light yellow blooms.

 

All four have small, oval buds that open to clustered, 1-inch wide, rosette-form flowers, usually blooming in early or midspring to late spring. Slender, thornless canes carry semi-evergreen to evergreen, shiny, dark green leaves with narrow leaflets. They are rarely bothered by diseases.

 

All four forms of this specie rose have a vigorous, rambling habit and can grow up to 30 ft, so they’re usually used as 20 to 30-foot climbers. They need a sturdy support, such as a well-built pergola or arbor; they also like to scramble into trees. It is a great rose for zone 8 to 10.

 

I saw Rosa banksiae in Charleston, SC on my first visit there in 1989. We went on a House and Garden Tour and at one of the gardens we visited, ‘Yellow Lady Banks’ was growing almost to the roof of the house against the wall. We wandered along some tiny street and I saw ‘Yellow Lady Banks’ rose by the gate and I took the above photo. Fast forward to 2011 – when I joined the Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society, I discovered the owner of that rose is one of our members.

 

Tip of the Day – Learn to be cheerful even if you don’t feel like it.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

 

Rosalinda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Rose (Rosa Foetida Bicolor) and a Tip for a Happy, Healthy and Successful Living

Austrian Copper

Class:   Species

Date of Introduction:   Before 1590

Common Name:   ‘Austrian Copper’

 

Not until late nineteenth century when a French breeder named Pernet-Ducher introduced ‘Rosa foetida persiana’ as a pollen parent to breed the first yellow and orange colored large-flowered rose called ‘Soleil d’Or’ did gardeners take notice of this rose coloration. That was a significant event.

‘Austrian Copper’ is a sport of ‘Rosa foetida’ that has been cultivated as early as the 12th century in the Arab world. It is native to Iran and Afghanistan and it is not Austrian in spite of its name. It has single blossoms, 2” in diameter of bright coppery red with yellow reverse and bright yellow stamens. Its color is eye catching. The rose is so beautiful when the sun is shining behind it. It gives such luminescence that’s so magnificent. The petals are very fragile and heavy wind will knock the petals off easily. It is not fussy about soil and can be grown in poor soil as long as there is good drainage. It is winter hardy and requires little care. It is a vigorous grower and it suckers. It can take over a large area if not controlled. It has long, arching canes that can reach up to 8 ft. and can be trained to climb trellis, pergola, fence or even trees. It only takes a couple of years for the plant to reach 6 to 7 ft. high and can grow as high as 20 ft. When trained horizontally, they develop lateral shoots which will be covered with flowers the following season. Flowers arise from old wood so pruning should be done after it finishes flowering. It is a once bloomer, in late spring or early summer for 2 to 3 weeks.

Most often, ‘Austrian Copper’ will sport back to ‘Rosa foetida’. It is a stunning plant and every garden should have it. The only downside is it is susceptible to black spot so separate it from the rest of your roses. For rose exhibitor, this rose is eligible for Genesis Award.

 

Tip of the Day:   Eat your veggies. They are good for you. 

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

 

Rosalinda

A Rose (Sally Holmes) and a Tip for a Happy, Healthy and Successful Living

IMG_2231

Name: Sally Holmes’

Class: Shrub

Parentage: ‘Ballerina’ x ‘Ivory Fashion’

Hybridizer: Robert A. Holmes

Introduced by: Fryer’s Roses in U.K.

 

‘Sally Holmes’ rose was introduced in 1976 and is a cross between ‘Ballerina’, a hybrid musk and ‘Ivory Fashion’, a Floribunda. It is a single rose of five petals with bloom size of 3” to 4” across with yellow stamens. ‘Sally Holmes’ rose is classified as a shrub but it is so vigorous, it can easily be grown as a climber.

I have seen ‘Sally Holmes’ rose at a friend’s front yard and it is quite a sight. The rose grows all the way to the second floor. It has to be tied strongly to the wall for support. It can grown from 6’ as a shrub and up to 12’ as a climber with almost thornless canes. ‘Sally Holmes’ rose is considered a white shrub rose but her tight buds will appear light apricot maturing to white with a tint of pink at the edges. Foliage is glossy and very disease-resistant. It is also shade tolerant. It has a sweet fragrance.

If you are an exhibitor, it constantly wins awards at the show table. ‘Sally Holmes’ rose is truly an spectacular rose.

Awards:

Baden-Baden Gold Medal 1960

Glasgow – Fragrance 1993

Portland – Gold Medal 1996

 

Tip #41 – Judge your success by the degree that you’re enjoying peace, health, and love.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda

A Rose (Tournament of Roses) and a Tip for a Happy, Healthy and Successful Living

Tournament of Roses

Class:   Grandiflora

Parentage:   ‘Impatient’ x seedling

Hybridizer – William Warriner

Date of Introduction:   1988

This pink grandiflora of 25 to 30 petals is aptly named in honor of the Tournament of Roses, the famous parade of all times held annually on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, California. Tournament of Roses is an AARS selection in 1989. It is sometimes classified as a hybrid tea because of the shape of its flowers although it is really a grandiflora.

Bloom size is 3.5 inches on long stem with light fragrance. The blooms have all shades of pink within them – deep pink in the center, pale pink at the edges, darker pink on the outside. Tournament of Roses blooms profusely in clusters of 5 to 7 blooms like a floribunda on a medium upright bush with glossy dark green leaves and large prickles. It is highly disease-resistant and easy to grow. It produces blooms well into the winter.  Tournament of Roses is both an excellent rose for exhibition and garden rose with plenty of blooms to enjoy outside in the garden and to take indoors to enjoy.

 

Tip #39 – Don’t accept “good enough” as good enough.

 

Until Next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.

 Rosalinda