Roses for Your Valentine

By Charlie Nardozzi

It will be Valentine's Day soon, and what better gift to give a loved one than roses. But instead of spending lots of money on cut flowers that will wither in a week's time, why not treat your Valentine to a living plant? There are many varieties of roses that are easy to grow and reward your favorite gardener with beautiful, scented flowers for years. Some of the best are the English Roses bred by David Austin. They combine the ever-blooming qualities of hybrid roses with the old-fashioned look and smell of heirloom roses. This year David Austin is introducing 5 new varieties that will surely entice you to grow more roses. Two of the best are Rosa 'Young Lycidas' and Rosa 'Wisley 2008'. Both are award-winning roses with special traits. 'Young Lycidas' blossoms are a blend of deep magenta, pink, and red. The 4-foot tall and wide shrub flowers all summer and each bloom has a classic tea rose fragrance with a hint of cedar. It won the "most fragrant rose" category at the 2009 Concurs Internacional de Roses in Barcelona, Spain.

Rosa 'Wisley 2008' won first place in the landscape rose category at the same show. It features 3-inch, soft pink roses with a fruity fragrance. It grows 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide and can be used in formal and informal gardens, as well as in a hedge. Both rose varieties are hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9.

For more information on these and other new introductions from David Austin, go to: David Austin Roses.

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