A rose by any other name… is not a David Austin Rose!

A Shropshire Lad roses, David Austin roses
A Shropshire Lad, by David Austin Roses.

Every February, the gardening books come out. I plan. I sketch. I dream about a day when my lawn will be lush and green instead of buried under 18 inches of snow!

My good friend Amanda has a proverbial green thumb. Maybe it’s because she was born in England and has inherited “the gardener’s gene,” but her flower beds are traffic-stopping every single year.

Although her garden varies with the season, you will always find an abundance of roses. Climbing over a white trellis, spilling across the fence, or twining around railings, they are simply everywhere!

Personally, I have had mixed success (as well as abysmal failure) with roses. A lovely yellow “fairy rose” bush that I received as a gift over 10 years ago has managed to soldier on. And, an old-fashioned blood-red bush that I rescued from a neighbor appears indestructible (it had been repeatedly run over with a lawnmower, as he was trying to kill it). But, the list of those who didn’t make it is long…

Hallow Carr, by David Austin Roses
Hallow Carr, by David Austin Roses

So, what’s the secret for a stunning rose display? Selection. As simple as it sounds, it appears I’ve been choosing my roses all wrong. For example, “New Dawn” is perfect for beginners (pale pink, splashy, and a climber). And, as my plucky yellow rose-bush can attest, fairy roses are notoriously easy.

Armed with this information, I am excited to try anew this Spring and have found the perfect source – David Austin Roses. According to their website, “After fifty years of intensive breeding, David Austin’s English Roses combine the forms and fragrances of old roses with the repeat-flowering of modern roses. They are very easy to grow, healthy and reliable.” Eureka!

The website is helpfully divided into categories such as Roses for Large Pots and Containers, Climbers, Fragrant Roses and more. Choosing just the right rose is made simpler, too, by the breathtaking photos. If my garden looks half this good, I will consider myself a rose expert!

I’ve pictured a few of my favorites from the extensive collection at David Austin Roses. But really, if you love gardening, or just need a little inspiration this winter, visit David Austin Roses.

Spring is coming… I promise!

Susan Conforte McNeill is a wife, mother, author, entrepreneur, Harper’s BAZAAR Style Ambassador, and the co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait! In addition to Susan Said… WHAT?! Susan also writes for It’s how you play the game! the corporate website of the award-winning You’ve been Sentenced! word game.

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    Robin Wilson

    I LOVE roses. Unfortunately, I don’t have very good luck with many varieties. I have a couple of awesome KnockOut Roses and I have a Lady Banks that is stunning and might just take over the house! That Hallow Carr is magnificent!

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