English roses are also known as old roses because they were crossed with old roses by English breeder, David Austin, and they offer the same old rose appeal beloved by gardeners.
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In the early 1960s, David Austin began crossing old roses, namely the Floribunda and Dainty Maid, with the Gallica and Belle Isis. The result was the semi-climbing rose, Constance Spry, with medium pink blooms with a strong old rose cup shape as well as strong fragrance. His goal was to recreate old roses with attributes that would appeal to contemporary gardeners.
David Austin's success resulted in hardy, disease-resistant, scented, old-rose-type blooms. English roses are hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zone 5b, but they can be grown in colder zones with winter protection. They tolerate partial afternoon shade, as it keeps the bloom colour from fading too quickly. They can be trained as climbers or low shrubs with repeat flowers through the growing season similar to hybrid tea roses.
Popular varieties include Constance Spry, which is a hardy climber to 12 feet. Some shrub roses include the pink roses, St. Swithun and Mary Rose, the red roses Prospero and Othello and the pale shaded roses of Chaucer and The Prioress.
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