New Roses And Raspberries—The Raspberries From Breeding Work Done Here In Canada
by Art Drysdale
by Art Drysdale


Art Drysdale, a life-long resident of Toronto and a horticulturist well known all across Canada, is now a resident of Parksville, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, just north of Nanaimo. He has reno-vated an old home and has a new garden there. His radio gardening vignettes are heard in south-western Ontario over radio station Easy 101 FM out of Tillsonburg at 2 PM weekdays.

Art also has his own website at

February 22, 2015

Above, Rosa ‘Kew Gardens’; ‘Olivia Rose Austin’; ‘The Lady of the Lake’; and ‘The Poet’s Wife’—all David Austin roses. Below, Two new Clematis from Ray Evison—‘Fleuri’ and ‘Ooh La La’ latter also known as ‘Cherokee’ in North America; The new Canadian raspberry ‘Jeanne d’Orleans’ shown at top followed by two existing cultivars ‘Boyne’ and ‘Killarney’ (middle and bottom).



David Austin Roses launched four new varieties at the Chelsea Flower Show including Rosa 'Kew Gardens,' commemorating 250 years of the botanic gardens. This is not truly an English Rose but the company include it here for convenience as it has connections with their Musk Hybrids. The flowers, which are small and single, are held in very large heads rather like a hydrangea and produced almost continuously from early summer through to the end of the season. The young buds are soft apricot opening to pure white, with a hint of soft lemon behind the stamens. The flowers are followed by small red hips which should be removed to encourage repeat flowering.

It is extremely healthy and completely thornless—an unusual thing among roses. It has a bushy but rather upright habit of growth, making it ideal for the back of a mixed border. A group of two or three or more bushes will provide a mass of white as though they were covered with snow. This rose is particularly suitable for forming a magnificent impenetrable flowering hedge.

The other three new varieties include ‘Olivia Rose Austin’ (Ausmixture), a great all-rounder that combines beauty and fragrance with superb health. They named this rose after the daughter of David Austin Junior, so it has to be something rather special! It is, in fact, they say possibly the best rose that they have introduced to date. Its flowers are of beautiful Old Rose formation, commencing as prettily cupped buds and gradually opening to become shallowly cupped rosettes of three and a half inches across; being attractive at all stages. The colour is a lovely soft shade of pink and it has a strong, pleasing fragrance with distinct fruity tints. The growth is vigorous and it repeat-flowers well. It is also one of the most disease-resistant of all the roses we know.

‘The Lady of the Lake’ (Ausherbert), which is only the fourth repeat-flowering rambler to be added to the English Rose portfolio. When a rose breeder introduces a new climbing or rambling rose, it is always difficult to say just what height it is going to achieve as it takes some time for it to reach its full potential. However, ‘The Lady of the Lake’ promises to grow to a considerable height, perhaps 3 to 3.6 m (10 or 12 ft.) or more, with long and slender flexible stems, bearing sprays of pretty, semi-double flowers each about two inches across. These are of a lovely, delicate blush pink colour and are of open formation, exposing a nice group of golden stamens. They are held in attractive sprays and have a fresh citrus fragrance. This rose repeat flowers regularly throughout the summer.

The Austin company are particularly excited about their fourth new rose, ‘The Poet’s Wife’ (Auswhisper), as it is the first yellow rose they have introduced for over ten years. This rose fits in well with their English Old Rose Hybrids, even though it has a little of the Leander group in its genetic make-up. This shows up in its rather shiny foliage. It is a superb rose with flowers of an unfading, strong yellow. Their formation is most pleasing, having a neat outer ring of petals enclosing an informal group of petals within. The growth is low and naturally rounded, making it an ideal rose for a position towards the front of the flower border. There is a rich fragrance with strong lemon tints at first, becoming sweeter and stronger with age.

Guernsey Clematis (headed by well-known Ray Evison) have launched ‘Fleur’ and Clematis 'Ooh La La' to add to their range.

Clematis' ‘Fleuri’s deep purple colour makes it a must for a sunny location. Due to its depth of colour, this clematis is best grown in association with other shrubs or roses that have a light colour. It looks stunning with silver or golden-variegated foliage shrubs in a garden setting. However, it does make a stunning plant when grown in a container, on an obelisk, or with an under-planting of grey-foliaged annual plants. Ideal for the smaller garden or for growing in a pot or container on a deck garden, patio or outdoor dining area.

Clematis 'Ooh La La' will be known as Clematis ‘Cherokee’™ in the U.S.A. and Canada. A very compact and extremely free-flowering, great value-for-money plant. It is best grown in shade where its brightly coloured flowers will lighten up a dark area. Equally at home either as a plant grown in a garden location or grown in a container on the deck garden, patio or outdoor dining area.

Also being introduced into Great Britain are some new raspberry cultivars which originated from breeding work done in Canada by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has announced the availability for trial of several new floricane raspberry varieties/selections from Canada. The varieties/selections are: BC1-88-6, from the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre breeding programme in British Columbia.

Jeanne d’Orléans, SJR941-1 & SJR944-2, from the Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada breeding programme in Québec. Plants are available for trial under the standard conditions for Members and Associate Members of the British firm, Meiosis.

Jeanne d’Orléans has an excellent shelf life compared to four standards and has much higher antioxidant activities especially ellagic acid (two fold higher) compared to commercially grown raspberries in Québec.

Young shoots are quite densely covered with purplish-brown, fairly large spines. New shoots are covered with bloom wax and moderately hairy, with an upright habit with dropping tips. The leaves are slightly but noticeably rough-surfaced between veins and are light green in colour, usually have five leaflets, but upper part of a shoot may have only three.

Jeanne d’Orléans is a new late-season floricane red raspberry cultivar (Rubus idaeus). Jeanne d’Orléans was named because it has large, very firm and aromatic fruits, with excellent shelf life and much higher antioxidant activities compared to commercially grown raspberries in Québec.


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