A new rose fit for a Queen; and a very nice Streptocarpus that is new too
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

March 12, 2017

Above, Dame Judy Dench; the newly introduced Austin rose named in her honour. Below, Judy Dench sits in her home’s living room; and Streptocarpus ‘Titania’, photo courtesy Dibleys, the introducers.




Actress Dame Judi Dench has been honoured by rose grower David Austin with a gorgeous apricot flower named in her honour.

Dame Judi Dench is celebrating her 60th year in acting in 2017. Her professional debut occurred in September 1957 with the Old Vic Company at the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool, as Ophelia in Hamlet. In six decades, Dame Judi Dench has won an Oscar, a Tony, seven Oliviers, six film and four television BAFTA Awards. She holds the record for most acting majors across all six American and British events, winning eighteen and receiving fifty two nominations.

Other significant awards include two Golden Globes, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and ten critics awards. Overall in her career to date, she has won 55 competitive awards from 203 nominations. She has also received 10 honorary awards, including the lifetime achievement Special Olivier Award and the BAFTA Fellowship.

As she kicks off her 7th decade in acting, Dame Judi Dench can now add ‘rose competitor’ to her list of accomplishments as internationally known rose grower David Austin will honor with a flower named in her honor.

‘The ‘Dame Judi Dench’ rose will go on display at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year for all to see, reports Horticulture Week the U.K.’s leading horticulture trade journal.

“We are delighted to name this rose after one of Britain’s most beloved stars of stage and screen, ‘Dame Judi Dench’,” Austin told the publication.

“A beautiful rose; the blooms are a particularly rich shade of apricot, paling prettily towards the edges, lending a certain radiance.

“Beginning as striking, red-tipped buds they gradually open to reveal large informal rosettes, each with ruffled petals and a button eye. Maintaining their beauty throughout their time in flower, they are very resistant to rain damage and the petals drop neatly.

“There is a lovely, medium-strong fragrance, which combines classic tea with a fresh note of cucumber and a hint of kiwi.”

He described the rose as “particularly tough” and said it grows to 120 cm x 120 cm (4 x 4ft.) wide and tall.

The Chelsea Flower Show is a favourite with garden enthusiasts around the world, with around 157,000 people flooding through the gates to see the stunning display every year.

* * *

Dibleys Nurseries located in Rhuthun, Denbighshire, (Northern Wales, U.K.) launched the new Streptocarpus ‘Titania’ with a long flowering season and tidy narrow leaves, forming a nicely shaped plant. It makes a wonderful new addition for the houseplant grower. The flowers on ‘Ti-tania’ have intense red-purple lower lobes with two strong contrasting yellow flashes; the upper lobes are pale yellow/cream. ‘Titania’ will flower for over 10 months a year.

Dibleys Nurseries with their Streptocarpus ‘Titania' (Best New Plant Introduction) is owned and operated by Ms Lynne Dibley who likes to say that “You don't need a garden to enjoy plants,” says the woman who runs Dibleys. She added, “In 2016, we won our 27th Chelsea Gold Medal, which makes well over 150 RHS Gold Medals altogether!”

Her particular passion is for Streptocarpus. Native to South Africa, they have masses of deep-throated flowers on long stems and come in a dazzling array of colours.

Some varieties they do well in centrally heated rooms and slight shade. Dibleys sells half a million streptocarpus a year, either by mail order or through garden centres, and Lynne warns, 'They're addictive. Once you will flower for up to ten months and have one and it flowers well, you'll want lots more.'

She believes we're entering a boom time for houseplants, as homes get smaller and urban dwell-ers crave more greenery.

'People are realising that having houseplants creates a healthier environment,' says Lynne. 'There are plants for every room in the house, whether hot and sunny or shady and cool. Even if you don't have a garden you can surround yourself with plants.'


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