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David Austin retiring Graham Thomas, Emma Hamilton, Munsteadwood other

6 days ago

Just saw this article and it is the first I have seen of it, but thought I would share. It is surprising to me at some of these being retired?

Comments (29)

  • Sheila z8a Rogue Valley OR

    MW? Are they crazy?

  • Perma n’ Posies/9A FL

    Looks like you and sue belle were thinking the same thing!

    And Evelyn!! I don’t get it either—this doesn’t sound like good business sense. I understand that they want people to try the new ones, but they really need to understand that it takes a number of years for a rose to establish its reputation, and the well-known, good ones will always be a sure sale. Definitely crazy. :-(

  • Nick 10bSW17

    It seems more like clickbait to me.

    Did I miss the sourcing or quotes from a DA rep actually saying this is happening? I hate to be a pessimist, but as the old saying goes, just because it's in a book, doesn't make it true, the same goes for the internet.

    When I look at the DA EU page ALL of the roses this blogger lists are still available vs what he states, "Lady Emma Hamilton is no more. Munstead Wood, Falstaff, likewise. Even Graham Stuart Thomas. Cut from their listing of available roses and more besides. Approximately 30% of their ‘catalogue’ is being withdrawn." Wouldn't a credible journalist then include a "said so and so from David Austin? LEH is also still available in the US.

  • Bill Holcombe

    No idea I originally saw it on Paul Zimmerman Facebook .

  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    There are numerous posts here about it. It appears to be untrue, unless the writer has some inside knowledge, which may be the case.

  • the_bustopher z6 MO

    I sure hope that this whole thing is nothing more than fake news. There are too many in the list that are too valuable to get rid of.

  • ac91z6

    Bustopher, do you have 'Munstead Wood' and 'Graham Thomas' by any chance? I'm in MO too, and I already have GT, although he's been eaten to the ground by deer or rabbits these last couple winters and I can't really evaluate him. I keep thinking about MW and I'd love to hear from someone in MO who grows him.

    I really, really hope this is a misunderstanding and actually stems from the company's decision to focus on making 'improved' versions of these. I can't see DA giving 'Graham Thomas' and 'Munstead Wood' the ax - they don't have anything near MW in color and scent, and GT has been a flagship rose for them almost as long as they've existed.

    Given their punitive actions against vendors offering roses they have declared 'retired', I'm stuck with the possibility that the article is right and they are going to do this.

  • Dave6aMO

    Even if there is truth to this, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen in the US and/or at the same time as the UK. I also hope this is untrue. I was a little concerned, though, to see that Munstead Wood had a minor spot in the catalog this year next to the larger spot occupied by Darcey Bussell, which was less disease resistant and less fragrant.

    @ac91z6 - I hope Bustopher will chime in as well but I’m in MO also and have MW - definitely one of my favorites. It can get a little lanky/awkward when it cools off in the fall when almost all of my roses seem to put on extra growth but otherwise stays a manageable size, repeats well, is hardy, and the fragrance is incredible. Nothing beats the dark blooms that come when the weather is cool.

  • cyndita (west coast zone 9)

    I was also wondering if it was specific to the UK?

  • the_bustopher z6 MO

    I actually have 2 Munstead Woods. I had to replace one of them because it did not survive one of our horrid late freezes. The other one has been limping along trying to make it in a not too great a location. Usually Munstead Wood does quite well for me. The colors vary from dark wine-red to almost purple sometimes. It does have a nice smell. The bush can throw some long canes at times. It did surprise me as to how large it can get. As for Graham Thomas, I used to have it, but it also did not make it through a late freeze. It is pretty, but it has significant hardiness issues here. I put in Golden Celebration as an alternative. GC has had way more flowers than Graham Thomas and repeats well when grown in a pot. I am waiting to see how well it will do in the ground where I have it. I just want to put some Munstead Woods and some Golden Celebrations in a bouquet together. I think the colors will play well off each other because they are near opposites. .

  • jc_7a_MiddleTN

    I can't imagine the claims are legitimate, considering the source.

  • hugogurll

    Remember it takes two years to grow a budded plant. So the decision to drop could be for this year's budding and the results would show up two seasons later.

  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    Has someone asked the blogger his/her source for this info?

  • ac91z6

    Thank you @Dave6aMO and @the_bustopher z6 MO - I've got two roses that may go live on the farm if they don't make a better showing this year, and MW would make a nice replacement in either of those spots.

    Bustopher, my GT makes it through the weather ok (he's on the west side of the garage, that might be helping), but the last two years something has eaten him down to about 6 inches! I found the canes beside him, and they looked green and fine so I don't know how he'd actually survive. This is actually year four for him, so hopefully the varmits leave him alone! And you say your MW is in a bad spot - too much shade, bad soil, what? One spot I have is significantly more shady than the other.

    Dave, does your MW like shade or full sun? How's disease resistance here?

  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    In my Z6 Cincinnati, Munstead needs sun or he will get BS.

  • Dave6aMO

    I have a grouping of MW in full sun and they do well with good to slightly above average disease resistance. He doesn’t burn in full sun like some reds - at least for me.

  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    He doesn't bun in full sun for me either, although he will show a bit more fuchsia.

  • ac91z6

    Hmm... I probably don't want to put him in the very front bed, closest to the road. The other bed has more shade, so I'll nix that one right out. Wait, I do have one more spot I might be needing a replacement, and that would be a better spot for MW. Thanks guys!

  • Magnus - England

    I found this article with an official statement by DA but it's locked behind a paywall unfortunately. It seems the blog is right, I wish I could read the article but i'm extremely disappointed nonetheless. They're getting rid of really good roses with nothing to replace them. I just wish I knew why aargh!

  • fig_insanity Z7a E TN

    From Horticulture Week, 1-29-2020:

    David Austin Roses consolidates range

    David Austin, has cut its range by 30%.

    …no longer available: 'Munstead Wood', 'Lady Emma Hamilton', 'Abraham Darby', 'William Shakespeare', 'Elsie Braithwaite', 'Alan Titchmarsh' and others.

    …Numbers of varieties available are now 86, down 30%, with more old varieties set to be dropped. 'Gertrude Jekyll' remains a top seller and will continue to be sold.

    David Austin Roses' Kate Porter said: "We've made some significant changes to the range for the good of the customer. Some of the well-known varieties we are withdrawing from the range. What was wonderful 20 years ago, standards have changed and we've improved breeding standards."

    David Austin's Paul Manley recommends new varieties such as 'Olivia Rose Austin'.

    *Emphasis and a grain of salt are mine.

  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho

    Munstead Wood has not been on the market for 20 years, so where do that pull that figure from, I wonder? This is for my own good, eh? I think I'll decide what's good for me, thank you very much. All Austin does is push that Olivia Rose, which is the least favorite Austin I grow (after I got rid of the thuggish PAoK). Diane

  • Magnus - England

    Munstead Wood and Lady Emma Hamilton are both very popular varieties. They dont have a replacement for either! At the very least there seem to be many nurseries in the UK already selling some of their old varieties. Jude the Obscure for example is being dropped but it's still being sold by many online retailers. We can only hope they pick up newer varieties being dropped but I don't think the patent on either LEH or MW expires anytime soon...It could be that we (in the UK at least) will have to wait many years for the patents to expire before we can buy those roses from anywhere once DA stop selling them, since you know, DA don't allow other nurseries to stock their dropped varieties if they want to sell their newest ones.

  • jc_7a_MiddleTN

    At what point do we panic and order as many as we can of the expriing varieties?

  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    Falstaff is not expired either. I love that rose.

  • ac91z6

    Well, I hadn't planned on grabbing a 'Munstead Wood' this year, but maybe I should. I might grab 'Bishop's Castle' while I'm at it, since it seems DA USA is the only place left that has it, ack!

    Edited - Long Ago Roses has 'Bishop's Castle' (AUSglobe)! And hold the phone, she has 'Purple Lodge' listed as coming soon??!!! I guess I need to get some pots, because I'm out of space but in denial, ha!

  • the_bustopher z6 MO

    I am very curious as to just exactly what data they used to make their decisions. I wonder if they made it up in their own heads, not unlike a number of other organizations that I have seen do to give rationale for what they did. I am not happy that they are dropping Crocus Rose which for me has been very sturdy and surviving just about everything. They also got rid of The Prince, another good performer here. I also happen to wonder why so many of the roses that appear to be getting the ax are those that are not pink or some version of it.

  • cyndita (west coast zone 9)

    Very sad, especially for the roses that are still under patent protection, so no one else can sell them. I wonder if they will discontinue the same roses in the U.S., or if they will account for regional differences?

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