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This gardening blog is written in Bathurst, NSW, Australia.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Spring Rose Derby

The starters are lining up for the annual First Rose Race in Bathurst.  There are only eight in the field, all stayers. 

The odds-on favourite is the Hybrid Musk, "Cornelia".  A two-time Derby winner, she's looking in good shape to take it out this year, too.

Second favourite is "Madame Isaac Pereire", from the Bourbon stable. A past winner, she is known as a sprinter to the finish.

The Floribunda, "Bonica", is slow at the start, but could come from behind at the last turn.

Showing very strong form this year, another of the Floribundas, "Queen Elizabeth" is in with a chance.

"Fourth of July" is a galloper and has strong support.

Australian bred "Brindabella Bouquet" is a newcomer this year. Previous form is unknown, so this one starts at long odds.

"Eglantyne" from the prestigious English stable of David Austin, unplaced last year, looks like it might be worth a punt.

Finally, an exciting late entry.  French two-year old Pierre de Ronsard was a non-finisher last year and is handicapped heavily by shade, but seems to have matured recently and this could be his year.

They're under starter's orders, and ... they're off!


  1. Lyn, this is such a well written post. I really enjoyed reading it! Your roses look absolutely fantastic, so healthy and vigorous. I am curious to find out, who will win the race to be the first one in bloom in your garden this spring. Hope you will let us know!

  2. My goodness they all look fabulous. As I watch for the LAST rose of summer it is heartening to see your plants just preparing to bloom. You've got one nice stable full Lyn.

  3. WHat are you like! Brilliantly written post, what a great way to showcase plants...well done you!!

  4. Galloping roses ... what an image. Not the typical fussy, refined reputation of roses. Yours are performers, some better than others, but the race is on for a place in your rose stable!

  5. Christina - thanks, I'm glad you liked it. The roses are looking particularly healthy this year, and no aphids yet, so I'm hoping for great things. I will post the results of the race as soon as they come in.

    Linnie - I'm very excited about my first roses, but autumn roses are usually the best, at least here. I only have 13 roses altogether, so each one is special.

    Jane - thank you, I'm blushing ...

    Laurrie - it's an appropriate image for Fourth of July, believe me. I've been so impressed with its vigorous growth.

  6. A rose race in Bathurst is much more exciting than a car race I must say, though every male in my family would disagree. I have Queen Elizabeth in my garden too, she is a newcomer this year so I'm looking forward to seeing how she does!
    Thanks for your comment on my blog :)

  7. Dear Lyn, I had no idea that roses were so competitive. I suppose there's a whole betting industry around them too? lol - top marks for creative writing! cheers, catmint

  8. Cute way you posted. I am very impressed with how healthy and robust they are growing. Roses here are fussy and many get easily diseased. I hope you post your winners.

  9. Who is the odds on favourite then Lyn?

    Your foliage just looks as if it's just come out of the nursery... it's so fresh and disease free.

  10. Ruth - I agree about the car race! "Queen Elizabeth" is a wonderful rose, I'm sure it will do well for you.

    Catmint - thanks! Of course, there is heavy betting involved, but we rose gardeners are too refined to take part.

    Gardenwalk - mine get diseased, too, but they're pristine right now at the beginning of the season. "Brindabella Bouquet" is supposed to be completely immune to blackspot, so I'm keen to see how it performs.

    Rosie - today they're rounding the final turn and "Cornelia" is in the lead. I'll post when first, second and third place have been decided.

  11. They all look fabulous, and I hope they finish as well as they start! Your garden will be gorgeous with all of these in bloom!

  12. Great post, Lyn. Your roses don't seem to suffer from the dreaded blackspot or anything else. I'm looking forward to more photos as they bloom.

  13. Ooo, what a nice lot of roses you have! Can't wait for the photo finish!


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