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'Mayor of Casterbridge', Austin 1997. Breeding: 'Charles Austin' X 'Louise Odier'

'Mayor of Casterbridge'This is one of the most recent of the Austin roses to enter the North American market. I got my plant from Heirloom Roses in St. Paul, OR.

I have only had 'Mayor of Casterbridge' for one year now, so I can't say that I can offer much of an assessement just yet. I like the plant's vigor and growth habit so far, and the blooms are perfectly formed every time. Fragrance is only moderate, and unusual for an English rose. It looks like it is going to be fast to repeat bloom, and there are going to be a LOT of flowers on this shrub!

I have heard that like its Bourbon parent, 'Louise Odier', it can be rather subject to Blackspot, however, I have not found mine to be particularly susceptible. Perhaps another season will show me its true character. For now, I'm satisfied that this is a very nice shrub with great potential.

After a third season assessing this cultivar I am still pleased with its performance, although it definitely wants to Blackspot. However, it seems to outgrow any disease problems and it remains vigorous and blooms well. All things considered, I think this is a very nice rose, and is quite different in character from most of the Austins.

ARS merit rating: None assigned.
Personal merit rating: 8.5
Hardiness: USDA zones 5 to 10, possibly zone 4 in a protected location.
Shrub size: 3.5 to 5 feet tall, and 4 feet wide.
Fragrance: 3.0, moderate Old Rose scent.

Abraham Darby Gertrude Jekyll St. Swithun
Charlotte* Graham Thomas Sharifa Asma*
Claire Rose* Jayne Austin* Sweet Juliet*
Constance Spry* John Clare Teasing Georgia
Country Living Jude the Obscure* The Prince
Eglantyne* Mayor of Casterbridge Tradescant
Evelyn Othello* William Shakespeare
Fair Bianca Prospero William Shakespeare 2000
Geoff Hamilton St. Cecelia  

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