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William Shakespeare 2000, Austin 2000. Breeding: unknown.

This is one of the most recent of the Austin roses to enter the North American market. In its first year in my collection, it has shown significant merit; a definite improvement over the original Crimson Austin bearing the bard's name. (The original 'William Shakespeare' is still a fine bush when well grown, and absolutely worthy of garden space.)

This is a vigorous shrub, quickly making lush, healthy growth and large panicles of bloom that bloom sequentially over a period of two weeks or more. New growth is quick to appear and it has none of the tendency of the earlier crimson Austins to make huge non-blooming canes that act like climbers. (Known in some circles as the "Jolly Green Giant Syndrome"!) Individual blooms are 4 inches across, or more, and are extremely full-petaled, with a rich perfume that hints of Violets at times.

Finally, in my opinion, a crimson Austin that very nearly deserves the hype that preceeds it.

ARS merit rating: None assigned.
Personal merit rating: 8.5
Hardiness: USDA zones 6 to 10, possibly zone 4 and 5 in a protected location?
Shrub size: 3.5 to 4.5 feet tall, and 4 feet wide.
Fragrance: 4.0, strong 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  

Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 1996-2004