Rosa 'Graham Thomas' ('Ausmas')
The Modern Rose Garden at Hyde Hall reaches its full glory in June when the roses erupt into a wonderful display of colour and fill the air with a heady fragrance. The area has a crisp outline being bounded by yew hedges on the outside, low box hedges on the inside of the beds and obelisks in the corners to add height and formality. These give us the opportunity to train climbing roses and late-flowering clematis around them. Rosa 'Graham Thomas' is one of the many cultivars of English roses that we grow in the Modern Rose Garden, which is planted in a formal style with a range of colours from deep, velvety red through oranges and yellows to pale creams and crisp, clear whites.
- Common name
- Height & spread
- 1.2m (4ft) x 1.5m (5ft)
- Vigorous, deciduous shrub rose
- Moist but well-drained, humus-rich, fertile
- Partial shade
- Fully hardy
This is a genus of about 150 species of semi evergreen or deciduous perennial shrubs and climbers. They are found in a wide range of habitats in Asia, Europe, N. Africa and North America. Roses have erect, arching, scrambling, or sometimes trailing, often thorny or prickly stems.
The alternate leaves range from 2.5-18cm (1-7in) or more long, each leaf has usually has 5-7, often toothed, variably shaped leaflets.
Roses are grown for their attractive, often fragrant flowers, borne mainly in summer and autumn, and sometimes for their fruits and hips. The flowers are solitary or borne in clusters and vary greatly in colour, size and form. Roses are suitable for a range of garden situations: from a specimen to standards in a mixed herbaceous border, and as climbers for walls pergolas, trees and arches.
Rosa 'Graham Thomas' ('Ausmas')
This is one of the most widely sought-after of the English Roses. Large-flowered, deep-yellow 'Graham Thomas' was bred by Englishman David Austin and introduced in 1983. Mr Graham Thomas is one of the most influential rosarians of our time; it is one of the first yellow roses with old-fashioned form. Although classified as a shrub rose, it tends to grow more vigorously and can be used as a sprawling climber in warm climates. Like other English roses, it offers the old-fashioned form and fragrance of old roses and the repeat-bloom characteristic of modern roses.
- Plant any time during winter and early spring as long as the ground is not waterlogged or frozen; roses like plenty of water but also need well-drained soil with a pH around 6.5.
- Prepare a hole 2½ times the depth of the pot incorporating lots of organic matter into the bottom and sides such as well-rotted stable manure, leafmould or garden compost.
- Use bonemeal or another slow-release phosphorous-supplying fertiliser at 85g per sq m in the backfill.
- Plant slightly deeper (2.5cm, 1in) than it appears in the pot.
- For spring planting prune back to a healthy outward-facing bud 5-8cm (2-3in) above the ground and remove any dead and decaying material.
- Water thoroughly and apply a 4-8cm (1½- 3in) layer of mulch using well-rotted manure or similar, making sure it is kept away from the stem of the rose.
- Stake and deadhead as necessary and remove any suckers by pulling away from the rootstock.
- Root hardwood cuttings in early autumn. Chose pencil-thick current year stems and cut to 23cm (9in) long. Strip off all but the top pairs of leaves and snap off thorns.
- Set in a slit trench 20cm (8in) deep in an open area of the garden out of the midday sun. Line the bottom of the trench with 2.5cm (1in) of sharp sand to improve drainage.
- Set the cuttings 15cm (6in) apart in the trench and firm in well then water.
- Alternatively, propagate by budding in midsummer on rootstocks planted in the previous autumn.
The RHS Floral A and Floral B Plant Committee awarded Rosa 'Graham Thomas' (‘Ausmas’) an Award of Garden Merit and described it as:
"A vigorous, arching medium-sized shrub with glossy, bright green foliage and fragrant, cupped, fully double, rich yellow flowers to 11cm wide."