Anybody have a comment on BowBells (Austin English Rose)

as a garden subject and as a parent? I’ve seen it in

the catalog, liked the look of it, but don’t want to go

after something that’s a disease magnet or completely



Chris Mauchline

I’ve had two plants of Bow Bells for six years. It is a keeper, healthy and makes many blooms a year. We do spray fungicides.

It definitely sets seeds easliy open pollinated. It also has the rather nice garden habit of continuing to bloom while earlier seed sets are ripening. I haven’t grown any of the seeds out.

I like cup like blooms that open cleanly. Unfortunately, many people seem to prefer the Austin roses with dense petals (and a lot fewer blooms). I visited Muncy’s near Sarasota FL several weeks ago. The Austins that he had that had not sold this past year were the cupped blooms of Belle Storey and Hero, both of which have the same lovely open blooms. Bow Bells makes smaller blooms than Belle Storey and Hero but BB makes more of them.

I’ve sown many seeds of ‘Bow Bells’ with no germination. This might account as to why it’s not listed as a seed parent anywhere. I don’t chill my seed but I usually get some germination. It does set hips very readily. Thanks, Robert

I don’t believe Austin ever used Bow Bells much in his breeding program. You can bet he tried. He tries everything that comes out of his breeding program. If you’re looking at English Roses to use, check out some of the parentages of his other successful roses. Mary Rose, GT, Abraham Darby, Charles Austin…

The newest generation is a little more tricky to decipher because he doesn’t want to release the info, but if you know his hybrids well enough, you can make educated guesses about the parents.