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David Austin

Posted 8/21/2015 11:45am by Eugene Wyatt.

Man has taken a wild flower and over many centuries, at first by the selection of chance seedlings and later by design, moulded it to his wishes. The rose is a flower that belongs in the main to those parts of the garden that are close to the house, and those parts most closely controlled by the gardener. Here it is always with us as we pass; one of those small but not insignificant parts of our life that makes it worth the living.

The Heritage of the Rose 1988, David Austin, p. 17.

Posted 8/11/2015 11:35am by Eugene Wyatt.

Mousseline (1855)

The majority of Moss Roses were bred over a short period of time, from approximately 1850 to 1870. Arriving, as they did, comparatively late on the rose scene, they show considerable signs of hybridity; in some varieties there are definite signs of China Rose ancestry. Here we have the first hint of the Modern Rose creeping in on the Old. The result is sometimes a loss of that charm which we so value in Old Roses, the first loss of innocence.

The Heritage of the Rose 1988, David Austin, p. 73.


ORIGIN Laffay, France, 1855

FLOWER SIZE 3.1 in (8cm)

SCENT Strong and sweet


HEIGHT/SPREAD 3.9ft (1.2m)/4.9ft (1.5m)


The synonym for Alfred de Dalmas is Mousseline, and the same rose is sold under both names. They were originally two different roses: only one has survived, but the experts cannot say which. Either way, this is one of the best repeat-flowering Moss roses. Its flowers are a beautiful flesh pink, fading to pale creamy pink, and distinctly cup-shaped, with a wisp of stamens at the center. They are sweetly scented, and the moss (brownish, and not too thick) has a resinous smell when touched. The flowers come in tight clusters (typically of 3—5) on short, leafy stems like a Portland rose. The plant is not very vigorous but, when well grown, it eventually makes a tall, upright plant and reaches 5.7ft (1.75m). Normally it is smaller — small enough for containers. The reflowering is stronger if the bush is lightly cut back after each flowering. The leaves are small, with rounded, gray green leaflets, and fairly healthy except for occasional blackspot.

American Rose Society Encyclopedia of Roses 2003, Charles and Brigid Quest-Ritson, p. 25.